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Mahanambrata Brahmachari Teachings

A small collection of teachings of Mahanambrata Brahmachari – a disciple of Jagadbandhu and propagator of the Mahanama Sampradaya (tradition of chanting ‘Sri Hari.’)

Every human being is a chariot. That chariot journeys ever on. From morning to evening, from the first day of one’s life till the last day, this ‘Ratha Yatra’ goes on. But where are we going? Where will the journey end? — That we don’t know. Our chariot moves on, but we know not where it goes.

Jagannath’s chariot dispels our ignorance, and shows us our real destination.

Kurukshetra is the land of war, Vrindavan the land of peace. We are human beings. We spend the majority of our lives in Kurukshetra. But we don’t want to stay in the land of war; because, this place is always full of violence, hatred, opposition, retaliation and revenge. Here there are only uprisings and downfalls, victories and losses.

We want to leave this place — without knowing it we want to go to the land of love, where there is only love. There is no lowness there, nor pettiness, pride, or selfishness. There is only a pouring out of oneself, an offering of oneself for the happiness of others.

We have never known such a loving world — but we want to go there; in every way we long to go there. That land exists — most assuredly, it exists. That land is called Sri Vrindavan. That land is faultless, of surpassing beauty and adorned with sweetness.

The chariot of each of our lives wants to travel, with Mahaprabhu and his companions, from this Kurukshetra to the land of love, Vrindavan. We want this, but we don’t realize that we want it.

Today, the day of the Ratha Yatra, we need to realize and contemplate this supreme truth. From Kurukshetra to Vrindavan — this is the day when, meditating on this fact and holding it within our hearts, we must pull the chariot of all our souls by the rope of mercy, to the eternal abode Sri Vrindavan.

Puri’s other name is Sri Kshetra. The word “Sri” means Lakshmi. Sri Kshetra is Lakshmi’s domain of lordly power. Vrindavan is Vrindavaneshwari. Land of Radharani. The jungle of joy. The forest of rasa. Lakshmi has money and power, but there is no rasa in it. Radharani has no money. But she has the forest. And in that forest is “shyamalata”, abundant bliss, sweetness and beauty. Nowadays, civilization is striving for Lakshmi (wealth and power). As a result, Saraswati is weeping. Radharani has turned Her face away, and hidden Her divine form in the secret bower.

You are familiar with terms like release, salvation, emancipation or Mukti as the Hindus call it, or Nirvana as the Buddhists call it. Uddharana is a term like them but it has a totally different connotation. All those terms – salvation and the like – are negative, while Uddharana is positive. Uddharana begins after salvation. We are said to have salvation when we free ourselves from bondage getting rid of limitations.

Uddharana means something beyond that. Uddharana is positive realisation of ‘Hari’. This idea of positive and negative freedom can best be explained by showing the difference between work and play. Work is disciplined habit; play is free impulse. When we work in an office, which is like a big machine we do our parts mechanically. We are free of course, but negatively free. In work we are only partially personal, really impersonal. While we play and enjoy leisure in the association of friends we are fully personal.

Salvation or Emancipation is to get a job in God’s office – to work in harmony with the world-order. But Uddharana is more than that. It is the enjoyment of God in His family Circle. Who constitute this family of God? Each unit of being – each unit of consciousness. Herein lies the significance of Maha. We need a circle, we need an association of friends. We depend upon playmates for the fullest realisation of one another’s individulity. So long as one friend is absent, the enjoyment is not complete. A single man remaining in bondage cannot be tolerated by a true lover of freedom. So long as there is one soul left outside, there will be no Maha-uddharana.

- Dr. Mahanambrata Brahmachari