Amiya Roy Chowdhury
This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.
BK Patra, Oct 3, 2022: The Times of India
Mana is Vrindavan, the Mahatirth, the eternal playground of Radha and Krishn. The jiva is the lover and birth after birth, it seeks union with the beloved Divine. The cycle of births is in this sense the recurring parikrama, circumambulation, of the world in quest of the Supreme Lord. Subject to the laws of mortal life, the jiva struggles and suffers from various delusions. But suffering and sorrow do not entirely kill the natural urge of the jiva to mingle with the Divine, since Jiva is in constant company of the Divine; only it is unaware of it.
All suffering is purifying if only we become aware that through it we intensify our longing for the Divine. Thebeloved is as keen on the union with the lover as the lover himself. And although the ego of the lover makes it difficult for the beloved to unite with him, the love-play, nevertheless, goes, interminably, life after life, till suffering and sorrow so cleanse the mana that ego is annihilated, and the deck cleared for the grand union.
The Divine essence in us manifests itself as Adishabda, which Dadaji, Amiya Roy Chowdhury, calls the Mahanam. Its cosmic vibrations hasten the union between the jiva and the Divine Essence within us. The Mahanam being, in grossly simple terms, the voice of within, is the vital force behind all samskaras inwhich the jiva is rooted and enmeshed. It alone can grant the jiva freedom. Mahanam, as Dadaji put it, is an act of divine compassion released from the inside of us. Once the vibrations of the Mahanam begin to gyrate within us, the jiva unites with the Divine essence and the sheer ecstasy of love fills the entire being. Mana becomes Vrindavan, the Mahatirth, the sacred krida-sthal, playground, of the Divine Ras-Lila, the unceasing love-play of Radha and Krishn, the jiva and the Divine Essence. The notes of the magic flute embodied in the Mahanam spread and we listen, rapt and enchanted and the aching joy of the ecstasy that is ours is supreme bliss. The highest sadhana is to realise this love, this anand. How can this bliss be attained through proxy? Professional gurus seem to apply that by their gift of a mantra they initiate us into the Divine One-ness. Many of us believe that. However, the Guru is within us, the only guru is the Supreme himself. He is not subject to pressures and recommendations of a third party, however evolved and holy. Nothing that anybody else does can get us our freedom, for love is supremely subjective and cannot be won for our sake through influence, or by gurus of the modern world. The Truth that chanting of the Mahanam releases in us, makes us whole, and transforms our mana into Vrindavan, the eternal playground of our Lord and Master.
(Abridged from ‘On Dadaji’ Volume III)
Devleena and Amitabha Bhattacharya, June 7, 2019: The Times of India
The Philosophy Of Dadaji Amiya Roy Chowdhury
Since ‘Dadaji’ Amiya Roy Chowdhury discouraged any cult following, having refused to set up any ashram or designate a spiritual heir to carry forward his legacy, few people today know about the unique features of his life and teachings. Scholars and followers, however, have faithfully recorded their personal experiences for posterity, in Bengali and English. First, he asserted that no human being can be a ‘guru’. While for attainments in the material world, say, for education, skills, sports or music, one may need a guide, for spiritual advancement, no such human guru is needed. Though counterintuitive and against conventional wisdom, Dadaji maintained that Mahanam, the ‘divine name’ alone is the guide, He and His name being one.
By making the Mahanam public, like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did for the ‘Hare Krishna’ mahamantra, Dadaji sought to demolish the conventional guruvad, which often takes the form of business. He advocated direct communion with the Creator. ‘God within’ in the form of the Mahanam – the two sounds Gopal, Govinda – vibrating all the time and setting in motion our breathing, is the warp and woof of all existence. ‘One sound, Gopal, apprises you of the Supreme; the other sound, Govinda, of the Beyond.’ Second, Dadaji always stressed the importance of karma, action/ duty. The purpose of coming into this world is to perform the assigned duty to the best of one’s ability and bear the onslaught of Prarabdha – unfolding of events in time – keeping the Mahanam in mind. The realisation that God alone is the doer, will dawn with constant remembrance of His name. One has come from infinity and with the dissolution of the body, will revert to infinity. Worldly existence is for savouring His love through finite senses. According to Dadaji, maya itself is the kripa.
Third, Dadaji’s explanation of nishkama karma was also unique. Unlike other sages, Dadaji maintained that no work is possible without attachment. He advised that duty has to be performed with such devotion and concentration that the expectation of results just does not arise. ‘Dharmakshetra, Kurukshetra’ was also explained by him differently.
An individual attached to the body-mind complex, with mind reigning supreme, is symbolised by Dhritarashtra, who is blind, for he refuses to comprehend the ‘truth within’. Loving submission to Mahanam will gradually give rise to a transformation when the body-mind complex, hitherto a Kurukshetra where constant battle is being waged, will tur n into Dhar makshetra.
Dadaji was opposed to prescribing any specific course of action to be followed – about meditation, rituals, pilgrimage or even about food. In fact, he was against all kinds of superstition. In this world of ‘Prakriti’, nature, the laws of action and reaction are inviolate. His advice, therefore, was to follow the path of moderation – neither abstinence nor over-indulgence. One has to be in a state of svabhava, in sync with one’s innate, natural self, and leave the rest to Mahanam to show the way.
God cannot be understood since understanding requires standing apart. ‘Love is the answer,’ through his simple yet profound philosophy, Dadaji struck at the root of institutional religions and the differentiation that often accompany them. Instead, he proposed spreading love and getting in touch with divinity within.