The spiritual process of religion transcends the scope of our present rational faculties. Man is a reasoning animal. It is no wonder that he should also reason about Religion. He wishes to be satisfied that he is not asked to accept any propositions that are in plain contradiction to the principles of his rational nature. He also expects to be able to establish the ultimate unity of all human thought in the different branches of human activities by this philosophical method. It is for this reason that Philosophy has also been called the mother of all Sciences, it should also be equally amenable to the motherly jurisdiction of Philosophy.
If, however, Religion does not propose to employ the empiric scientific method in its process of approaching its subject-matter, the philosopher is likely to be as much puzzled by such attitude as the daughter sciences. This is, however, exactly what Religion proposes to do. Therefore the only thing that is left for the philosopher to do in the matter is not to seek to impose his regulating jurisdiction of Religion, but to wait at his proper distance as an unfit observer. If Philosophy is willing to submit to this limitation, she should be in a position to be enlightened about her own limitations by offering her humble submission to the communications of Religion regarding the Absolute to Whom Philosophy can otherwise have no access.
Religion is not irrational. Religion alone is truly rational. The so-called rationalism of empiric Philosophy is only another name for our unavoidable state of ignorance of the Truth. Philosophy thinks herself justified in trying to make the best of a bad job. But Religion is never prepared to admit that our ignorance is unavoidable. It is bad Philosophy and bad Science which are seeking to encourage in us a fatalistic belief in our unavoidable ignorance. It is undoubtedly a very bold assertion to have to say on behalf of Religion that not a single creature of this world need despair of finding the Truth if only it is willing to lend its ear to the true voice of Religion in spite of all the dissuasive pseudo-rational representations by empiric Philosophy and the empiric Sciences that are the real obstacles in our way. The pseudo-rationalist will at once jump at such a proposition, misrepresenting the challenge of Religion as an invitation to accept its communication in blind faith and without questioning. But those who entertain these common-place views of shallow critics have to thank only themselves for their misfortune, in as much as they have never had any inclination of giving a serious hearing to the other side before accepting the garbled versions of irrational objectors. It is necessary to use language in describing the respective positions of the two parties which will leave no doubt in the mind of the bearer regarding the real point at issue.
Who am I? Why am I in this world? What is this world? Why do I feel unhappy and perplexed? What is the method by which I can learn the Truth? These questions are no regarded as answerable either by the empiric Philosophy or by the empiric Sciences. They make it their business to accept the position as it is, and then try to make the best of what they cannot but admit to be a really very bad job. Their purpose is, therefore, quite different from that of Religion. Religion never wants us to accept our present position as being either satisfactory or unsatisfactory unless we possess the knowledge that is necessary for arriving at any rational decision. Religion also forbids emphatically to busy ourselves about any other matter before this fundamental problem has been actually solved to our satisfaction. What is tells us is this, "Do not bother about what you will eat, drink water, or where you will find shelter against the inclement weather. That is not at all the real problem. If you are occupied with those matters, you will be unable to understand the real responsibility of human existence. Before you put your bread into your mouth, get the answer to the question why you should eat at all. If you eat your bread without getting any answer to this question, you take the first step of the road to ignorance, death and misery. Believe in the rational order of this world. Believe in the infinite possibilities of your own rational nature if it is only properly cultivated, if the fundamentals are not relegated to the background for fear of immediate inconvenience or through the thoughtless plea of an immoral necessity. As you are really a rational being, you should have the courage not to do anything that is not perfectly rational. You should believe that no harm can result to you from the pursuit of this only rational course." Do your empiric Philosophy and you empiric Sciences recommend this course to you? Do they not, on the contrary, invite you to folow the exactly opposite method? Is it, therefore, the fault or merit of Religion it is does not countenance these immoral proposals? It is necessary, if we are to be able to understand the relation of Religion to all other branches of human knowledge, including empiric Philosophy, not to wilfullly misunderstand the issue that is so clearly and so emphatically placed for our consideration by the revealed Scriptures and the great Prophets.
Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya has explained more fully than any other teacher of Religion the causes why the revealed Scriptures have been misunderstood and mis-interpreted all over the world. He tells us that this misfortune has been due to the fact that Religion has been attempted to be brought within the jurisdiction of empiric Philosophy and the empiric Sciences. He has explained the difference in the methods of enquiry that are folowed respectively by the true religionists and the empiricists. The method of the revealed Scriptures, He has informed us, is the method of approaching the Transcendence in His descended Form of the articulated Word or Sound appearing on the Lips of the transcendental Teacher. The descent of the transcendental articulated Word or Sound enables us to approach the Transcendence by our present faculties and, directly, by our faculty of hearing. For this process two conditions require to be fulfilled. The transcendental Sound has to manifest Himself in the Form that is approachable by our aural faculty. Secondly that we should be in a position to recognise the Sound, which we are able to hear, as being really transcendental, and accordingly to be enabled between our true cognitive faculty and the Absolute Truth even on this plane of apparent truth. The initiative is taken by the Absolute Himself. It is open to us to refuse to respond to His initiative by the only manner by which our spiritual nature would be properly adjusted to Him. Such refusal is an offence also against our own proper nature. It is by the abuse of this freedom of our rational nature that is is possible for us on our own responsibility to be placed on this plane of apparent truth but of real delusion and ignorance. On this phenomenal plane we find a variety of occupations for being adjusted to the invironment through our body of flesh and the material framework of our mind which are foreign to our spiritual nature and which possess both initiative and hankering for things of this world in the irrational manner with which we are familiar, and which present themselves to our souls as trustworthy managers of our affairs for forwarding the suicidal policy that we have perversely adopted as our own. This unholy league, between the body of flesh inhabited by the perverse mind and the perverse soul who wilfully chooses not to understand the irrationality and perversity of our mental and physical life, is the cause why we are in this world.
I have dealt with only one of the questions that ought to be answered satisfactorily before our souls can have any truly rational function at al in this world. I have given the answer that is supplied by Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya in explaining the Shrauta Pantha or the method of approaching the Transcendence in the articulated Word or transcendental Sound when He makes His appearance to our aural faculty. If we refuse to seek the guidance of the Absolute, we fall into the clutches of His deluding energy. Our choice lies between submission to the enlightening energy of the Absolute and submission to His deluding power. Our spiritual nature would be acting in the true rational manner if it seeks to submit to the enlightening power of the Absolute. Our spiritual nature would commit wilful suicide if it decides to submit to the deluding power of the Absolute knowing it to be His deluding power. The empiric philosopher and the empiric scientist invite us to submit without questioning to the contrivances of the deluding power. Why is this life at all worth pursuing? Can the empiric philosopher or the empiric scientist ever hope to be able to answer this question? The truth is that life is not worth living for the prospects that either the philosophers of the scientists have to offer. The truth is self-evident to all who do not perversely shut their eyes to the natural dictates of their rational nature.
If once the Absolute enters the open ear of our souls the spell of the deluding energy is for ever broken. It is, therefore, our first duty to seek for the solution of those fundamental questions of existence which I have mentioned before. It is necessary to seek for the answer to those questions from religionists who alone profess to be able to answer them. It is not necessary to pretend to be able to understand before we actually do. We need not recognize the claim of any religious teacher who cannot really satisfy these requirements of our spiritual nature. There need be no sects of really different schools of thought in the domain of religious enquiry. The religionist does not ask us to follow any fictitious course. If the physicist invites us to be interested to the investigation of the properties of mundane sound, do we resent such invitation for the reason that it is irrational? Are we justified philosophically or scientificaly in rejecting the proposal of al the revealed Scriptures to seek to approach the Transcendence in the transcendental Sound appearing in an actual audible Form and by methods that are suitable for approaching the Transcendence? If we begin to quarrel about the philosophical justification of such invitation, do we not really put the cart before the horse? Does not the same philosophical objection apply to the invitation of the mundane physicist? Are we being asked by the religionist to do anything more irrational? Are we justified in rejecting the truth of proposal without a fair trial by perfectly scientific methods?
The Name of God is identical with God Himself. We are not God. Our souls are infinitesimal servants of God. We can find God if we are willing to behave towards Him as towards our one Absolute Master. Our souls can serve God in this world in the Form of the Name by the faculty of submissive hearing. If we submit to hear God as our Absolute Master, we are thereby brought into the presence of God. As soon as we are in the presence of God there is automatically perfect solution of all our difficulties and doubts. This is the real Darshana. The Indian equivalent of Philosophy is Darshana which means literally 'seeing'. We see God only when we hear Him. There is no discrepancy in spiritual hearing. The soul can hear the Figure and Colour of God. We cannot hear colour in this world. We cannot see sound. On the transcendental plane there is no such discrepancy in the senses. The whole entity enters undivided through every channel of transcendental perception.
When we are face to face with God, we can understand the purpose of human life which is to serve God in our every act. If the Whole is served, all constituents are necessarily fully served. The manner in which a God-realised soul ooks upon the world and its concerns alone rational and conducive to the real welfare of all entities. Such a person is called a sadhu in India. The real sadhuis the only true philosopher as he sees things as they are and not as they appear to be. But the cognitive realisation is not a static process. Cognitive activity on the transcendental place in its dynamic aspect is the practice of love towards the object of All-Love. To see God is, therefore, to love God. To love God is to befriend the souls of all entities. There can be no truer friend of humanity then the real sadhu.
Religion is not opposed to Philosophy and Science if the latter consecrate themselves to the service of God as He really is. This consecration of philosophy and Science is possible, and herein lies also the possibility of real worship by the activities of this world. By the method of the worship of the Archa or Sree Murti or the Visible Divine Image, the consecration is effected by the sadhu by means of their incorporation in the activity of transcendental discourse. The sadhus therefore, are the real pivot of the Scriptual redemptive process. As a medium of the descent of the Word the sadhu is himself a transcendental person. But the medium is not the Principal. He is the transcendental servitor. He is the real worshipper in his own right. When he happens to descend to the mundane plane, he performs the function of saviourship by incorporating the conditioned souls in his transcendental service. Those who are fortunate enough to be thus accepted for his service by the sadhu are thereby endowed with communicated eligibility for functioning on the transcendental plane with the spiritualised mind and body. The Saviour Sadhu is the Acharyya. He employs those whom He accepts in bringing about the descent of the Word by means of their discourses under the absolute spiritual guidance of the Acharyya Who is not merely the first among His equals but the Manifestive Self of the Plenary Sole Servitor of the Absolute, whereas we are infinitesimal subservient servitors by our proper spiritual nature.
The redemption of mankind is an eternal process which is provided for by the descent of the Acharyya in the unbroken line of the Amnaya. My Divine Master Om Vishnupada Paramahamsa Paribrajakacharyyabaryya 108 Sree Sreemad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Maharaj appeared in the line of the Divine Preceptors of the Brahma-Madhya-Gaudiya Amnaya, being the tenth in succession from Mahaprabhu Sree Krishna Chaitanya.