Pilgrimage with Swami Narasiṅgha – Part 7: Keśī GhāṭaPilgrimage with Swami Narasiṅgha – Part 7: Keśī Ghāṭa
The Heart-Pursuit and the Head-PursuitThe Heart-Pursuit and the Head-Pursuit
By Published On: May 10, 2024Tags: 2.8 min read

Overview

In this letter from 1958, Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda writes to the editor of the Navbharat Times newspaper complaining of certain philosophical mistakes in an article published on Janmāṣṭamī – in particular, he protests that the article states that Śrī Kṛṣṇa was a ‘human incarnation.’ This letter was published in Śrī Bhāgavat Patrikā (Vol.4 Issue 5), the Hindi journal of the Gauḍīya Samiti in October 1958, and has been translated here for the first time in English.

Camp: Bombay
Dated: September 2nd, 1958

The respected editor,
Navbharat Times,

Bombay

Sir,
In the article published on September 1st, 1958 regarding Śrī Kṛṣṇa Janmāṣṭamī in your renowned newspaper ‘Navbharat Times’, there are many things that are foundationally incorrect from the point of view of the conclusions of the Bhāgavatam – in particular that Bhagavān is a human being. This conclusion is completely wrong. Nowadays, it has become a modern trend to make humans in God and consider the birthdays of humans as a jayantī. It is clearly written in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā that those who consider Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa to be a human being are foolish people. Considering Bhagavān to be a man and a man to be Bhagavān are both foolishness. Whenever Bhagavān incarnates, He appears through the superior potency i.e. cit-śakti.

There is no such thing anywhere in the scriptures that Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa came out of the womb of Devakī in a four-armed form, but you have clearly written that Śrī Kṛṣṇa appeared as an incarnation of Śrī Hari from the womb of Devakī, the wife of Vasudeva. In Śrīmad Bhāgavatam, Śrī Kṛṣṇa has been considered to be the avatārī (source of all incarnations) – kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān-svayaṁ. The four-armed form of Nārāyaṇa in Vaikuṇṭha is a vilāsavigraha (pastime form) of Svayaṁ-rūpa Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Rāma etc. and the Viṣṇu forms are expansions of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Although in principle there is no difference between them, yet the Supreme Personality is the ādi-puruṣa – two-armed Muralīdhara, Śyāmasundara, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. There is no other reality greater than Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Therefore, calling Śrī Kṛṣṇa a human incarnation is extremely offensive.

“By observing His birth-date one gets liberation” – you have written like this. Then, can such a person be a human being? Can one get liberation by observing the birth-date of a human being? It is considered an offence to make a human being into Bhagavān and to declare his birth date to be a jayantī, to consider Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa to be a human being, and to make a differentiation between His form and His self as is the case with ordinary humans. It is hypocrisy to consider viṣṇu-tattva such as Rāma, Nārāyaṇa etc, simply to be equal to big, big demigods. Therefore, treating them like human beings or considering them to be human beings is very offensive.

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam

(Kṛṣṇa who is known as Govinda is the Supreme Godhead. He has an eternal blissful spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin and He is the prime cause of all causes. – Brahma-saṁhitā 5.1)

Whenever Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa appears, He only incarnates in His sac-cid-ānanda form. Unlike human beings, there is no difference between Him and His body. They are of the same non-dual nature (advaya-jñāna). I hope that you will give permission to print this letter in your ‘Navbharat Times’.

Sincerely,

Śrī Abhaya Caraṇāravinda Bhaktivedānta
(Editor, Back To Godhead)

(Translated into English by Swami Bhakti Vijñāna Giri)

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Further Reading

Pilgrimage with Swami Narasiṅgha – Part 7: Keśī GhāṭaPilgrimage with Swami Narasiṅgha – Part 7: Keśī Ghāṭa
The Heart-Pursuit and the Head-PursuitThe Heart-Pursuit and the Head-Pursuit

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Avatar of Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda appeared in Kolkata in 1896, and after a successful education and engagment in business, he met his guru, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in 1922. He formally took initiation from Sarasvatī Ṭhākura in 1933 and later accepted sannyāsa in 1959. Upon the order of his guru, he began writing philosophical essays and books in English and eventually travelled to the United States where he began the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness (ISKCON) in 1966. After establishing over 100 temples, initiating over 5000 disciples and writing sixty books on Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava teachings, he passed away in Vṛndāvana in 1977.
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This article ‘Kovvur,’ was written by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī, prior to his acceptance of sannyāsa, for the daily Gauḍīya Maṭha newspaper, Nadīyā Prakāśa, and published on 4th September 1930 (Vol.5, Issue 3). This article gives some history of Kovvur, the place where Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya first met in South India. Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja was instrumental in discovering this place – so much so, that Sarasvatī Ṭhākura converted his name from Rāmendra Sundara Dāsa to Rāmānanda Dāsa. Two months after writing this article, he accepted sannyāsa. This article has been translated into English for the first time.

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By |May 10, 2024|Tags: |

In this letter from 1958, Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda writes to the editor of the Navbharat Times newspaper complaining of certain philosophical mistakes in an article published on Janmāṣṭamī – in particular, he protests that the article states that Śrī Kṛṣṇa was a ‘human incarnation.’ This letter was published in Śrī Bhāgavat Patrikā (Vol.4 Issue 5), the Hindi journal of the Gauḍīya Samiti in October 1958, and has been translated here for the first time in English.

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By |April 26, 2024|Tags: |

Continuing with our pilgrimage series, this week Śrīla Narasiṅgha Mahārāja takes us to Keśī Ghāṭā where he tells us about Madhumaṅgala’s meeting with the Keśī demon, what Keśī represents, and how Śrīla Prabhupāda almost acquired Keśī Ghāṭa. Mahārāja also narrates his own experience. This article has been adapted from a number of talks and articles by Narasiṅgha Mahārāja.

  • Kovvur - Ramananda Raya and Mahaprabhu's meeting place on the Godavari River

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By |May 24, 2024|Tags: |

This article ‘Kovvur,’ was written by Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣaka Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī, prior to his acceptance of sannyāsa, for the daily Gauḍīya Maṭha newspaper, Nadīyā Prakāśa, and published on 4th September 1930 (Vol.5, Issue 3). This article gives some history of Kovvur, the place where Mahāprabhu and Rāmānanda Rāya first met in South India. Śrīla Śrīdhara Mahārāja was instrumental in discovering this place – so much so, that Sarasvatī Ṭhākura converted his name from Rāmendra Sundara Dāsa to Rāmānanda Dāsa. Two months after writing this article, he accepted sannyāsa. This article has been translated into English for the first time.

  • A Letter to the Editor of the Navbharat Times

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By |May 10, 2024|Tags: |

In this letter from 1958, Śrīla A.C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda writes to the editor of the Navbharat Times newspaper complaining of certain philosophical mistakes in an article published on Janmāṣṭamī – in particular, he protests that the article states that Śrī Kṛṣṇa was a ‘human incarnation.’ This letter was published in Śrī Bhāgavat Patrikā (Vol.4 Issue 5), the Hindi journal of the Gauḍīya Samiti in October 1958, and has been translated here for the first time in English.

  • Pilgrimage with Swami Narasiṅgha – Part 7: Keśī Ghāṭa

Pilgrimage with Swami Narasiṅgha – Part 7: Keśī Ghāṭa

By |April 26, 2024|Tags: |

Continuing with our pilgrimage series, this week Śrīla Narasiṅgha Mahārāja takes us to Keśī Ghāṭā where he tells us about Madhumaṅgala’s meeting with the Keśī demon, what Keśī represents, and how Śrīla Prabhupāda almost acquired Keśī Ghāṭa. Mahārāja also narrates his own experience. This article has been adapted from a number of talks and articles by Narasiṅgha Mahārāja.