Pratih Parivarjana

by rla Saccidnanda Bhaktivinoda hkura

[NOTE: This page uses Balarama font (available here)
for better transliteration of Sanskrit into English]


In the depths of jna, vairgya and so on, and behind

all religion, lies the desire for honour and distinction


To the degree that we endeavour to develop ourselves spiritually, to become religious, to maintain a renounced life, and to deliberate on and discuss jna, we desire our own pratih (honour and distinction). This desire contaminates our hearts and pollutes our characters. Although we make a great effort to control lust, anger, greed, illusion and envy, and although we perform severe austerities to control the senses, concealed within our hearts the desire for pratih, in the form of a wild infant animal, continues to grow.


I learn aga-yoga with a desire to become a famous yog. If anyone one tells me that my yoga lessons are merely a show, I burn in anger. I discuss and deliberate upon many stras in my endeavour to merge into brahma. If I hear someone say that this process is fruitless, my mind becomes disturbed and I condemn the accuser. We learn ten kinds of dharma, such as control of the mind and the external senses, austerity and truthfulness, and in carrying out our worldly activities we perform daily obligatory religious duties (nitya-karma) and occasional religious duties (naimittika-karma). If someone says that karma-ka is simply useless labour, my mind suffers; I become unhappy because my pratih is being made to appear insignificant.


Those who desire bhukti and mukti are restless and

slaves of the desire for pratih


When the karm, jni, yog and so on search in hope of attaining the fruit of enjoyment and liberation, how can they have any peace? They cannot relinquish the desire for pratih. This desire is very insignificant, however, in those Vaiavas who have no thirst at all for bhukti and mukti.


Present-day Vaiava cryas desire pratih

and are intolerant


Nowadays, the cryas of vaiava-dharma cannot tolerate the slightest disrespect. From the outset,they

endeavour to enhance their dignity by placing their feet on the heads of all. It is not unreasonable for an

crya to receive respect from others. But if he courts that respect for himself, where is his real

value? Furthermore, he becomes angry with someone who does not offer him sga-dadavat

pramas, full prostrated obeisances. Such anger is abominable. Well-mannered people respect an

crya by offering him a separate seat. This is correct and in accordance with stra, but if the crya is angered by someone else sitting on that seat, it is most unfortunate. All such behaviour solely arises from the desire for pratih.


It is extremely difficult to give up the desire for



Many Vaiavas have given up their homes and accepted the dress of a renunciant. Peace-loving people who consider that householders have the greatest desire for pratih leave their homes and accept the dress of renunciants. In that renounced situation, however, pratih arises with an even greater intensity than before! If one who has accepted the dress of a renunciant is not offered respect, he becomes particularly angry. If the desire for pratih is present in householder Vaiavas and Vaiavas in the renounced order, what can be said of others?


The desire for pratih is not removed without ka-sev


When we collect and contemplate upon the instructions of great people, we understand that as long as we cannot give up the desire for pratih, we cannot consider ourselves Vaiavas. Real humility is not found in mere words. I say that I am not worthy of being the servant of a servant of the Vaiavas, but all the while within my mind I think that anyone hearing me say this will glorify me,

thinking me a pure Vaiava. Alas! The desire for pratih does not want to abandon us. For this reason the best of Vaiavas, rla Raghuntha dsa Gosvm, says:


pratih dh vapaca-rama me hdi naet

katha sdhu-prem spati ucir etan nanu mana

sad tva sevasva prabhu-dayita-smantam atula

yath t nikya tvaritam iha ta veayati sa


How will my heart touch this pure sdhu-prema as long as the shameless dog-eating lady in the form of pratih dances there? O mind! You should therefore serve those pure Vaiavas who are the incomparable commanders of the army of your master, r Ka. They will then remove that dog-eating lady from the temple of your heart and allow prema to enter. (r Mana-ik 7)


Extinction of the desire for pratih in the association of viuddha Vaiavas


What can we gather from the words of this mahjana, rla Raghuntha dsa Gosvm? We understand that the desire for pratih can never be removed by studying and discussing stra, by hearing instructions from those who have not attained prema, nor by practising various bodily processes of yoga. It can only be removed by associating with and serving viuddha Vaiavas. Having searched for and found such Vaiavas, it is our ultimate goal to associate with and serve them.


To accept sat-saga is non-different from giving up asat-saga


By associating with Vaiavas, saintliness (sdhut) will manifest in our hearts and sinfulness will be completely removed. When our hearts are clean, a ray from the sun of prema will enter. This ray, which enriches our hearts with prema, comes from the heart of a saintly Vaiava. This is the only way to attain prema and give up pratih. It is the natural method to become a sdhu. All other approaches are fruitless labour. In conclusion, attaining ones eternal transcendental nature is non-different from removing ones temporary material nature.


Translated from Sri Gaudiya Patrika, Year 1, Issue 6
by the Rays of The Harmonist team.
Published in English for the first time in Rays of The Harmonist No. 11 Karttika 2002

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