Sree Nityananda and Sree Gaursundar
As published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj
June 1931 to June 1932
The Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnava Community are the followers and worshippers of Sree Gaursundar. They also worship Sree Nityananda. The distinctive tenet of the Teachings of Sree Gaursundar is to the effect that the worship of the devotee of Sree Krishna is higher than that of Sree Krishna Himself.
This is not a counsel for the worship of man. Sree Gaursundar is identical with Sree Krishna. Sree Krishna eternally exhibits the Transcendental Pastime of wearing the complexion and grace of His Counter-Whole Sree Radhika in order to taste the mellow Quality of His Own Consort-hood. It is not a Role which is put on by the Divinity for the nonce. It is His Eternal Benign personality identical with His All-Attractive Self. In other words the Supreme renderer of His Own service is identical with the Supreme Receiver of the same. Sree Gaursundar is the Magnanimous Giver of Sree Krishna. Sree Gaursundar is Magnanimous Krishna. Sree Krishna is unapproachable except by the fullness of serving love. Sree Gaursundar is the Bestower of that unalloyed love that captures the Heart of Sree Krishna. The Two constitute in an equal and identical measure the Absolute's Own Supreme Self. There is nothing more fundamental than Either. They are One and the Same Person.
If Sree Gaursundar is worshipped Sree Krishna is necessarily and simultaneously worshipped. And Sree Gaursundar can be worshipped by all. The worship of Sree Krishna is not possible for the soul in the conditioned state. The worship of Sree Gaursundar is available even in the conditioned state for the mere asking. Neither attainment nor continuance of the unconditioned state is possible except by the service of Sree Gaursundar. In other words those who do not avail of the Magnanimity of Krishna can never obtain His loving service. The worship of Sree Gaursundar, alike in the free and conditioned states, has thus a claim on all which is superior even to that of Sree Krishna Himself.
The worship of Sree Gaursundar is attainable by all for the mere asking. But this asking disposition itself is the free gift of Sree Nityananda. There is no cause for the grace of Nityananda. The causeless grace of Nityananda is the cause of the undeserved grace of Sree Gaursundar. Those alone who doubt or are disposed to minimize the Supreme quality of the grace of Nityananda are denied the worship of Sree Gaursundar. Nityananda is the Best-beloved of Sree Gaursundar. Nityananda is Manifest Form of Sree Gaursundar. Nityananda is the accredited hawker of the Supreme Mercy of Sree Gaursundar. Nityananda calls everyone to the service of Sree Gaursundar. Those who do not respond to the call of Nityananda are doomed to eternal perdition. The only course that is fully open to all souls really desirous of serving Sree Krishna is to seek the worship of Sree Gaursundar under the Guidance of Sree Nityananda Who manifests Himself to all without exception.
The apparently uncalled for manifestation of Sree Nityananda to the eclipsed consciousness of man need not be regarded with that contempt which is so lavishly bestowed by empiric thinkers on that form of Elevationism which relies on the Pseudo-Scripture for the Cheap attainment of worldly felicity. It is no doubt possible for the conditioned soul by means of the resources of his limited reason working on sense experience to attain to temporary freedom from the conditions of limited existence. But if the attainment of liberation from the fetters of the Limiting Energy happens to be installed as the summum bonum of one's empiric activities the goal becomes realizable in the form of the temporary suspension of one's individual existence. In other words the mundane contents may be artificially eliminated from our limited consciousness for a time resulting in a temporary mundane vacuum which is equivalent to the commission of empiric suicide. This consummation, indeed, possesses, at a certain stage of our worldly experience a strange fascination as offering a respite to our baffled spirit. The so-called progress of our empiric knowledge produces at this stage a destructive recoil from the utter hollowness of its laborious achievements. To honest minds who are privileged to feel this basic undesirability of the mental existence Nihilism in the form of despair of a realizable goal of earthly perfection, suggests itself as the only legitimate consummation of all worldly activity. Scepticism and Agnosticism which are also the offspring of worldly altruism, are never more than merely tentative attitudes. Whereas Liberationism is the definite shutting down of the door on the empiric stage. It is the deliberated, convinced and, therefore, mischievous and really fatal, acceptance of the negation of existence as the result of dis-illusionment coming in the wake of the pursuit of so-called altruistic worldly activity.
Neither worldly Elevationism nor worldly Salvationism, the two alternative planks of Empiricism, can never lead to any really desirable goal. It is absolutely necessary to reflect on the inevitable result of any course of activity before it can be definitely accepted as beneficial or recommended to others as such. In this world man is, indeed, found to be walking blindfold. He regards himself quite fortunate if he can secure any tiny morsel of enjoyment or avoid the painful consequences of the indulgence of his apparently natural aptitudes. But this is far too short-sighted. It is beside the point to plead inevitability by past experience for being reconciled to such a fearful lot. The iron barrier of all the empiric conventions need not make us be in love with the chains of eternal slavery. It should not prevent us from being eager for the attainment of our natural state of unalloyed eternal felicity which is the message of Sree Nityananda.
The revealed Scriptures tell us of the method by which we can get rid of the snares of both worldly Elevationism and worldly Salvationism. They point out the sure and fearful consequences of the pursuit of either earthly course. But their warning goes unheeded so long as a person continues to cherish worldly pursuits. Nay the warnings themselves are apt to be misunderstood as encouragements. There are pedantic schools who have set themselves to the task, which is so congenial to the worldly disposition, of proving Scriptural sanction for those worldly activities. This has given rise to the Elevationist and Salvationist interpretations of the Scriptures.
Even for a person who is sincerely desirous of not deceiving himself and others in this most important of all affairs of humanity the Scriptures themselves do not supply any real standing ground. He is sure to misunderstand them, or not to understand them at all, if he tries to find out their meaning by his own unaided limited intellect. It is, however, only to such enquirers that Sree Nityananda manifests Himself of His own accord. Sree Nityananda is at once recognized as the only Transcendental Teacher. The Scriptures themselves tell us that it is never possible to understand the real meaning of the Word of God without the Help of the bonafide Teacher or Sree Guru.
Sree Nityananda is the Manifest Form of Sree Gaursundar. He is the serving facsimile of Godhead Himself. There is an Order of Divinities. The Unity of the Divinity does not mean that He has not Infinity of Real Substantive Forms. All the Forms of the Divinity are Distinctive Divine Persons. They have distinctive Natures and Activities. Sree Nityananda is the Manifestive Form of the Absolute. Sree Gaursundar is, no doubt the Only Teacher of all persons. But the Teaching of Sree Gaursundar is made available to the tiny intellect of man by the Grace of His Manifestive Form Sree Nityananda. To deny the Function of Sree Nityananda is to deny the function of Godhead as Teacher. Such denial is tantamount to the assertion that Sree Gaursundar should have no function in the matter of manifesting Himself. It would leave our puppy brain to its own undiluted sophistries which is so dear to the heart of the empiricist.
Therefore the Scriptures have put the worship of Sree Guru above that of Godhead Himself. Sree Guru is no other than the manifestation of Sree Nityananda. The Manifestive Function of Godhead need not be opposed by any person who is really desirous of receiving enlightenment from above. There are no doubt any number of pseudo-gurus in this realm of the Deluding Energy. It is no one's business to fall into the clutches of these rascals. Neither is it anybody's business not to seek the help of the bonafide teacher of the Scriptures. The bonafide teacher is the manifestation of Sree Nityananda Himself. Sree Guru is the Divinity Himself in His Eternal Role as the only teacher of all souls. Numerical reference has an absolutely wholesome significance in the Absolute Personality.
Sree Nityananda eternally manifests Himself to all persons as the Teacher enthroned in every heart. Those who learn to pay proper attention to Him in due course find Him everywhere. Sree Guru who initiates us into the meaning of the Scriptures and the Gurus who teach us during the period of novitiate are realized as the associated counter whole and counterparts of Sree Nityananda. Therefore do the Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnavas, in strict pursuance of the Scriptural injunctions, regard the worship of Sree Nityananda, represented fully by the initiating Guru, as superior to even that of Sree Gaursundar Himself.