|PREFACE TO THE ADAPTATION
OF ORGANIZED RELIGION
This is an adaptation of a concise English treatise written by His Divine Grace Om Vishnupada Paramahansa Parivrajakacharya Ashtottara-shata Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaj Prabhupada. He penned the original in 1932. The original treatise, which can be accessed on this website (ORGANIZED RELIGION AS WRITTEN BY SRILA BHAKTISIDDHANTA), can also be found under volume 29, number 7, of The Harmonist.
This adaptation does not in any way supersede the acharya, as his original treatise will always maintain its supreme superiority. The vast majority of the sentences have been left intact, except for the addition of punctuation marks. The other sentences have been only slightly altered, but those adjustments have not changed meanings in any way. It is but a humble effort to make the original manuscript easier to assimilate for English-speaking devotees and transcendentalists. It facilitates the reading and comprehension of the original article, nothing more.
RADICAL KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS by His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Maharaja Prabhupada
Sri Krsnas manifest eternal birth is in the pure cognitive essence of the serving soul, located above all mundane limitations. King Kamsa is the typical aggressive empiricist, ever on the lookout for the appearance of the Truth for the purpose of suppressing Him before He has time to develop. This is no exaggeration of the real connotation of the consistent empiric position. The materialist has a natural repugnance for the transcendent. He is disposed to link faith in the incomprehensible to being the parent of dogmatism and hypocrisy (in the guise of religion). He is also equally under the delusion that there is no real dividing line between the material and the spiritual. He is strengthened in his delusion via the interpretation of scriptures by persons who are like-minded with himself. This includes all the lexicographic interpreters.
The lexicographical interpretation is upheld by Kamsa as the real scientific explanation of the scriptures, and this is perfectly in keeping with his dread of--and aversion for--the transcendental. These lexicographical interpreters are employed by Kamsa in order to put down the first suspected appearance of any genuine faith in the transcendental. King Kamsa knows very well that such faith in the transcendental, once allowed to grow, is sure to upset all his empiric prospects.
There is historical ground for such misgivings. Accordingly, if the empiric domination is to be preserved intact, it would be necessary not to lose a moment to put down the transcendental heresy the instant it threatens to make its appearance in earnest. King Kamsa, acting on this traditional fear, is never slow to take the scientific precaution of deputing empiric teachers of the scriptures--backed by the resources of dictionary and grammar and all empiric subtleties--to put down, by the show of specious arguments based upon hypothetical principles, the true interpretation of the eternal religion revealed by the scriptures.
Kamsa is strongly persuaded that faith in the transcendental can be effectively put down by empiricism if prompt and decisive measures are adopted at the very outset. He attributes the failure of atheism in the past to the neglect of the adoption of such measures, which must be undertaken before the theistic fallacy has had time to spread among the fanatical masses.
But Kamsa is found to count upon the absence of his host. When Krsna is born, He is found to be able to upset all sinister designs against those who are informed by Himself of His advent. The apparently causeless faith displayed by those persons--irrespective of age, sex, and condition--may confound all rabid empiricists who are, on principle, adverse to the Absolute Truth, Whose appearance is utterly incompatible with the domination of empiricism.
But no adverse efforts of the empiricists--whose rule seems, until that time, to be perfectly well-established over the minds of the deluded souls of this world--can dissuade any person from exclusively following the Truth when He actually manifests His birth in the pure cognitive essence of the soul.
Putana is the slayer of all infants. The baby, when he or she comes out of the mother's womb, falls at once into the hands of the pseudo-teachers of religion. These teachers are successful in forestalling the attempts of the Good Preceptor, whose help is never sought by the atheists of this world at the baptisms of their babies. This is ensured by the arrangements of all established churches of the world. They have been successful only in supplying watchful Putanas for effecting the spiritual destruction of persons, from the moment of their birth, with the cooperation of their worldly parents. No human contrivance can prevent these Putanas from obtaining possession of the pulpits. This is due to the general prevalence of atheistic disposition in the people of this world.
The church that has the best chance of survival in this damned world is that of atheism under the convenient guise of theism. The churches have always proved the staunchest upholders of the grossest form of worldliness, from which even the worst of non-ecclesiastical criminals are found to recoil.
It is not from any deliberate opposition to the ordained clergy that these observations are made. The original purpose of the established churches of the world may not always be objectionable, but no stable religious arrangement for instructing the masses has yet been successful. The Supreme Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, in pursuance of the teachings of the scriptures, enjoins all absence of conventionalism for the teachers of the eternal religion. It does not follow that the mechanical adoption of the unconventional life by any person will make him a fit teacher of religion. Regulation is necessary for controlling the inherent worldliness of conditional souls.
But no mechanical regulation has any value, even for such a purpose. The bona fide teacher of religion is neither any product of, nor the favorer of, any mechanical system. In his hands, no system has the chance of degenerating into such a lifeless arrangement. The mere pursuit of fixed doctrines and fixed liturgies cannot help a person to hold the true spirit of doctrine or liturgy.
The idea of an organized church, in an intelligible form, indeed marks the close of the living spiritual movement. The great ecclesiastical establishments are the dikes and the dams supposed to retain the current that cannot be held by any such contrivances. They, indeed, indicate a desire on the part of the masses to exploit a spiritual movement for their own purpose. They also unmistakably indicate the end of the absolute and unconventional guidance of the bona fide spiritual teacher. The people of this world understand preventative systems; they have no idea at all of the unprevented positive eternal life. Neither can there be any earthy contrivance for the permanent preservation of the life eternal on this mundane plane on the popular scale.
Those are, therefore, greatly mistaken who are disposed to look forward to the amelioration of the worldly state--in any worldly sensedue to the worldly success of any really spiritual movement. It is these worldly expectants who become the patrons of the mischievous race of the pseudo-teachers of religion, the Putanas, whose congenial function is to stifle the theistic disposition at the very moment of its suspected appearance. But the real theistic disposition can never be stifled by the efforts of those Putanas. The Putanas have power only over the atheist. It is a thankless, but salutary, task which they perform for the benefit of their unwilling victims.
But as soon as theistic disposition proper makes its appearance in the pure cognitive essence of the awakened soul, the Putanas are decisively silenced at the very earliest stage of their encounter with new-born Krsna. The would-be slayer is herself slain. This is the reward of the negative services that the Putanas unwittingly render to the cause of theism by strangling all hypocritical demonstrations against their own hypocrisy.
But Putana does not at all like to receive her only form of reward, which involves the total destruction of her perverted personality. King Kamsa also does not like to lose the services of the most trusted of his agents. The effective silencing of the whole race of pseudo-teachers of religion is the first clear indication of the appearance of the Absolute on the mundane plane. The bona fide teacher of the Absolute heralds the Advent of Krsna by his uncompromising campaign against the pseudo-teachers of religion.
Quotes from the books of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada are copyright by the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust