DWT 15: Bhakti-yoga is Science, Not Sentiment
Thus established in the mode of unalloyed goodness, the man whose mind has been enlivened by contact with devotional service to the Lord gains positive scientific knowledge of the Personality of Godhead in the stage of liberation from all material association.
The very same thing is confirmed herein in the above words. No ordinary man, or even one who has attained success in human life, can know scientifically or perfectly the Personality of Godhead. Perfection of human life is attained when one can understand that he is not the product of matter but is in fact spirit. And as soon as one understands that he has nothing to do with matter, he at once ceases his material hankerings and becomes enlivened as a spiritual being. This attainment of success is possible when one is above the modes of passion and ignorance, or, in other words, when one is actually a
The science of the Personality of Godhead is the subject matter for study by the postgraduate students in the spiritual line. Foolish men, or men with a poor fund of knowledge, do not understand the Supreme Lord, and they interpret Kṛṣṇa according to their respective whims. The fact is, however, that one cannot understand the science of the Personality of Godhead unless one is freed from the contamination of the material modes, even up to the stage of a
The process of
The previous verse stated,
However, to take advantage of this developed consciousness you must rise to the platform of goodness. Then, by studying nature, you will see that one does not have to work so hard for getting the material necessities. The birds and beasts are getting their food, they are getting their mates, they are being protected in their own way, they have some nest or hole to sleep in. Even the ants are being provided for. When we sit down in a garden we see that even the ant has its family, its home, its food—everything is there. From the ant to the elephant, all are getting their necessities of life. Who is supplying?
So, one who is in the mode of goodness will ask, "Since God is supplying life's necessities to all 8,400,000 species of life, why are the so-called civilized human beings struggling so hard for these things?" We have greater intelligence than the animals; therefore our struggle for existence should be less than theirs. Still, it is greater. What sort of civilization is this? This is not civilization. Everyone wants a peaceful, calm life, but instead the modern human society forces everyone to work like an ass the whole day and night simply to satisfy the four basic necessities of life—eating, sleeping, mating, and defending. And even then these are not guaranteed. When I lived in India before going to America, I thought that since America is very rich the people there have no problem eating, sleeping, and so on. But the Americans have created a civilization where a certain section of the people are obliged to lie down on the street or in a park, and they have no proper dress, not enough food, and no fixed-up sex life. In such a so-called civilization, people are always disturbed and full of anxiety. Then how they can understand God?
To understand God you first have to come to the stage of tranquillity. Then, when one understands God, one will be
yoginām api sarveṣāṁ mad-gatenāntar-ātmanā
śraddhāvān bhajate yo māṁ sa me yuktatamo mataḥ
"Of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me—he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion." So the first-class yogi is the devotee who is always thinking of Kṛṣṇa within his heart by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa
God is not so cheap. "Come on," say the cheaters, "I shall show you God. You haven't got to follow any rules and regulations." People who want God cheaply are prone to be cheated, and there are many cheaters who will take advantage of them. The actual process of understanding God is a science. Suppose someone says, "I shall teach you the science of chemistry within a second. Give me some money." Or "I shall teach you mathematics within a second. Give me some money." Will you agree to such impossible proposals? Then why are these rascals allowed to mislead people into believing they can understand God so cheaply?
Rūpa Gosvāmī instructs us,
aikāntikī harer bhaktir utpātāyaiva kalpate
So many rascals are causing a disturbance in society by posing that they have understood God without reference to the Vedic literature, the revealed scriptures. These include the
Therefore any religion without a scientific, philosophical understanding of God is simply sentiment. It is not religion. And philosophy without religion is simply mental speculation. In other words, that philosophy which does not answer the ultimate questions—What is the Absolute Truth? What is God?—is useless. Religion and philosophy should be combined so that we can scientifically understand who is God, what is our relationship with God, what is our duty toward God, and so on.
From its beginning the
It is not so easy to reach perfection and understand Śrī Kṛṣṇa. As Kṛṣṇa states in the
manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
"Out of many thousands of men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth." Still, because Kṛṣṇa is compassionate upon the fallen souls of this age, He appeared as Lord Caitanya and freely distributed Himself. That is His prerogative. If Kṛṣṇa wants to distribute Himself freely, that is His right, and then the whole process becomes very easy. Otherwise, it is not so easy to understand Kṛṣṇa. For example, to earn a million dollar is not so easy, but if you are fortunate and meet someone who freely gives you a million dollars, that is a different thing.
Therefore Rūpa Gosvāmī glorified Lord Caitanya as the most munificent incarnation:
namo mahā-vadānyāya kṛṣṇa-prema-pradāya te
kṛṣṇāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāmne gaura-tviṣe namaḥ
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, who is more magnanimous than any other avatar,