Hari-katha Articles A Day of Spiritual Revolution - Aksaya Trtiya

A Day of Spiritual Revolution – Aksaya Trtiya

On Akṣaya-tṛtīya, 18 April, 1961, Śrīla Gurudeva – Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosavami Mahārāja – delivered a speech at the Mahārāṣṭra Maṇḍala in Mathurā. Notes were made of his talk later published in Śrī Bhāgavata-patrikā, Year-6 Issue-12, under Śrīla Gurudeva’s auspices. The following are excerpts from that talk.

[On 18 April (1961), at Śrī Gauḍīya Vedānta Samiti’s primary preaching centre in this area – Śrī Keśavajī Gauḍīya Maṭha, Mathurā – Akṣaya Tṛtīya was celebrated with great pomp. It was on Akṣaya-tṛtīya that the Samiti was founded. On this occasion, at the special invitation of the Mahārāṣṭra Maṇḍala of Mathurā, Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Mahārāja, editor of Śrī Bhāgavata-patrikā, arrived there with the Maṭha brahmācārīs. Following saṅkīrtana by the Maṭha’s kīrtana troupe, Svāmījī [Śrīla Gurudeva] gave a pithy and inspiring speech regarding Akṣaya Tṛtīya. He related several reasons why Akṣaya Tṛtīya is such a glorious occasion.]

It is on this very day that Bhagavān reinitiates Satya-yuga after destroying the atheists [the so called] Buddhists in His incarnation as Kalki. According to certain compilers of scripture, Treta-yuga also begins on this auspicious day. This is the very first day that yajña (sacred fire sacrifice) as propounded bythe three Vedas was commenced. On this day, Bhagavān’s śaktyāveśaavatāra (empowered incarnation) Paraśurāma also made his auspicious appearance. Twenty-one times he eradicated the societies of those inimical to Bhagavān and His bhaktas from the Earth so as to establish a dhārmika (spiritually enlightened) society.

Today also is the auspicious day that the emperor of Bhārata (ancient India), Bhagīratha, through his relentless worship, pleased Bhagavatī Bhagīrathī (Gaṅgājī), who later made her appearance in Bhārata-bhūmī, thus making this land supremely pure. Today is the day that Lord Śrī Śrī Badri-nārāyaṇa’s temple door re-opens [in the Himalayas]. And it is also the day (in Śrī Purī-dhāma) that Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s Candana-yātrā festival is celebrated with grand ceremony.

Therefore, from looking at the Purāṇas and Itihāsas (ancient histories), we learn that today is a day of spiritual revolution. Today is the day this world’s irreligious, atheistic, corrupt, and downright materialistic society was uprooted, and in its place, the foundation of a religious, theistic, and spiritual society was cast. An utterly materialistic society causes the destruction of the world, whereas a religious society with firm faith in Bhagavān is the cornerstone of peace in this world.

[The revered editor (of Śrī Bhāgavata-patrikā) then began to explain how most persons, enamoured with Western culture, believe that Russia and America have ushered the world into a divine new era by sending mankind into outer space. As a result, today’s society is progressing towards the ultimate step of advancement.]

But I ask this: Although there is no doubt that superbly miraculous advancements are occurring in science, have they solved the problem of there being no world peace? Has the issue of providing food for the hungry not become worse than before? Has the shortage of food and clothing been solved? Is it even in the process of being solved? Has the problem of disease become less than before? Or is it not increasing and assuming more terrible forms? Are this world’s complex problems of corruption, immorality, suicide, cheating rings, theft, provincialism, linguistic prejudice, racism, futile civil disobedience and protests, etc. not confronting us in newer and newer ways?

Are these problems not becoming more and more complex day by day? Have the problems arising from the tragic and shameful events in places like the Congo, Tibet, Japan, Korea and Suez not disgraced those who have been boasting of progress in the world? Is the ongoing violence and arbitrary torture of the birds and beasts, the world’s innocent life forms, an example of equality and universal love in this so-called scientific age? Shame on this false and barbaric materialistic progress and its heroes.

The fact of the matter is that today’s materialistic scientists can say whatever they like, but as their actions show, they regard the body made of five elements as “I” [the self], and undertake painstaking toil to make this temporary body immortal and supply it with as much happiness as possible. They do not accept the birds and the beasts as [rightful] inhabitants of the world; they regard them merely as food and sport for humans.

The philosophers, scholars and sages of ancient India, though fully capable [of technological advancement], deliberately imposed a firm restraint on material progress. They regarded not this material body as “I”, but the infinitesimal consciousness located within the body, the soul, which is part and parcel of the sum total of consciousness, Īśvara [God].

Our Indian philosophers were scientists acquainted with the truth of the soul. They focused all of their attention on how the infinitesimal soul – who for some reason, turned away from Bhagavān and became trapped in a cycle of repeated birth and death in the ocean of material existence, thus incurring frightful sorrow and suffering – might forever escape this predicament and attain eternal happiness and peace. At the same time, they were not opposed to activities that keep this human body happy and healthy, which is an indispensable aid for attaining spiritual knowledge.

They were also very advanced in worldly science. Many millions of years before today, Rāvaṇa, Meghanāda, and others roamed everywhere, up and down throughout this universe, without the help of any vehicle, airplane or rocket. Agastya Muni drank up all the water in the seven oceans in a single handful. Mahaṛṣī Veda-Vyāsa could generate children by just his vision. Śukrācārya repeatedly revived the asuras by the power of mantra when they were killed in battle.

Present-day science is nothing in front of the science of so many millions of years past. Then again, those people [the philosophers, scholars, and sages of ancient India]kept material sciences in check. That is why, in ancient culture, they who wanted to suppress the spiritual interest and promote increasing worldly prosperity, such as Rāvaṇa, Meghanāda, Hiraṇyakaśipu, Maya-Dānava, and others, are referred to as asuras (demons).

Our ancestors knew well that if advancement were only material, devoid of faith in the Lord and spiritual values, then spiritual interests would certainly be neglected. With that, destruction would be inevitable. They therefore esteemed simple living and high thinking and endeavoured to deliver every living entity from the cycle of birth and death and establish them in the true eternal service of Bhagavān.

If we want to save this world from destruction, then on this sanctified day, in a united way, we must dispose of the present state of society which is disinclined towards Bhagavān. We must pledge to reestablish a religious society that is rooted in the spiritual science of our ancient culture. Only then it will be possible for the entire world to attain true peace and true happiness.

[CC-by-NDNC Bhakta Bandhav]

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