«Хлыстовство». Статья из журнала «The Harmonist» под редакцией Шрилы Бхактисиддханты Сарасвати Тхакура (на русском и английском языках).
Статья из журнала «The Harmonist»,
издаваемого под редакцией
Шрилы Бхактисиддханты Сарасвати Тхакура
в 20–30-е годы XX столетия
(из второго номера XXV тома за июль 1927 года)
эи-мата ча̄палйа карена саба’ сане
сабе стрӣ-ма̄тра на̄ декхена др̣ш̣т̣и-коне
‘стре’ хӣна на̄ма прабху эи авата̄ре
ш́раван̣о на̄ карила̄, — видита сам̇са̄ре
‘гаура̄н̇га-на̄гара’ хӣна става на̄хи бале
Переводчик на русский язык: Вриндаван Чандра Дас
Редакторы: Традиш Дас, Девакинандан Дас
Journal The Harmonist
Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur
(No. 2, Vol. XXV, July 1927)
THE practice and doctrines of the 'khlysts' a religious sect of Russia bear a striking resemblance to those of the prakrita-sahajias, bauls, kalachandis and kishoribhajas of this country. In all of these cults the root of error assumes the form of the absurd and profane blunder that the transcendental activities of the Godhead as found in the Scriptures are identical with the vilest sexual orgies of the worst human debauchees. Those who are excessively addicted to sensual enjoyment are sometimes so much deluded thereby as to suppose that all men are equally vile. Some of the very worst among them are so entirely lost to all sense of shame that they feel no hesitation in actually proclaiming, to those who failing to see through their artifices are willing to listen to them, that there is nothing holier and happier than sexual immorality; pretending to have discovered the abominable doctrine in the Scriptural accounts of the transcendental activities of the Godhead.
Most people of this world, although they do not possess the knowledge of the transcendental reality, are, however, sufficiently convinced of the mundane necessity of leading a chaste life and are not prepared to lend any deliberate support to doctrines that may undermine sexual morality. This is undoubtedly a sound instinct. But such desire for sexual purity unenlightened by faith in God is not in itself of sufficient strength to save us from the clutches of pseudo-religionists of the type of 'khlysts' and we should, therefore, be on our guard and avoid intimate association with a person without previously satisfying ourselves by careful personal enquiry about his practices, irrespective of his religious practices bearing in mind the advice of Goursundar that “no one can be a teacher of dharma who does not himself practise it”.
To what terrible lengths of immorality unscrupulous philanthropists may lead their willing victims is well known in this country. That the evil is to be found everywhere and is not peculiar to this country will be clear from the following account of the infamous 'Gregori Rasputin' who figured so prominently in the history of Russia during the early period of the Great war, taken from Prince Yonsonpoff s memoirs that is appearing in the Sunday Chronicle of London.
In that work 'khlystism' is described as essentially sexual in character: it is a blend of the coarsest animal passion with a belief in the highest spiritual revelation. The 'prayer meetings' of the khlysts combined in an intense degree religious ecstasy and erotic abandon. The khlysts believe that at the height of their hysterical excitement the Holy Spirit descends among them, and that the licentious conclusion of their ceremonies is nothing else than an act of 'God's blessing'. The ceremony begins with a slow rhythmic dance which changes to a mad whirl. There is a blinding glitter of candles in the room during 'prayer' and the inevitable climax is a wild, amorous debauch.
Here is the remarkable account of the Rake's Progress of the satanical Gregori Rasputin, the typical khlyst. Rasputin was by birth a peasant. He was the son of a professional horse-stealer and was himself a horse-stealer in early life. He was not endowed with a prepossessing appearance. His face was of the most ordinary peasant type — a coarse oval, with large, ugly features overgrown with a slovenly beard and with a long nose; his small grey eyes looked out from under bushy eyebrows with piercing yet shifty glances. This ungainly ruffian who was being constantly thrashed by infuriated peasants whose horses he stole became all at once the Autocrat, to all intents and purposes, of the Russian state.
While still engaged in stealing horses in his native village in a remote corner of Russia Rasputin was discovered by 'a young missionary monk a well-informed and deeply religious man and as naive as a child' and presented by him as a man of God to Bishop Theophan who in his turn introduced the impostor to the Tsar's palace. Rasputin's amazing influence over his victims is supposed by the writer of the memoir to have been due to his immense dynamic force which was the result of ascetic practices. He could go without food or sleep like an Indian fakir. To those, however, who distrusted him his eyes appeared to be amazingly repulsive. They also noticed that he walked with a mincing gait and approached young maidens even of the highest families with a sly, sickly smile embracing them without ceremony, kissing them with 'an air of condescension'. At the Tsar's palace he appeared in the guise of a righteous man who had consecrated himself to God; in society drawing rooms, among his female admirers, he was much less circumspect; and finally, at home or in a private room at a restaurant in the intimate company of his associates, he gave full vent to his drunkenness and wanton debauchery. In certain — incidentally very small circles of the highest rank in St. Petersburg society occultism of every kind was cultivated. In this environment, Rasputin was assured of marked success, Rasputin justified all his monstrous debauchery with typical khlyst reasoning; and sometimes instilled into women the belief that association with him was far from being a sin. The Empress of Russia was entirely in Rasputin's grip and on the outbreak of the Great war not a single important event at the front was decided without a preliminary conference with him. This naturally alarmed the people who tried their best to induce the Emperor to cease his connection with Rasputin. But the Emperor and the Empress remained deaf to all supplications advice, warnings and threats. The more Rasputin was opposed, the more convincing the evidence against him, the less attention was paid to the matter at the Tsar's palace.
The prakrita-sahajia, baul and kalachandi sects of pseudo-Vaishnavas of this country who almost openly practice and preach sexual immorality are not ashamed to declare that their doctrines are those taught by Mahaprabhu. Whose followers they give themselves out to be. The practices of these and other allied sects will be treated specifically in coming numbers of this journal. It will suffice for the present to give the reader a concrete example of Gaursundar's own practice as indicative of the principles that He recommended His followers — householders as well as ascetics — to follow in their relations with the female sex.
During the period that Mahaprabhu displayed the lila of leading the life of a householder His practice is thus indicated in a general way in three short sentences by the author of Sree Chaitanya Bhagabat, the oldest and the most authentic account of His career, —
ei-mata chapalya karena saba’ sane
sabe stri-matra na dekhena drishti-kone
‘stre’ hina nama prabhu ei avatare
shravano na karila, — vidita samsare
ataeva yata maha-mahima sakale
‘gauranga-nagara’ hina stava nahi bale
“He played many such merry pranks on all persons, barring only this that He never cast even a side-glance on a female. It is known to the whole world that in this incarnation the Lord did not even allow His ear to hear such a thing as the name of a female. Hence all devotees of exalted position never address Him as amorous Gauranga”.
Mahaprabhu exhibited the lila of renouncing the world and becoming an ascetic at the age of twenty-four, It was during His residence at Puri as an ascetic that the following incident took place which is thus described in the Sree Chaitanya-charitamrita, the companion work of Sree Chaitanya Bhagabat.
One day Sree Bhagawanacharyya invited the Lord to his residence and had many choice dishes cooked at his own place to be offered to Him. He himself asked the junior Haridas who used to sing kirtan to the Lord to obtain by begging fine, white raw rice from the sister of Shikhi Mahiti. The sister of Shikhi Mahiti was an old lady of great piety and an eminent Vaishnava who was declared by Mahaprabhu Himself as belonging to the very highest class of Vaishnavas ranking her with Swarup Gosani, Rai Ramananda and Shikhi Mahiti himself. Haridas brought from her rice by begging. The Acharyya was very much delighted by obtaining the fine rice and had it cooked with very great care. At noon when Mahaprabhu sat at His meal He said that the rice was very fine and asked from where it had been obtained. The Acharyya said the rice was obtained by begging from Madhabi Dasi. The Lord said, “Who went there to beg?” The Acharyya mentioned the name of the junior Haridas. The Lord praised the rice and sat down to meal. On his return to his own residence He commanded Govinda not to admit the junior Haridas into the house from that day. Haridas was distressed finding the door of the Lord shut against him. No one knows why he was forbidden admission. Haridas gave up food and at the end of the three days Swarup and others went to the Lord and said, “Lord, what offence has Haridas committed? Why is the door shut against him for which he has gone on fast?” The Lord said, “I cannot see the face of a vairagi who accosts a female”. Saying this Mahaprabhu retired to the inner apartments. All were struck dumb at the sight of the Lord's anger. Another day all of them together submitted this prayer at the feet of the Lord on behalf of Haridas — “Lord, the offence is slight. Be propitiated. He has now learnt the lesson and will not offend again”. The Lord said, “My mind is not under my control. It refuses contact with a vairagi who accosts females. Give up this vain talk all of you and betake yourselves to your proper duties. If you say anything more you will not see Me here”. Hearing this all put their hands to their ears and dispersed to their respective duties.
Yet another day all went to Paramananda Puri and requested him saying “Propitiate the Lord”. Then Puri Gosani came alone to the Lord. The Lord did obeisance to him, had him seated with great respect and asked, what is your command? What has brought you here? Puri Gosani begged Him to be propitiated towards Haridas. On hearing this the Lord said, “Gosani, listen to Me, you stay here with all the Vaishnavas, command Me to go to Alalnath. I shall reside there with only Govinda to keep Me company”. Saying this the Lord called Govinda and making obeisance to Puri left the place. Puri Gosani much agitated hurried after the Lord and by entreaties persuaded Him to return to the house.
All the devotees then went to Haridas and Swarup Gosani said, “Listen, Haridas. Believe that all of us desire your good. The Lord insists. The Godhead is his own master. He is merciful and will be again kind some day. If you insist His firmness will increase. His anger will leave afterwards. He has bathed and taken His meal”. Saying this and persuading Haridas to have his food and bath Swarup returned to his house encouraging him to cherish hope. When the Lord used to go out to have sight of Jagannath, Haridas had a view of the Lord from a distance.
Haridas passed one year in this way but still Mahaprabhu was not propitiated. One day, as the night was nearing its close, making obeisance to the Lord Haridas set out for praying without telling any one. There vowing the attainment of the lotus feet of the supreme Lord Haridas gave up this life by entering the Tribeni.
One day Mahaprabhu asked the devotees, “Where is Haridas? Let him be brought here”. All said, “On the day that completed one year having risen up at night he went away no one knows where”. On hearing this Mahaprabhu gently smiled. All the devotees wondered in their minds.
A Vaishnava came to Nabadvipa from Prayag. He told them all about Haridas, of his solemn vow and of his immersion in the Tribeni. On hearing this Sreebas and others were filled with wonder. At the end of the year Sivananda accompanied by all the devotees with great joy came to meet the Lord; When Sreebas asked, “Where is Haridas?” The Lord replied, “A being enjoys the fruit of his acts”. Then Sreebas narrated Haridas's story, the vow he took and his immersion in the Tribeni. On hearing this the Lord laughing with hearty satisfaction said, “This is the proper expiation for the offence of looking upon a female as an object of sensuous desire”.
The author is unknown
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