The Bhagavata Ethics

To prevent the individual souls from leaving His service would be to strip them of their free will, which in turn would remove all chance of a loving relationship between God and all souls. Therefore, the Supreme Lord does not prevent us, in the name of kindness, from exercising our free will, even though it means we turn away from Him in the process.
Science of Identity Foundation – Tusta Krishna Das
Reading Supplement

The Bhagavata Ethics

Its Philosophy, Its Ethics, and Its Theology

By Kedarnath Dutta Bhaktivinode1

“O Ye, who are deeply merged in the knowledge of the love of God and also in deep thought about it, constantly drink, even after your emancipation, the most tasteful juice of the Srimad-Bhdgavatam, come on earth through Sri Sukadeva Gosvami’s mouth carrying the liquid nectar out of the fallen and, as such, very ripe fruit of the Vedic tree which supplies all with their desired objects.” (Srimad-Bhagavatam, 1/1/3)

We love to read a book which we never read before. We are anxious to gather whatever information is contained in it and with such acquirement our curiosity stops. This mode of study prevails amongst a great number of readers, who are great men in their own estimation as well as in the estimation of those, who are of their own stamp. In fact, most readers are mere repositories of facts and statements made by other people. But this is not study. The student is to read the facts with a view to create, and not with the object of fruitless retention. Students like satellites should reflect whatever light they receive from authors and not imprison the facts and thoughts just as the Magistrates imprison the convicts in the jail! Thought is progressive. The author's thought must have progress in the reader in the shape of correction or development. He is the best critic, who can show the further development of an old thought; but a mere denouncer is the enemy of progress and consequently of Nature. “Begin anew,” says the critic, because the old masonry does not answer at present. Let the old author be buried because his time is gone. These are shallow expressions. Progress certainly is the law of nature and there must be correction and developments with the progress of time. But progress means going further or rising higher. Now, if we are to follow our foolish critic, we are to go back to our former terminus and make a new race, and when we have run half the race, another critic of his stamp will cry out: “Begin anew, because the wrong road has been taken!” In this way our stupid critics will never allow us to go over the whole road and see what is in the other terminus. Thus the shallow critic and the fruitless reader are the two great enemies of progress. We must shun them.

  Editor's note: This is the full text of the famous speech that we have repeatedly quoted throughout this dissertation. It is one of the few extant samples of English writing that ever came from the pen of Bhaktivinode.