Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sri Tattva- Sutra:A Self-realized devotee not controlled by the scriptures

Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur writes in Sri Tattva- Sutra:

"This Tattva-Sutra is obtained and proved by the eternal realization. Therefore, it can be known as the very essence of the Vedas. This is originated from the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna-Caitanya, and hence, is the origin of all the revealed scriptures. Only the Reality has been accepted in this treatise.

"The Divine Knowledge is characterized as the sun whereas all the scriptures (sastra) are rays of that sun. This saying reveals that no scripture can contain the Divine Knowledge to the fullest extent. The self-evident knowledge of the jivas is the source of all the scripture. This self-evident knowledge should be understood as God-given. The sages endowed with compassionate hearts have received this self-evident knowledge (axiomatic truths) from the Supreme Lord, and recorded the same in the scriptures for the benefit of all jivas. This recorded portion of this primeval knowledge (God-given to the jiva) has been manifested in the form of the Vedas.

"The independent cultivation of the self-evident knowledge is always necessary. This is the important thing needed in understanding the Truth along with the study of the scriptures. Since the knowledge (Divine Knowledge) itself is the origin of the scriptures, those who disregard the root and depend upon the branches cannot have any well-being. Now, it may be argued that, when all the scriptures have been derived of the self-evident faith, where is the need for honoring them? The answer is that, in the conditioned state of the jivas, the real knowledge is covered by the darkness of ignorance. In the devotional cultivation associated with retraction, when the hidden Reality is gradually manifested in the state of Bhakti-Samadhi, the jivas will be realizing the self-evident knowledge.

"Beginning from the time of cosmic creation until today, a great amount of knowledge about the Reality has been discovered by the sages. Apart from that limitless knowledge discovered, still the sages are occasionally delivering many new facts about the Reality, obtained in their devotional trance of Samadhi. All these discovered principles may be called as the scriptures. By the help of a certain principle another one may be properly understood. Therefore, it is imperative to carefully record all these discovered principles of Reality. Without following this process, the ultimate conclusions of the discovered principles can never be attained.

"Sri Brahma, the original propounder of the scriptures enlightened Sri Narada with the principles of Reality discovered by himself and advised him to develop the same by the further discovery of other Divine Principles.

"All the discovered principles of the Reality will get added to the scriptural knowledge and help the future developments of the same. Therefore, those who believe in the self-evident faith, they can never disparage the scriptures if at all they are intelligent in the study of them. But, those who are not endowed with the study of the principles of Bhakti, which is the essential purport of the scriptures, their scriptural learning is only a waste of labor.

"Therefore, the essence-seekers' conclusion is that, all the principles will be decided by the help of self-evident knowledge. All the scriptures should be understood by the help of that unalloyed knowledge. But, this rule does not apply to those whose self-evident knowledge has been adulterated with the empirical knowledge. Hence the following aphorism,

"Scriptural ordinances are intended for the regulation of the ignorant human beings whereas those who are endowed with discretion and Divine Wisdom are not controlled by them.

"Similarly, Manu also has elaborately explained the importance of scriptures and finally told the following:

"In this way; in all the scriptures these two signs can be seen viz., 1) honor of the revealed scriptures in general, 2) secondary importance of the scriptures in comparison to the self-evident faith. But, the authors of the scriptures do not clearly indicate the lightness of the scriptures. The reason for such an attitude is that, the meritorious people who are authorized to discard the scriptural binding can naturally become independent of the scriptures by the help of the hidden indications of the scriptural authors and also by their own purified knowledge. Such meritorious persons can carry on the sinless activities by the help of his own intellect as well as by the advice of the scriptures. In that stage, the scriptures will not have any binding over them but only they serve as their guides. On the other hand those who are unable to understand their own spiritual path due to the lack of self-evident knowledge and due to ignorance who may not be able to ascertain their duties and fall into misery due to sensuality, for such people the scriptural ordinances are imperative. Such persons should not know that there is any way for them apart from the bindings of the scriptures. When they become authorized due to their advancement, they will be able to know this secret by the suggestions of the scriptures.

"Since knowledge itself is the root of the scriptures the one who has attained that self-evident knowledge will not be ruled by the scriptures, but only they guide him with advises. In case of ignorant people, this is not so. They must be governed by the rules of the scriptures for their upliftment, if not they will have their inevitable down fall due to the sensual addictions. If it is argued that, instead of governing by means of tedious rules, let the scriptures help the ignorant people by means of friendly advises. The reason for such an attitude is that the ignorant people do not understand their own good and bad due to the lack of knowledge. Due to the instinctual habits they will engage in wanton activities.

"Since their nature is mostly inclined towards the gratification of the senses, for their spiritual betterment the scriptures try to reform them through many types of tricks, by applying coercion, and with skillfulness etc. Often the scriptures threaten the ignorant people with punishment of the hell, at times they put forth the temptations of heavenly enjoyments. Again, they reform the human beings depending upon their inclinations. In many scriptures one may see the sanction of liquor, polygamy, killing of animals etc. All those are meant for the gradual control of the barbarian human beings by means of sanctioning some type of restricted activities according to their inclination. By their gradual reformation, the scriptures want to put them in the path of detachment. The many types of fruits mentioned along with those activities are only meant for attracting the attention of the ignorant followers.

"An argument may arise in this regard that, this 'Tattva-Sutra' also being a scripture, why the secret purport of the scriptures has been openly given here? The answer is that, this book of 'Tattva-Sutra" has been published for the benefit of the self-realized Bhagavata devotees. They are authorized to know about all these thoughts. By the help of these aphorisms, their intellect will become favorable for the cultivation of Divine Love. Therefore, the author has openly declared here the scriptural secret.

"Devotees of the Supreme Lord are not controlled by the scriptures since their activities are congenial to the Divine Wisdom.

"Therefore, when the self-realized devotees ordain any new arrangement, they should be agreed with as a religious code, even if such new arrangements are not found in the scriptural dictums of the previous sages." (All of the above quotes are from Sri Tattva- Sutra by Bhaktivinode Thakur, pages 191-204)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you! I learned a lot from this Divine Wisdom. This is a double-edged sword: it could heal or it could kill. True devotees will understand the pure devotees' direction when it goes against tradition as well as scriptural injunction, whereas sensual persons will take this as a permission to invent their own deviant ways. Yet, the pure devotee is duty-bound to give this revelation for the sake of those who are growing in their devotional dedication to the pure devotee and to Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.