An article from the magazine SREE SAJJANA-TOSHANI or THE HARMONIST
Edited by Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyya Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj. Published between 1927 – 1936
Numerical determinations are often found to create difference in the idea of unit but harmony can cement the gulf in counting them in one category. The manifested world often shows a threefold division when observer, observation and observed are considered in their respective locations but they are viewed for one purpose only if the harmonious spirit prevails to unify them. Years roll on, seasons change and months differ. The Harmonist marches with the same tie of love in her passing through the tracks of time, space and of objects. She has no other ambition than to bring peace among individuals, to remove temporal discrepancies and to extend the limitation. The Harmonist is not an advocate of untiring worldly activities neither is she a renouncer of material prosperity. She does not encourage the idea of annihilation in nondifference neither does she prove to be identified with the indivisible whole. The schools of elevation and salvation have not taught anything to incorporate her own identity with the acquisionists nor to merge info nonentity. It would be a sheer mistake if the Harmonist is classed in the same line with seekers of insentient or sentient pleasures. She does not claim to gain anything or to lose herself in persuasion of any misguided thought current among the sojourners of the sensual atmosphere.
Readers might have formed the idea by reading the lines of Harmonist during her publication of a singular characteristic which is not to be had in a secular shop. The Harmonist deals with a subject easily accessible to one and all but the common run has had no ardent sympathy for the same. She deals with a subject which is the paramount necessity of one and all but the people are not so very mindful as they think they are at present not in need of it. Unaware of the transcendence the agnostics might show an indifference towards her moving direction, critics and incredulous must be throwing doubts in her advancements and Atheists might emphatically stand against her. The Harmonist’s all-loving mood will not be disturbed in the least. The pantheist will try to include her, claiming a wider situation for his self but her theistic mood will appear to him to be a limited one. The neuter phase of theism as inculcated by the pantheists will prove his predilection of putting Godhead among the neuter products which should never accommodate Him Who by nature of His office cannot form a part He being Himself the fountainhead off all sentients and insentients. If Godhead is conceived by a sentient agent as a neuter figure such designation can never meet to any intelligent section. Idolatry now-a-days has become a subject of wrong conception of Godhead and hence neuter phase is not targeted as the Supreme phase of the eternally manifested Godhead.
In the animated kingdom, the value set forth by designing men of the neuter phase of Godhead is not appreciated much, so they proceed further to have the true phase of the source of this manifestation. A masculine phase comes upon the scene of the adventurer whom they call the object of worship of the theists. The reciprocal relationship inherent in the feminine phase has no lien in their attempt at finding out the Absolute truth if the counterpart is ignored. The worshipper of masculine form can never properly serve him unless the knower or server designates himself. If the devotee of a masculine form of Godhead wants to serve his master, considering a masculine form of his own self his assumption of service includes his inexpressed ideas of mastery over other individuals who might in their turn offer their service for his upkeep. The masculine aspect of the object of worship cannot have a full play unless the reciprocal co-relative comes upon the visual range of her consort. Rational worshippers will then find that the eternal service -holder has got an eternal frame by which she can serve her beloved. The Harmonists will then find an opportunity to regulate the angle of vision of her friend who proves to be an honest seeker of Absolute Truth. The Harmonist helps thereby to determine for her friend to shake off the foreign ideas which have been picked up from mundane association during the sojourn of different lives.
As the absolute truth cannot admit of any deviation from true knowledge, i. e., the eternal absolute and harmonising masculine form of Godhead and his paraphernalia, viz., His eternal absolute and ecstatic female co-relatives together with insentient spirituals environments in favour of the defective hallucinations of erring observers who are busy with their ephemeral inadequate sensuous pleasures. The mountainous height of earthly ethics might prove very high to a dwarf treading on the inductive plane, the loftiest position of the distantmost star are zenith of the highest, superexcellent and seemingly unethical features of the Personality of Absolute Knowledge might appear shorter if the transcendental descriptions are compared by the poverty-stricken senses of fallible humanity.
The Harmonists has however taken up the lofty task of imparting true theistic impressions of absolute in their comparative merits and she will continue to serve the spiritual dishes to her misguided and bigoted friends who place their confidence in senses only. Her prayer may be heard by lending ears of theists who are the honest seekers of Absolute Knowledge.
THE MOVEMENT OF UN-ALLOYED DEVOTION
The Sajjanatoshani was founded by Thakur Bhaktivinode as the organ of the present movement of pure devotion initiated by himself as the followers of Sree Rupa Goswami, the associate of Lord Chaitanya Who made him the original Acharyya of the principle of loving devotion. The movement has spread widely since the foundation of the Sajjanatoshani. A very large number of sincere souls of this country have attained the life of loving service of the Lord. The assumption of the English garb by the journal is the result of the extension of the movement and is prophetic of the tendency of further and world-wide expansion. The name of “Harmonist” which has been adopted by the English Sajjanatoshani may appear at first sight to be also more cosmopolitan than the older sanskrit title which means literally a female who pleases the Lord’s own. The Harmonist aims at promoting the real concord. But the English title is not really different in its significance from the original title of the paper. Harmony is to be found in the spiritual service of the Lord alone. The Harmonist has dedicated herself to the service of those who are themselves loyal servants of the original source of all harmony. The service of the servants of the Lord is the only way open to fallen souls for regaining the service of the Lord. There is no other way of establishing real concord among those who are averse to God than by obeying the devotees of the Lord. The Lord is served by the concerted homage of the many to One. The Harmonist has no affinity with those who hope to bring about concord by ignoring wholly or partially the transcendental service of the Lord. The worldly cosmopolitan is believer in the potency of the vox populi and prospects of worldly enjoyment. The Harmonist pins her faith in the Vox dei and prospects of spiritual living based thereon. She strives to please not everybody indiscriminately but only the servants of the Lord. Unless the people prefer to obey the servants of the Lord to following their own erring inclination for worldly aggrandisement there can be no real harmony in this world. To try to please the servants of the Lord is the same thing as, nay, even higher than, trying to please the Lord. The Harmonist is prepared to serve the demon, only if the demon itself obeys the Lord and not otherwise. By trying to please those who do not serve the Lord the prevailing confusion will be worse confounded.
The method adopted by the Harmonist for the promotion of concord has nothing in common with the methods adopted by the humanists who rely on themselves and their fellow-being for the attainment of their purpose. The miseries had discords of the world are generally supposed to be due to ignorance of the Laws of Nature and the significance of the moral order. By providing ethical instruction and opportunities for the practice of social and humanitarian virtues and by the diffusion of the knowledge of the Laws of Nature for the efficient performance of virtuous work the humanist hopes to make all persons attain the peace of the conscience. The plan and object of the Harmonist are different. The Harmonist does not believe that instincts of fallen souls can supply the real basis for rearing the structure of universal peace and happiness. The fallen souls naturally covet the things of this world for their own selfish enjoyment. As the things of this world are unfortunately limited in quantity and perishable by nature and as the physical senses themselves posses only limited powers of enjoyment and are subject to lose their power the attempt to increase and perfect worldly enjoyment is doomed to perpetual failure. The real peace of conscience is to be sought elsewhere. Man must discard the guidance of his limited and misleading understanding and seek for enlightenment from above in a spirit of real humility. The practical way of attaining spiritual enlightenment is that of the service of the servants of the Lord. The fallen soul must submit to receive the knowledge of his real self and of his relation to the supreme Soul from those who are themselves enlightened. The limited understanding must not be allowed to shut out the unlimited. When once the Higher Knowledge really makes his appearance the limited understanding will automatically realise the nature and method of spiritual activities in the light that comes from the source of all light. By trying to settle our duties in the light of the will-o’-the wisp of our perverted conscience we are only guided by foolishness which we are pleased to call by the name of free individual judgement. The real freedom is the eternal quality of the spotless soul which has no affinity with or hankering for his own selfish enjoyment. Neither is the soul in his natural condition of enlightened freedom disposed to the self-destructive vanity of stoic passivity. The free soul’s unremitting and sole concern is to serve the Transcendental Truth which is obscured in his fallen state by the fog created by the vanity of the flesh to which the soul subjects himself by his own free choice. The right to this self-elected bondage to the hankering of the flesh has been adopted from time immemorial as the basic principle of the political social and individual life of incarcerated humanity in his temporary sojourn to this prison house of correction. The Harmonist pleads for a revision of this basic principle of life in the light of higher considerations. The light from the source can alone guide us on the eternal path. Our individual lights are not independent sources of illumination but have to be continuously trimmed for the preservation of their tiny lights by contact with the source of all light. The connection between the source and the dependent light is served by the vanity of having independent existence in the fallen state. It is necessary to re-establish the interrupted connection not by the knowledge accumulated by the inductive sciences which are themselves the product of the deceptive light of the soul in the state of rebellion against the fundamentals of his own constituent principles but by the knowledge that comes from the fountainhead of all light who has His eternal abode in the shining realms of the spirit. The method of submissive listening to the tidings of the spiritual world, which transcends without ignoring this phenomenal universe, from the lips of emancipated souls who serve eternally and exclusively the real Truth, is only way of obtaining the grace of Divine enlightenment. The Harmonist stands for this principle by theory and practice. She is by principle and practice the eternal and exclusive servant of the servants of the Lord and her sole duty is to try to please only them, and thereby continue the method and purpose of Thakur Bhaktivinode, embodied in the Sajjanatoshani, the humble maid-in-waiting on the servants of the Lord.