The people of the world are so engrossed in their bodily comforts and in fulfilling their selfish desires that if even a scent of an attitude to serve others is perceived in someone, it is greatly appreciated. Service to others (para-seva) is a virtue; however, if it becomes the deceiving of others (para-chalna), it can never be praise worthy. Simply applying the label “service” to acts of deception and propagating them as ‘service’, does not make them service in the true sense. Will the thoughtful and civilized human society of the twentieth century not consider this fact just once?
In the terms “para-seva” and “para-upakara”, the word “para” means “topmost”. In other words it means Paramatma-Vishnu. Thus the word “para” refers only to service to Paramatma, the topmost entity. In one sense,the jiva is also para (superior); however, as long as he has anarthas he is bound by the three modes of nature.
yaya sammohito jiva
paro ’pi manute ’nartham
tat-kritam cabhipadyate Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.5)
Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries. To render service to the jiva who has been conditioned from a time without beginning, whose consciousness is covered by the three modes of maya and who is distracted from his constitutional nature, is to render service to his condition plagued by anarthas. In other words service is rendered to enable him to fulfill his enjoying propensity.
hena-jive isvara-saha kaha ta’ abheda
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 6.162)
The Lord is the master of all potencies, and the living entity is their servant. That is the difference between Lord and the living entity. However, you declare that the Lord and the living entities are one and the same.
Lord Caitanya The Golden Avatar
The jiva bound by maya is not Prabhu (Master). In other words he is not sevya-tattva, the supreme worshipable reality. Many who hear this conception will reveal their loyalty to the opinion of the Baulas [one of the sahajiya sects], in their attempt to deceitfully present the jiva as sevya-tattva and to thus try to proclaim the conditioned soul to be Narayana.
Those who follow the incorrect conception of the Baulas, consider the state of Lord Narayana, who is the controller of maya, to be the same as the state of those jivas who are bound by maya. Thus they name the living entities jiva-narayana (“living entity Narayana”), daridra-narayana (“poor Narayana”), asva-narayana (“horse Narayana”), mriga-narayana (“deer Narayana”), manushya-narayana (“human Narayana”) and so forth. They preach that the satisfaction of two mundane objects, the body and mind, is indeed service to Narayana. The terms daridra-narayana, manushyanarayana and so forth are as illogical and dishonest as saying “My clay pot is made of gold”. Simply adding the names “Narayana” or “Isvara” to the name of a jiva cannot convert that jiva into prabhu-tattva; rather, it makes him a hypocrite.
yas tu narayanam devam brahma-rudradi-daivataih
samatvenaiva vik sheta sa pashandi bhaved dhruvam
An atheist (pashandi) is one who considers great demigods such as Lord Brahma and Lord Siva to be equal to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Narayana.
yei mudha kahe – jiva isvara haya ‘sama’
seita ‘pashandi’ haya, dande tare yama
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 18.115)
A foolish person who says that the Supreme is the same as the living entity is an atheist (pashandi), and he becomes subject to punishment by Yamaraja, the superintendent of death.
baliseshu dvishatsu ca
yah karoti sa madhyamah
A madhyama-bhagavata is one who loves Isvara, isfriendly towards His bhaktas, shows mercy towards those who are ignorant of bhakti, and neglects those who are inimical to Isvara or His bhaktas.
sarva-bhuteshu yah pasyed
bhutani bhagavaty atmany
One who sees his own bhagavad-bhava, ecstatic mood of attraction towards Sri Krishnacandra, in the hearts of all jivas (sarva-bhuteshu) and sees all beings within Krishnacandra is an uttama-bhagavata.
sthavara jangama dekhe na dekhe tara murti
sarvatra haya nija ishta-deva-sphurti
Sri Caitanya-caritamrita (Madhya 8.274)
The maha-bhagavata certainly sees everything that is moving and non-moving, but he does not exactly see their forms. Rather, wherever he looks he sees the manifestation of the form of his most worshipable Lord.
A madhyama-adhikari Vaishnava should render service to one who is an uttama-adhikari, and he should do so for the uttama-adhikari’s happiness and satisfaction. The madhyama-adhikari Vaishnava should care for him in every respect, even rendering menial service to him; but he should not try to satisfy the senses of the conditioned souls, because by this he will gain no eternal welfare or auspiciousness either for himself or for others. We have to always keep in mind that when the atma’s eternal relationship with Krishna is awakened, the sole object of the atma’s eternal function – which is service (seva) – is Sri Hari, guru and Vaishnavas. In other words, service should be rendered to the independent, pure form of Bhagavan in Vaikuntha (bhagavatasvarupa) and to Bhagavan’s expansions (tad-rupavaibhava), but not to the bound jivas or to the external energy (pradhana).
Because we have forgotten our svarupa and lack transcendental intelligence, the service we perform with the body and mind is synonymous with enjoyment based on gratifying the mundane senses. The object of such service is not Bhagavan and His expansions; rather, it is the conditioned soul and the material energy. Neither of these is a pure, conscious entity of
Vaikuntha. Presently the consciousness of the conditioned soul is averse to Krishna. To redirect that consciousness toward Krishna is to show the jiva the highest form of compassion.
in fact be deceived of service to Bhagavan. After hearing a lengthy discourse on jiva-seva we should not go on to become Mayavadis, Baulas, prakrita-sahajiyas or cit-jada-samanvyavadis (persons who equate transcendence with worldliness) and thus deviate from the genuine path. May jive-daya and vaishnava-seva be our sole ideal. May jive-daya, name-ruci and vaishnavaseva be our sole guiding principles.
Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika Year 15, Issue 4
by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 12 Gaura-purnima 2003