Sādhu Śikṣā (Holy Teachings)

Sādhu Śikṣā (Holy Teachings)

Kavi Rāma Prasāda (The Poet Rāma Prasāda)The Poet Rāma Prasāda (Kavi Rāma Prasāda)
Brāhmaṇa u Vaiṣṇava – Ubhaye-i Sampūrṇa Vaidika (The Brāhmaṇa and the Vaiṣṇava – Both are Completely Vedic)The Brāhmaṇa and the Vaiṣṇava – Both are Completely Vedic (Brāhmaṇa u Vaiṣṇava – Ubhaye-i Sampūrṇa Vaidika)


'Sādhu Śikṣā (Holy Teachings)' was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇi, Vo.5. issues 10,11 and 12, in 1893. In this article, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura talks about the two ways a sādhu teaches, and explains how the conduct of a Vaiṣṇava is most important. At the end of the article, he gives a selection of ślokas from Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta and Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata that clarify his point.

(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

From ancient times, the teachings of sādhus has been Vaiṣṇava dharma. The teachings of sādhus is of two types – in other words, through verbal teachings, and through their character, by which they teach saintly conduct to others. This advice is found in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta:

tumi bhāla kariyācha śikhāha anyere
ei-mata bhāla karma seho yena kare

(“You have done well. Teach this to others. In this way, they will also act in the same way.”–  Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 12.117)

Śrīman Mahāprabhu says to the Vaiṣṇavas:

“O Vaiṣṇavas! Teach your sādhu-caritra (saintly characteristics) to others. You are performing good activities, which is excellent. But the jīvas of this world are your brothers. They are falling down by engaging in evil deeds. It is your duty to show your sādhu-caritra and make them emulate your character. If you are a Vaiṣṇava who has given up his home, then teach other renounced Vaiṣṇavas by following all the teachings I have given about renounced Vaiṣṇavas. If you are a householder Vaiṣṇava, then follow all the advice I have given to the householder Vaiṣṇavas. Through your behaviour, do what I have done and teach other householders.

“A Vaiṣṇava’s nature is without vice. No part of it deserves to be hidden. Simplicity is the life of a Vaiṣṇava. Teach others your own disposition by expressing it everywhere. No one is worthy of the title ‘Vaiṣṇava’ if their character is not pure. You are of a pure character, so always behave properly. Teach this to the world. All Vaiṣṇavas have attained the status of being gurus of the world. Teaching by words alone is not enough. The main task is to teach by one’s character. Look! There are no laws for Me. I am the independent Supreme Controller. I can do whatever I want. However, I have appeared in the womb of Śrī Śacī Devī to purify the nature of the unruly jīvas in the age of Kali through My teachings.

“By My childhood character, I taught boys; by My conduct as a householder, I taught householders. I taught renunciates through My behaviour as a sannyāsī. You must teach other jīvas by following My character. When there is any doubt about this, discuss My conduct and build your own character.”

This advice of Śrīman Mahāprabhu should be followed by all Vaiṣṇavas. He who does not want to follow this advice is opposed to Mahāprabhu.

We have given some very important points here in order to help our readers deliberate. As regards the householder Vaiṣnavas:

nīca-jāti nahe kṛṣṇa-bhajane ayogya
sat-kula-vipra nahe bhajanera yogya
yei bhaje sei baḍa abhakta hīna chāra
kṛṣṇa-bhajane nāhi jāti-kulādi-vicāra

(“One who is from a low-class family is not unqualified for kṛṣṇabhajana, and one from a high class brāhmaṇa family may not be qualified for bhajana. One who engages in bhajana is great – but a non-devotee is degraded and useless. Concerning kṛṣṇa-bhajana, there is no consideration of birth or family.” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 4.66-67)

bhajanera madhye śreṣṭha nava-vidhā bhakti
kṛṣṇa-prema kṛṣṇa dite dhare mahā-śakti

tāra madhye sarva-śreṣṭha nāma-saṅkīrtana
niraparādhe nāma laile pāya prema-dhana

(“Within bhajana, the nine processes are the best. They possess the great potency to deliver Kṛṣṇa and kṛṣṇa-prema. Amongst these, nāma-saṅkīrtana is the most superior. By chanting the Name without offence one can attain the wealth of prema.” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 4.70-71)

ācāra pracāra nāmera karaha dui kārya

(“In relation to the Name you do two things, by your personal conduct and your preaching” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 4.103)

prabhu kahe vaiṣṇava-deha prākṛta’kabhu naya
aprākṛta deha bhaktera cid-ānanda-maya

(“The Lord said, ‘A Vaiṣnava’s body is never material. A devotees body is transcendental and full of spiritual bliss” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 4.191)

If a Vaiṣṇava’s body is diseased, it should not be hated by other Vaiṣṇavas

sannyāsī paṇḍita-gaṇera karite garva nāśa
nīca-śūdra-dvārā karena dharmera prakāśa

(“To crush the pride of learned sannyāsis, He propagated dharma through low-born śūdras.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 5.84)

rājāra vartana khāya, āra curi kare
rāja-daṇḍya haya sei śāstrera vicāre

(“One who collects taxes for the king and then steals them is subject to be punished by him. This is the verdict of the śāstra.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 9.90)

vyaya nā kariha kichu rājāra mūla-dhana

(“Never spent any of the king’s taxes.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 9.142)

asad-vyaya nā kariha yāte dui-loka yāya

(“Do not spend money on vice, for by doing so, one will lose this life and the next.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 9.144)

vaiṣṇavera śeṣa-bhakṣaṇera eteka mahimā
kālī-dāse pāoyāila prabhura kṛpā-sīmā

(“The food remnants of the Vaiṣṇavas are so glorious that they impelled the Lord to give His mercy to Kālī Dāsa.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 16.57)

bhakta-pada-dhūli āra bhakta-pada-jala
bhakta-bhukta-avaśeṣa tina mahā-bala

(“These three things have great potency – the dust of the devotee’s feet, the water that has bathed the devotees feet, and the food remnants of the devotees.” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 16.60)

sevā lāgi koṭi aparādha nāhi gaṇi
sva-nimitta aparādhābhāse bhaya māni

(“For the Lord’s service, I do not care to commit millions of offences, but I am afraid to even commit a glimmer of an offence for myself.” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 10.96)

guru upekṣā karile aiche phala haya
krame īśvara-paryanta aparādhe ṭhekaya

(“If one is rejected by the guru, the result is that eventually one will makes offences to the Lord.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 8.99)

eka kuṅjā jala āra tulasī-mañjarī
sāttvika-sevā ei śuddha-bhāve kari

dui-dike dui-patra madhye komala mañjarī
ei-mata aṣṭa-mañjarī dibe śraddhā kari

(“All that is required is one jug of water and some tulasī-mañjarīs. This is service in the mode of goodness when performed with pure bhāva. With śraddhā, offer eight soft mañjarīs, each with two leaves either side.” – Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 6.269-270)

rasa rasābhāsa yāra nāhika vicāra
bhakti-siddhānta-sindhu nāhi pāya pāra

(“One who does not consider rasa and rasābhāsa [incompatible rasas] can never attain the ocean of conclusions on bhakti.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 5.103)

nirapekṣa nahile dharma’nā yāya rakṣaṇe

(“without detachment, dharma cannot be protected.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya-līlā 3.23)

ataeva bhāgavata karaha vicāra
ihā haite pābe sūtra-śrutira artha-sāra

(“Thus, one should deliberate upon the Bhāgavata, and from this one will attain the essential meaning of the Brahma-sūtra.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 25.153)

asat-saṅga-tyāga ei vaiṣṇava-ācāra
strī-saṅgī eka asādhu kṛṣṇābhakta āra

(“The conduct of a Vaiṣnava is to reject bad association such as those who are attached to women, the unholy, and those who are not devotees of Kṛṣṇa.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.87)

śaraṇa lañā kare kṛṣṇe ātma-samarpaṇa

(“One should surrender by fully dedicating oneself to Kṛṣṇa.”– Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya-līlā 22.102)

paḍe kena loka kṛṣṇa-bhakti jānibāre
se yadi nahila tabe vidyāya ki kare

(“Why do people study? One should understand kṛṣṇa-bhakti, and if that is not there, then what is the point of knowledge?”– Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 12.49)

prabhu bale vipra saba dambha parihari
bhaja giyā kṛṣṇa sarva-bhūte dayā kari

(“The Lord said, ‘O brāhmaṇa, give up all your pride. Worship Kṛṣṇa and show mercy to all creatures.”– Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 13.182)

gṛhasthere mahāprabhu śikṣāyena dharma
atithira seva gṛhasthera mūla-karma

(“Mahāprabhu taught the householders the dharma that their prime duty is to serve guests.”– Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 14.21)

akaitave citta-sukhe yāra yena śakti
tāhā karile-i bali atithire bhakti

(“If a one serves guests without duplicity, with a happy heart and according to ones ability, then he is said to have devotion to his guests.” – Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 14.26)

ataeva kali-yuge nāma-yajña sāra
āra kona dharma kaile nāhi haya pāra

rātri-dina nāma laya khāite śuite
tāṅhāra mahimā vede nāhi pāre dite

śuna miśra, kali-yuge nāhi tapa-yajña
yei jana bhaje kṛṣṇa tāra mahā-bhāgya

ataeva gṛhe tumi kṛṣṇa-bhaja giyā
kuṭināṭi parihari’ekānta haiyā

(“Therefore, in Kali-yuga, nāma-yajña is most essential, and no other type of dharma. One who chants the Holy Name day and night, even while eating and sleeping – the Vedas cannot describe that person’s glories. Listen Miśra, there is no other penance or yajña in Kali-yuga. That person who worships Kṛṣṇa is supremely fortunate. Therefore worship Kṛṣṇa in your home, and giving up duplicity, become fixed.” – Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 14.139-142)

tilaka nā thāke yadi viprera kapāle
se kapāla śmaśāna-sadṛṣa vede bale

(“If a brāhmaṇa’s forehead is not adorned with tilaka, it is like a crematorium – this is stated by the Vedas.” – Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 15.12)

Advice from Hari Dāsa:

śuna bāpa sabārai ekai īśvara
nāma-mātra bheda kare hinduye yavane
paramārthe eka’kahe korāṇe purāṇe

eka śuddha nitya-vastu akhaṇḍa avyaya
paripūrṇa haiyā vaise sabāra hṛdaya

(“Listen sir, the Supreme is one. Hindus and Yavanas only have different names for Him. From the spiritual perspective, He is one. This is stated in the Koran and the Purāṇas. He is one. He is the pure, eternal Reality, indivisible, infallible and complete. He resides in the hearts of all. That Lord induces everyone to work in a particular way, and everyone in the entire world acts accordingly.” Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 16.76-78)

se prabhura nāma guṇa sakala jagate
balena sakale mātra nija-śāstra-mate

ye īśvara se punaḥ sabāra bhāva laya
hiṁsā karile-u se tāhāra hiṁsā haya

(“That Lord’s Name and qualities are spoken of by everyone in the world, according to the tenets of their respective scriptures. The Supreme accepts everyone’s mood, but if they use violence, then He also uses violence.” Caitanya-bhāgavata, Ādi-khaṇḍa 16.80-81)

There can be no animosity from Vaiṣṇavas towards other types of dharma.

(‘Sādhu Śikṣā – Holy Teachings’ by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura was first published in Sajjana Toṣaṇi, Vo.5. issues 10,11 and 12, in 1893, and translated into English by Swami B.V. Giri)
Kavi Rāma Prasāda (The Poet Rāma Prasāda)The Poet Rāma Prasāda (Kavi Rāma Prasāda)
Brāhmaṇa u Vaiṣṇava – Ubhaye-i Sampūrṇa Vaidika (The Brāhmaṇa and the Vaiṣṇava – Both are Completely Vedic)The Brāhmaṇa and the Vaiṣṇava – Both are Completely Vedic (Brāhmaṇa u Vaiṣṇava – Ubhaye-i Sampūrṇa Vaidika)

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