Required Reading: Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s “Organised Religion (Putana and Kamsa)”


Presented below is Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura’s article titled “Organised Religion (Putana and Kamsa).”

I say it is required reading in the hope of drawing the attention of our readers to two important points explained in the essay that follows which, I pray, will facilitate the proper understanding of their meaning.

The first, found in the story of the killing of Putana, should slay for good a long-standing, unfounded criticism of our Gurdeva, Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, by a Gaudiya devotee of some renown whose pen he mistook for a sword to be used to attack our jagat guru’s description of Krishna’s appearance.

Fortunately, the firefly’s criticism was scarcely seen or noticed in the light of Srila Prabhupada’s brilliant sun, whose only fault, so to speak, was to inundate the entire world with the tidal wave of mercy he generated from the ocean of mercy known as Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

What the reader will find, in the article originally published in The Harmonist, is that Srila Prabhupada, Swami Maharaja, exactly reproduced the account of Krishna’s appearance in every important dimension as it was related by his spiritual master, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakura.

The second point to be grasped is found in Srila Saraswati Thakura’s analysis of organized religion, which reveals the dangers and, particular to our interests, the methodologies of the transformation of such organizations from spiritual to material.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “Interview by Albert Suthers of Ohio University”


January, 1929
Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)

Prof. Albert E. Suthers: What is Vedantism?

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Tahakur: One-sided and biased critics may understand absolute monism by the term Indian Vedantism, but those who are impartial and who judge things from all angles of vision, find the transcendental personality of God-head as the settled conclusion of the Vedantic doctrine. The theory of non-distinction has been wrongly preached as propounded in the Vedanta, before a world which is averse to God, being disguised with the imperfect, partial and distorted conception of the Vedanta Philosophy of India which is the universal reality. In reality the doctrine of personality of God-head is the proper conclusion of the Vedanta and that is the true interpretation of the Vedanta by the unbiased learned scholars.

The unique and genuine interpretation of the Vedanta, as contained in the Shrimad Bhagavatam, points at the true Vedantic doctrine. Shri Vyasadeva, the compiler of the Vedanta-sutras, has himself as commentator elucidated the true meaning of the Sutras or aphorisms compiled by him, in the Shrimad Bhagavatam which reveals their intrinsic import which equalises all sides, reconciles all diversities and is beyond all sectarian conflicts created by various professors of empiric knowledge, who give different shapes to the Vedanta in their laboratories of mental researches.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “The Vedanta – Its’ Morphology and Ontology”

(A lecture delivered on the 24th of August 1933 at the Sri Gaudiya Math, Calcutta, celebrating the appearance day of Srila Bhakti Vinoda Thakura. Unedited by Sri Guru Vandana, except for minor orthographical changes.)

Dear Friends,

I stand before you as a teller. I am going to tell you now a few words more on the Vedanta and specially its ontological aspect, morphology being a former changeable part of the same. My telling craves a reciprocity of your listening to my sound through your aural reception. Sound is the main substratum of the Vedanta which deals with a subject unapproachable by our present crippled imperfect senses. The ear cannot work as a receptacle unless we are willing to admit a sound and this admittance depends on our taste and previous experience. This prior experience invites affairs within the phenomenal range, but the Vedantic sounds have a different aim. So our reciprocal situation will crown our efforts with success.

Many of our friends pose themselves as knowers when they have a true taste for knowledge. To acquire such knowledge they utilise their senses to associate with the conception of objects and their components. These knowers claim a subjective position to consider the synthetic as well as analytic values of their determination.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “Vaishnavism Real and Apparent”


(3rd August, 1926)

This brochure contains the essence of true Vaishnavism as revealed in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Geeta, the Bhagavata etc., and their teachings put into practice by Shri Chaitanya Deva. Four things may stand in the way of realising the truth laid herein -the cloaks of (high, or low) birth and station, (proficiency or deficiency in) worldly knowledge, and (beautiful or ugly, male or female) form. The Over-soul within Whom all individual souls are contained and to Whom all souls knowingly or unknowingly submit, confutes our tricks-and talents. The words for every soul who speaks from that life must sound vain to those who do not dwell in the same thought on their own art. When the walls of time and space are taken away we lie on one side to the boundless deeps of spiritual nature and attributes of the Supreme Lord, find that there is another youth and another age than that which is measured from the year of our worldly birth and realise that the scale of the soul is one and the scale of the senses and, understanding -the agents of the material mind -is another.

The soul in man is not the mind directing the organs of sense and action but the animation of the mind and these organs and the background of our existence.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “Sri Chaitanya’s Teachings”


These are answers to the questions put to the author by Pandit Shyamasundar Chakravarty, a famous leader of the Independence movement in India and also the then Chief Editor of Servant and Vasumati (eng). This exchange was originally published in “The Harmonist”.

Shyamasundar Chakravarty’s Interview

Q: — Which is the genuine commentary of the Brahma-Sutra?

A: — It is the Srimad Bhagavatam, which was explained by Sri Suta Goswami before sixty-thousand sages at Naimisharanya, the famous holy place in Uttara Pradesha. There is a good deal of difference between the Vedantic Schools of Kashi and Naimisharanya. The followers of the Naimisharanya School are genuine Vedantins since they accept only the genuine commentary of the Brahma-Sutra, and not the other spurious ones.

Q: — Do not the Pandits of the Kashi School accept the Srimad Bhagavatam?

A: — They look upon the Bhagavatam as only one particular book among others, a particular Purana among other Puranas. They do not adopt it solely. We think there is no need for any other book than the Bhagavatam. Only those other books are acceptable that say something in its favor; the deliberations that go against it, are not worth being called spiritual.

Q: — Is there any deliberation going against the Bhagavatam?… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “The Search for Truth”


Originally Published in The Harmonist (Sree Sajjanatoshani)

The materialistic demeanor cannot possibly stretch to the Transcendental Autocrat who is ever inviting the fallen conditioned souls to associate with Him through devotion or eternal serving mood. The phenomenal attractions are often found to tempt sentient beings to enjoy the variegated position which is opposed to undifferenced monism. People are apt to indulge in transitory speculations even when they are to educate themselves on a situation beyond their empiric area or experiencing jurisdiction. The esoteric aspect often induces them to trace out immanence in their outward inspection of transitory and transformable things. This impulse moves them to fix the position of the immanent to an Indeterminate Impersonal Entity, no clue of which could be discerned by moving earth and heaven through their organic senses. It is therefore necessary to help such puzzled souls in their march towards the Personality of the Immanent lying beyond their sensuous gaze of inspection. This in fact is man’s highest objective: Search for TRUTH.

We have heard from the Divine voice of Shri Guru Deva the following text of the scriptures: “O thou Muni who art given to mental speculation, whatever act is performed, whether it be mundane or spiritual, should be performed in the way that is conducive to the service of Shri Hari, if one is really anxious to acquire the function of spiritual devotion”.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “Nama Bhajan”

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Prem [ecstatic love of God] alone is the purpose of the life of the jivas (spirit souls). Bhava (soul’s feeling) develops into Prem. Turning their face towards Krishna, the more jivas progress, the more do they approach the temple of Prem. Thus, in considering the rights of Prem, we meet at the out-set with two sorts of circumstances-one is an intense longing for the unattained Prem, the other is the stage when the pedestal of Prem is already reached. There is no higher stage beyond the latter one-an incessant Rasa [spiritual reciprocation] in an undivided unique tatva of that region. Devotees with utter craving for Prem who are still on the way to it, are again divided into two classes according to their love of seclusion or bustle-the one are called Viviktanandis [who prefer seclusion] who are close followers of approved usages, the other are known as Gosthyanandis [public disseminators] and are ever happy in preaching. Deep meditation on Godhead is the discipline of Premi-bhaktas [devotees who are focused on Prem] and glorifying or singing the Name of Krishna is their preaching.

In the state when there is an intense longing for the unattained Prem, the Premi-bhaktas are exclusively devoted to Krishna-utter self-surrender marks them out.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “An Era Not To Be Forgotten”






I offer my respectful obeisances unto Gaurakisora dasa Babaji Maharaja (the spiritual master of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati), who is renunciation personified. He is always merged in a feeling of separation and intense love of Krsna.




The following descriptions of the most highly renounced acarya (spiritual teacher), Om Visnupada Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji documents a significant part of the history of our Gaudiya Vaisnava disciplic succession. These wonderful, mind-attracting stories and instructions vividly illustrate that the problems we face in our march against maya (illusion) are not new manifestations of her manifold trickery, but are eternal displays. Moreover, a deeper insight into the relationships among our previous acaryas strengthens the faith of the inquisitive and intelligent disciple. And to those narrow-minded persons who entertain doubts about the teachings of the acaryas in the last century, this work will present a challenge based on actual facts, quotes and historical records now at our disposal.

The following articles appeared in the Sajjana Tosani monthly magazine in the year 1917. The articles, entitled Anaran Prabhura katha or “The Instuctions of My Spiritual Master” appeared in the nineteenth volume, numbers five and six.… Read More...

Srila Saraswati Thakur “Be Humbler Than Even A Blade Of Grass”


Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur

The holy command of Shri Guru has been that we shall serve Godhead in association with one another. By the word ‘we’ he did not mean any one individual. There are many persons who are very selfish, indeed. They say, ‘I alone shall serve. It is incumbent on me alone. No one else has any claim to join me in my service of Godhead.’ But the kind heart of Shri Gurudeva says, ‘Come, let all of us jointly worship Godhead by giving up malice.’ The service of Godhead is the highest of all functions. My Gurudeva does not say that others will be unable to do the work because it happens to be the highest. Neither does he say that he will not allow any other person to serve Godhead, on the ground that it is the highest of all functions. The chant of Hari-Nama that is performed jointly by all persons is Sankirtana. ‘That Kirtana which is performed by many jointly is alone Sankirtana.’ Prayer, praising Godhead, is included in Sankirtana.

Puja or worship is a reverential submission performed by one in favour of another in the shape of service. The suppliant approaches the Revered with fear arising from high respect or what may be termed respectful awe expressed in his words and visible in his body and mind.… Read More...

Srila Sarawati Thakur “L’Envoi”

Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur.

During the 1930s, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur sent the first ambassadors of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Sect to Preach in the Western World. These brave men were sent to England and Germany. Before they departed, Srila Bhakti Siddhanta gave a rousing speech to help these men remember the position of a preacher in this mundane world.)

The happy day has come when we are destined to spread the message of our Great Master to distant corners of the earth. The spiritual service to which we are dedicated has now passed the bud-stage and blown fully into a flower whose aroma we have to carry across the seas with that willingness which characterized Sri Hanuman when he leapt over the wide ocean with the message of Sri Rama. This extension of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s spiritual gift to foreign countries is our humble offering at His Feet. The back-bone of our Maths, Mahamahopadeshaka Acharyatrika Srimad Kunjabehari Vidyabhusana, Bhaktisastri and those numerous servitors of the Maths, who are the propagators and helpers of his cementing methods with a single-hearted devotion to the cause, are the body, secondary-limbs, weapons and associates of Sri Gaurasundar, being the bed-rock basis of the propaganda to all parts of the world.… Read More...