December 1927

This limited, changeable, phenomenal world is the perverted reflection of the absolute, perfect and eternal region which is the abode of God. The evidence of the scriptures clearly declares the above to be the nature of the difference between the spiritual and the material worlds. In as much as this material world is the reflected image of the absolute Reality it mimics, in a most perverted manner, the beauty of the original. Its beauty, however, is more false and useless even than that of the mirage and is no less fatal to the unwary who put their trust in it. The reality of the reflected image, as reflected image, need not be denied. But at the same time it is necessary not to overlook the fact that the reflected image is only the shadow of the real substance and may be called unreal in comparison with the latter ; especially as the shadow has no independent existence of its own. In fact the shadow has neither the permanence nor the reality of the original. By no amount of sophistry the image can be considered to be identical with the object itself and be made to serve the purpose of the latter. The image of an automobile cannot be used as a conveyance. Children, indeed, are liable to be deluded by the image of a horse into believing it to be the real horse, but their effort to ride the image are nonetheless doomed to failure. Exactly similar is our attempt to enjoy the treasures of this world. We are perpetually deluded by the mirage but refuse to be convinced of its unreality. We are constantly engaged in chasing the pleasures of this world never doubting that it is not only our privilege but quite within our power, to enjoy them. Nature presents herself to our fancy as a wayward mistress whose proper and only duty is to pander to the gratification of the senses of us, her lords by making a free offering of all her colour, taste, sound, touch and smell in all their gross and refined forms at our feet.

But the truth that the scriptures are never tired of dinning into our ears and which is not wholly unrecognizable if only we would stop to consider it with the attention that it deserves, is that we have been hurled into this strange and alien world as the result of this very immemorial proneness for selfish enjoyment that seized upon our souls in consequence of our forgetfulness of the lotus feet of Sri Krishna. In our present fallen state, from the moment of birth we are completely wrapped up in the meshes of this physical Nature and learn to believe that she is all in all. As a matter of fact, by abusing our freedom of choice, the instant we forget the service of God our real and eternal nature at once gets enveloped in a subtle case which is put upon it by the illusory energy of God, the mother of this physical world. This case is a mere material adjunct and is quite different from the soul which it covers up. It consists of the mind, intelligence and the perverted ego. This subtle case is further enclosed in an outer covering which serves to protect the inner case and also enables it to function properly. Our eternal and real self, the soul, is in this manner overlaid by these two coatings, both foreign to its nature, viz. The inner subtle, or mental case and the outer, gross or physical body. The outer case is also made up of the same five principles of matter which form the substance of the mental case, and is also in like manner merely adjunct of the soul that is equally difficult to separate.

From the above it is clear that the substance of our thoughts viz. The mind, the instrument whereby we form conclusions, the principle of intelligence viz. The perverted ego by which we realize our existence in this world, the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the skin, our speech, our hands, our feet and all the senses, are the handiworks of this physical nature. Similarly all those objects which we see, hear, touch etc. Are also the products of prakriti that is to say they are all material objects.

Being thus surrounded on every side by physical nature, nourished by her, enjoying her treasures and being joined to her by the wasp and the woof of the method and object of all our endeavours, our eternal, super-mundane nature is thereby forced to remain severely suppressed. In our present fallen state we are thus thoroughly mastered by the multitude of impressions contracted from her and are enveloped by and completely engrossed in this material world. The jiva that has forgot Krishna, that has forgot her own eternal nature and who by reason of such forgetfulness mistakes matter for the spirit, is denoted by the term ‘psilanthropist’. That is to say, in the fallen state, we are, all of us more or less psilanthropists. The only exceptions being the devotees of God who alone recognize God’s transcendental personality and the external existence of spiritual manifestation. It has been stated that this physical nature is the perverted reflection of the eternal and real world. The eternal region of which this material world is the perverted reflection is the spiritual world. In that world everything is spiritual. In that world there exist trees, creepers, grass, earth etc., in their real, eternal condition. In the spiritual world there is to be found none of the imperfections of this world. There the nature serves exclusively, not jiva, but Krishna. The ground, trees and plants, rivers, lakes, seas and mountains, woods and groves of that world are transcendental, that is to say they are objects that lie beyond the reach of this physical nature and by reason of their spiritual character, possessing eternal existence, they are fit to serve the transcendental activities of the Godhead Himself in as much as they all happen to be self-conscious, unlike their false counterparts of this universe.

The most merciful Lord condescends at times to depute His servants, the dwellers of that blessed region, to the benighted inhabitants of this ungodly world. And sometimes out of His great mercy the supreme Lord Himself comes down into our midst. The Lord Himself and His obedient servants alone know the real nature of the transcendental world. Those souls that are engrossed in matter are ignorant of the true nature of the spiritual region. This happens to be so because the fallen souls being altogether averse to Krishna from time immemorial by reason of the vast variety of the material bodies with which they were successively endowed by physical nature as the result of their ungodly activities, have remained without sight of Krishna for an incalculably long period. How then can we expect them to remember and tell us the tidings of the transcendental world? Can a person who has never been to England give us true information regarding that country?

The analogy of this mundane world does not, of course apply fully to the case of the super-mundane. In this world, for instance, one who has never been to England may, by learning the account of that country from others who have visited it, be able to understand and also to convey to others information thus obtained. This is feasible because Bengal and England happen to be countries that are both of them situated within the limits of this physical universe and the one country materially resembles the other; and, therefore, it is possible for a person who is acquainted with the conditions of one country to understand the description of the other from the pen or lips of a person who happens to be like himself a denizen of their common universe. But the spiritual world happens to be quite unlike this physical world. The two are in fact centred round opposite poles. Therefore, it is not at all surprising that, engrossed as we are in the experience of this world, we fail to understand the real meaning of such accounts of the spiritual world as have been written or declared for our benefit by those who have had the privilege of possessing the true knowledge of that transcendental region; it is all the more so because the instruments whose help we fallen souls, have to study those accounts are themselves the cross threads in the texture that binds us to this world. Those who consider that by means of this material mind, intelligence and the perverted ego it is possible to undertake the investigation of the Spiritual Kingdom and to enlighten other people regarding the same, that it is possible, with the help of such mind, to understand the nature of the spiritual world by studying, the work of seers and explain the same to others, are psilanthropists in the sense in which that term has been used by the devotees of God.

The psilanthropists are grouped into numerous sects that are scattered over the world and psilanthropism has assumed a great variety of forms. An endeavour has been made in this paper to identify a few of those groups with the help of tests supplied by those scriptures that treat of unalloyed devotion.

The psilanthropically disposed may, however, contend that if ordinary readers are not fit to understand devotional works penned by the great seers there was neither necessity for the publication of such works in this world, nor is it possible, indeed, to understand for what class of people they could have at all been intended. In anticipation of such objections the devotees of God declare that to those who approach the investigation of the transcendental Name, Form, Qualities and Deeds of the Godhead by means of their mundane intellects, those spiritual truths are not revealed. In the words of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita, ‘Spiritual truths cannot be realized by the un-spiritual, - this is constantly declared by the Vedas and the Purans.’

Those spiritual work or tidings of the spiritual world have been penned for the perusal of persons who, by the mercy of the true devotees of God, have already been pre-disposed, to an extent, towards the service of the transcendental Reality. The advent of the devotees of God into this world is for the purpose of imparting spiritual enlightenment or arousing the consciousness of the spiritual self in the worldly minded after rescuing them from the slough of materialism. According to the Bhagabatam, ‘the devotees even when they appear in this world remain unaffected by the power of worldliness and it is this immunity that constitutes the Divinity of their nature.

The superiority of the Godhead to jivas is discernible in the fact that even when the Supreme Lord appears in this material world He is still beyond its jurisdiction. When the intellect of the jiva submits unconditionally to the guidance of the Godhead it also escapes being affected by the qualities of the mundane world although lying in contact with it.

Those perfect beings who have themselves realized the nature of the transcendental self are always endeavouring to impart the knowledge of the spiritual, in other words, to arouse the consciousness of the transcendental, in fallen jivas, being moved to pity by the miseries that those fallen souls undergo in the prison house of the enchantress viz, this material Nature. This process is denoted in our sastras by the word ‘diksha’ which may be rendered by an unsatisfactory English equivalent as ‘initiation’. A fallen soul becomes fit for diksha as soon as it really seeks such help and is prepared to throw itself unreservedly at the feet of a preceptor who is acquainted with the nature of the spiritual self and is, therefore, free from all worldly ambitions. At the time of diksha the soul gives up all its worldly vanities and makes its complete submission ‘with mind, body and speech’ at the holy feet of Sree Gurudeva. Thereupon the Preceptor, after having first cleansed the disciple of all his sins, that is to say after freeing him from all earthly frailties, makes him fit for the service of Krishna. The body and mind of the person who is thus favoured lose all inclination for the pursuit of worldly objects; and on the disappearance of all un-spirituality, the transcendental knowledge or the real nature of the jiva is spontaneously manifested. The devotee being thus freed from sin and being further spiritually enlightened, is enabled to employ himself in the service of Krishna by means of his soul which itself is pure intelligence and un-alloyed bliss. The mind of such jiva is no longer the material mind, it is then the pure mind, the dwelling place of Sri Krishna Himself.

It is the pure mind alone that can realize the Name, Form, Qualities and Deeds of Sri Krishna. By the material mind, that is to say by the mind that is engrossed in material colour, taste, smell, touch, sound etc., the transcendental Name, Form, Qualities and Deeds can never be realized.

In the words of Thakur Narottam-das’s prayer:

“Oh, when will the mind be pure giving up all worldly desire,
When shall I behold the holy Brindaban!”

To remove any possible misconception on the part of psilanthropists like ourselves, Sri Gaursundar Himself declares “that the heart of worldly people are polluted by their intimate connection with the activities of the material mind, and being fast bound there to belong to this world; Whereas My mind is altogether free from any earthly taint and is, therefore, entirely different from theirs: My mind is the hallowed playground of the transcendental Godhead, there being no difference between my Mind and Brindaban. Sri Krishna’s pastimes are manifested only in the transcendental Brindaban, the worldly plane is not a fit place for the sports of Sri Krishna. In my spiritual mind cause Thou, O Lord, Thy lotus feet to appear.”

They are psilanthropists who, even after having had the rare good fortune of listening to these words of Sir Gaursundar, make a show of contemplating, with this mundane mind, the Name, Form, Activities, etc. of Sri Radha-Govinda, Who can be served only by the pure mind which is absolutely free from all sin, in other words, by the faculties of the immaculate soul alone. These deluded people are so foolish that they do not understand the simple enough truth that it is not possible to be a denizen of the spiritual Braja with this material body and mind. Failing utterly to grasp the significance of the words and deeds of transcendental devotees they fondly imagine that to dwell in Braja is same as residing in the geographical locality of the name with this body which ever seeks the gratification of its senses. Those among them who admit that it is not possible ‘to dwell in Braja’ with the physical body adopt the zealous pursuit of familiar domestic duties, evidently under the impression that it is the practical manner of residing in Braja with the mind, never suspecting that it is impossible ‘to dwell in Braja’ with the material mind.

Those who suppose that the offensive taking of the holy Name is identical with the taking of the holy Name itself, that is to say who consider that it is possible to take the Name and to realize the Form, Qualities etc. of the Godhead, with the material organs of sense, - are psilanthropists.

They are psilanthropists -

Who think that it is possible to attain devotion for Krishna, which is the end of all spiritual endeavour, and to realize the transcendental Name, Form, Qualities etc. of the Godhead, even when, by reason of ignorance of our relationship with God, we may, with perverse tenacity, cling to wrong conclusions, or be without any conclusions at all.

Who think that persistence in offensive taking of the Name leads, by degrees, as a matter of course, to the realization of the Holy Name itself and to love of God.

Who profess their readiness to give out to their disciples their particular methods of spiritual realization on receipt of a sum of money, as also such disciple who being still in the state of sinfulness begs of his preceptor for instruction in the principles of spiritual amour understanding the same in the worldly sense of carnality.

Who think that it is possible even in the sinful state to take the Name of Krishna, to realize His Form, Qualities etc, and also to serve Him.

Who think that by mere persistent listening (even in the state of sinfulness) to the Name, Beauty, Qualities and Deeds of Sri Krishna love for the holy Name is aroused.

Who think that the Holy Name becomes manifest of itself by listening to the account of the Deeds of the Godhead.

Who hold that the sentiment of spiritual love (rasa) precedes faith (sradha), or spiritual liking (rati), or that spiritual liking precedes faith.

Who think that it is possible in the sinful state to have the sight of the transcendental Form of the Godhead, - to take the transcendental Name, - to listen to the recital of transcendental Activities, - or to understand the five chapters on the Rasa (amorous pastimes of Sri Krishna with the gopis) of the Srimad Bhagabatam or the song of the gopis or Govindalilamrita or Ujjala Nilmani or Gopalachampu, Muktacharita, Bidagdha Madhaba, Lalita Madhaba, Dankeli Koumudi, Jaydeva’s Gitagovinda, Billvamangal’s Krishna-karnamrita, Chandidas, Bidyapati’s devotional songs, the amorous songs regarding Rai-Kanu, etc., - or, that it is possible to sing in the market place the Divine amours, - or permissible to unpack one’s special devotional methods at any and every place for pecuniary consideration.

Who do not understand that the transcendental Name does not manifest itself on the tongue so long as any interval of offence separates the two, - that the Form, Qualities, Activities and the true Nature of the Godhead do not manifest themselves to the material mind but only the perverted caricature of them shaped by sensual emotions contracted from the poetical or prose works of fiction that delineate our passions for the pleasures of this world.

Who pretend to discourse regarding the Divine amours to sentimental persons who have no capacity for grasping those truths, or to the novices on the path of devotion, or to the ineligible.

Who dub those who are devoid of all spiritual taste (rati) as devotees fully established in such spiritual inclination due to their natural, innate love of the Godhead, - or, as fully possessed of the sentiment of spiritual love one who is barely in the stage of novitiate on the path of such loving devotion, - or, as spiritually disposed one who possesses sincere convictions of any sort.

Who hold that manifestation of the spiritual inclination is possible while there still exists any hankering for material objects, - or that it is possible for one who is not completely freed from such material prepossessions to be an amorous devotee, - or that the very first indications of spiritual amour can make their appearance before even the commencement of the novitiate, - or that spiritual amour is attainable independently of spiritual attachment, - or in one word, that there is no anomaly in placing the cart before the horse.

Who argue that, it is possible to appreciate with our perverted mind and intelligence dramatic works like the Sakuntala, Raghuvamsa, Sahityadarpan, poetry, rhetoric, etc. etc., it is, therefore, equally possible to understand in the same way such works as Lalita Madhaba, Bidagdha Madhaba, Rasapanchadhyaya, Ujjala Nilamani etc.

Who suppose that harlots plying their trade are fit to utter the holy Name of Krishna with their mouths, to chant the spiritual songs regarding Rai-Kanu composed by Sri Chandidas and Vidyapati, - and that by listening to those songs from such lips other persons also may attain spiritual inclination and even love for Radha-Krishna after the manner of Billvamangal whose love for Radha-Krishna was aroused by his association with Chintamani.

Who think that the quality of Vaishnavism runs in the blood, - that the distinctive qualities of a gosvamin, of Nityananda, of Advaita, of an acharyya (spiritual teacher), are transmissable through the medium of blood in accordance with the principle of heredity.

Who think that a Vaishnava has mundane parents, - who hold the view that the Vaishnava is capable of being included into any mundane caste, society or religion, that is to say that the Vaishnava is a ‘pashandi Hindu’, - or that the Vaishnava is a member of any such communities as Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, Sudra, Chandala, Yavana, Pukkasha, Abhira, Sumbha, Khasa, etc.

Who think that mahaprasad possesses immunity from defilement only at Puri-dhama by reason of the sanctity of the place, - who suppose that vegetarian diet is identical with mahaprasad. - who think that the salagrama, the stubble of the streets and the touch stone belong to one and the same class of material objects viz. stone, - who think that the holy Image is capable of defilement by touch, - who imagine that by worshipping stone, God is worshipped, - or that (under the lead of familiar domestic instincts) by worshipping father and mother, husband and wife, of this world, Laksmi and Narayana are worshipped, - who think that by serving the poor, Narayana is served, - who think that by worshipping any name or form conceived by the mind God is worshipped.

Who think that the holy Name and mantra can be sold for a sum of money, - who think the transcendental Name, Form, Qualities and Activities of the Godhead are capable of being chanted by the mouth of a paid reader or speaker and that by listening to such reading or preaching any good is secured.

Who think that this material body can be dressed up as sakhi (spiritual female companion) or gopi (spiritual milk-maid), or that this sinful body can serve the transcendental sakhis, - who think that it is possible to taste unconventional spiritual amour with the physical body, - who think that the truth of the unconventional amour can be realised with this material mind which is addicted to the pleasures of the senses, - who think that it is possible to worship Gaur independently of Krishna, - who think that Vishnupriya can be worshipped by renouncing Sri Rupa, - who think that by adopting the materialistic interpretations of theosophy or metaphysics it is possible to obtain a moral explanation of the obscene pastimes of Sri Krishna, - who think that love for Gaur is capable of being combined with ghost-ism, - who suppose that God appears before mortals by being adulterated with mundane qualities, - who think that it is possible to rehabilitate transcendental Gaursundar as the object of our sensuous enjoyment or as an amorous hero pandering to our senses.

Who suppose that with this physical body and material mind and empirical mode of thinking, outlook and realisation, by simply purchasing a Railway ticket, it is possible to travel to the transcendental Brindaban and Nabadvipa, comfortably seated in a snug, little Railway compartment, and that it is also possible to reside there in tolerable comfort by building a commodious pacca house of stone or brick and mortar, and that to live there in such fashion is to reside in the realm of the spirit.

Who think that it is possible with the same identical mind and at one and the same time to serve this world, one’s wife and children, harlots, and - God.

Who think that by means of the same body, and simultaneously, the bodies of wife, children, harlots - and those of the devotees of God, can be touched.

Who think that it is possible at one and the same time to enjoy betel, tobacco, ganja, bhang, wine etc, and to sip the nectar of Krishna-talk, - who declare that they actually enjoy the sweetness of Krishna devotion although they confess to the necessity they are under of indulging in material pleasures, - who imagine that even while wholly absorbed in the holy Name of Krishna one cannot forego the necessity, or propensity, for intoxicants such as tobacco, ganja etc.

Who think that it is possible to serve Krishna and at the same time enjoy fish, meat, wife, cards etc., - who think that if only they accept whole-heartedly as spiritual guide a professional guru or even a very great sinner who frequents the tavern, or one who is given to drink, sexuality, domesticity, trade etc, and hold the view that, by merely avoiding to discuss the defects of such guru, by sheer force of blind faith in him, devotion to Krishna can be gained.

Who think that as the quality of the holy Name or mantra cannot change by the defective nature of the spiritual guide, therefore, although the pseudo-guru imparts as mantra a mere string of certain letters of the alphabet resembling mantra or offers as the holy Name the offence against the Name, one has every chance of being benefitted by such mantra or offence against the Name.

Who dress up this frail, material body to personate Godhead Himself or His Incarnation, - who cause tulasi leaf, consecrated to the service of Krishna, to be offered by their disciples at their own fleshy feet that are fit to be devoured by dogs and jackals, - who, abandoning the holy Name of ‘Hare Krishna’ taught by the sastras and the acharyyas as being the only saviour of the Kali Age and the Benefactor of the world, or, doubting the truth of the declaration of the sastras and the devotees to the effect that by the Name of ‘Hare Krishna’ alone all purpose is served in the hope of earthly fame of becoming recognized as Incarnations announcing a new Dispensation, invent and give currency to new formulas that are opposed to the essence of the sastras and tainted with grotesque sentimentality.

Who, in the very act of chewing betel with scarlet lips thumping the khole, for gratifying their senses, indulge in singing the amours of the Divine Pair, and, for the purpose of deluding women-folk, cause their heads with carefully trimmed curls to touch the ground and their elephantine ‘devotional’ trunks, fattened with equal assiduity for sensuous enjoyments, to roll on the bare earth, salivate at the mouth, shed crocodile tears and twist and jerk the body, - and, on the other hand, simultaneously exhibit all the symptoms of the keenest anxiety for such trifles as a rupee or a quarter-rupee, a shawl or a loin cloth, or smoke away at ganja, coax the women, and giving out all this to be the kirtan, bhaba and the eight sattvic perturbations of Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya, deceive foolish people.

All such people and their aiders and abetters are - psilanthropists.

In fact all those who rely on their empirical ideas in discussing the transcendental Reality, conduct themselves towards the absolute Reality after the manner of their relation to mundane objects, indulge in hypocritical symptoms of having realised the spiritual Truth although utterly engrossed in the worldly slough, are by their very principles psilanthropists. Till one has had the good fortune of having obtained spiritual enlightenment from a spiritual preceptor by betaking himself to his holy feet with the sincere purpose of being freed from materialism, one cannot attain the really natural (i.e. transcendental) function viz. the unalloyed, unremitting, causeless, innate function of the soul in the form of the service of transcendental Sri Krishna.


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