Even Atheists Become Surrendered Souls!

The highest form of ignorance (avidya) for a living entity is to consider transcendental personalities and objects as ordinary and mundane. We are not able to understand the transcendental nature of Hari, Guru, Vaishnavas, Their activities, the Holy Dhams, the Deities, and the Holy Names. We are always trying to impose our contaminated mundane conception on them. This is the real reason why we are still in the material world.

Lord Krishna tells Arjuna,

janma karma ca me divyam
evam yo vetti tattvatah
tyaktva deham punar janma
naiti mam eti so ‘rjuna

“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” (BG 4.9)

Thus, faith has such a crucial role to play. The value of faith should never be undermined. It is the most valuable asset of a practicing devotee, losing which, a devotee may lose the chance to go back to Godhead in this life. The billion dollar question is, “why are we not able to have the required faith?”

maha-prasade govinde
nama-brahmani vaisnave
svalpa-punya-vatam rajan
visvaso naiva jayate

“For those who have amassed very few pious activities, their faith in maha-prasad, in Sri Govinda, in the Holy Name and in the Vaishnavas is never born.” (Source: Mahabharat)

It is clear from the above verse that one must have a prior record of pious activities in bulk from one’s past lives in order to obtain this faith. But can we do anything about our past lives? No. So what is the solution to this problem. It is said that if we do not have the requisite sukriti then even if Krishna comes in front of us we won’t be able to recognize Him.

We do not have faith that is why we are not advancing. And because we are not advancing, in spite of our efforts, that is why we are not having faith. This seems a vicious circle. The Vaishnavas can increase our faith but we do not even have faith in the Vaishnavas. The scriptures may also increase our faith but once again we do not have faith in the scriptures. We are stuck in a terrible situation where nothing seems to remove our deficiency of faith.

Krishna further tells Arjuna,

moghasa mogha-karmano
mogha-jnana vicetasah
raksasim asurim caiva
prakrtim mohinim sritah

Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demonic and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated. (BG 9.12)

Shrila Prabhupad writes something very important in the commentary on the above verse which must caution every devotee,

“There are many devotees who assume themselves to be in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service but at heart do not accept the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, as the Absolute Truth. For them, the fruit of devotional service-going back to Godhead-will never be tasted.”

Thus, an atheist stands no chance of deliverance. And to some extent we all are atheists. Is there any Lord who is still ready to deliver us? Is there any Lord who is ready to have pity on us? Is there any Lord who is ready to accept the fact that neither we have transcendental faith nor the requisite sukriti to obtain that faith, and still accept us as His own? Yes. Only Nitai. Doyal Nitai.

pasandi o dekhilei matra kare stuti sarvasva dibare sei ksane haya mati

“Seeing Lord Nitai, even the blasphemers and atheists offered prayers to Him and yearned in their hearts to offer all they possessed to Him.” (Chaitanya Bhagawat, 3.5.358)

It is worth mentioning the commentary of Shrila Bhaktisiddhant Saraswati Prabhupad on the above verse,
“Those who consider transcendental Vishnu and Vaisnavas as equal to mundane objects or ordinary persons are called pasandis, or atheists. Even such godless people would offer respect to Nityananda Prabhu when they saw Him. By seeing the Supreme Lord, their mundane conceptions based on material enjoyment were vanquished. Therefore they ended up surrendering everything to the Lord. Those who surrender everything to the Supreme Lord do not see the external world as the object of their enjoyment, in other words, they become liberated souls.”

Thus, Nitai’s darshan does not need prior faith but the required faith is obtained by His darshan only. Faith continues to remain important. But in the case of Nitai there is no reason to worry. Nitai is so compassionate that He not only rewards us faith in Himself but also in Hari, Guru, Vaishnavas, Dhams, Harinam, etc. The darshan of pure devotees also builds up our faith. But if by mistake we commit some offense at their lotus feet then we are finished. There is no such fear with Nitai, because,

(emon, doyāl to nāi he, mār kheye prema dey)

“Oh! Such a merciful personality as Nitai is not to be found anywhere! He suffers a beating from Jagai and Madhai and still gives them the love of God!”

There is no difference between the Name of Nitai and Nitai Himself. Thus, the same applies for His Name as well. We can have Nitai’s darshan in the form of His Name syllables by the unique process of Nitai Vayulekhan. Don’t you think we must also increase everyone else’s sukriti by spreading Nitai’s Name and Nitai Vayulekhan as far as possible. That will be the greatest welfare activity that we can perform in this rare human form of life.

Moreover, all those who would never surrender to Krishna will surely surrender to Nitai. Who will never surrender to Krishna? Once again let’s hear from Krishna Himself regarding this,

na mam duskrtino mudhah
prapadyante naradhamah
mayayapahrta-jnana
asuram bhavam asritah

“Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest among mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.” (BG, 7.15)

As a matter of fact, Krishna is referring to all of us as we all fall in these categories only. Shrimad Bhagwatam states that people in Kali Yug are grossly foolish and elsewhere it is written that we all are born as shudras in Kali Yug. As far as knowledge is concerned we are taught only the illusory subjects in modern schools and colleges. So no hope of receiving transcendental knowledge. In short, we have really become atheistic in Kali Yug. Hence, people in general, do not even like to talk about Krishna. And even if they do take up the process of Krishna consciousness, very rarely does anyone surrender to Krishna genuinely. Surrender needs faith and faith is what we lack. Hence, unfortunate souls like us can only surrender to Nitai for He does not mind a deficiency of faith as He is always eager to remove it Himself.

Worthless disciple of Shrila Nitaipreshthji,
Nitaimani das

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Nitaimani das

Preacher of Nitainam Dhyan, Spiritual Author, and disciple of B.S. Nitaipreshthji

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