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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura > Upakhyane Upadesha > Rowing Along The Wind

Rowing Along the Wind


A landlord once had a sycophantic servant, who was only interested in grabbing something for hid own sense gratification by flattering his master.

   One day the landlord asked the sycophant, “Could you tell me what kind of vegetable is the potato?”

   The sycophant replied with an uneasy gesture and folded hands before the landlord, “O Lord! I pray that your honour may please narrate the nature of potato.  Please let us hear your wise words on this matter.”

   Then the landlord said, “Potato is the most delicious of all vegetables in this present age.”

   Even before the landlord could finish his statement, the sycophant butted in, “Yes, my Lord!  Really delicious!  Excellently delicious, pleasantly delicious, highly tasteful and dainty!  It is said that this round potato - boiled in rice, boiled in water, fried, mixed up in a subji, put in a soup or dahl, either in pickle condiment, or in rich gravy, or kofta - everywhere in every recipe, this round potato is omnipresent!  Is there any other vegetable comparable to it?  It is simply second to none, - unparalleled!!”

   Then the landlord rejoindered, “Whatever you say,  I should like to assert that potato is very agitating and very dull, in spite of the fact that it is tasteful.

   Immediately the sycophant blustered, “O yes lord, for sure. It is a really agitatingly agitating vegetable, very hot, excessively passionate, very difficult to cool down. My lord! We are being plagued by a new wave of unknown diseases nowadays! These are all due to this round potato. All sorts of flatulence, cholera, diarrhoea, diabetes, phthisis are resulting form this round potato - do you know, my lord ? Potato is certainly the root cause of all these troubles.”

The landlord then asked his fawning servant, “Well what is your opinion of eggplant?”

The sycophant replied, “O lord , let us first hear you, please. What is eggplant like?

The landlord began, “There is nothing bad about an eggplant! As far as I know, eggplant is a nice vegetable.”

   Again the servant spoke, “Yes lord! Let us look at it; there is hardly another beautiful vegetable like it. What else is required when we get two pieces of fried eggplant? Then even butter is not comparable to it! When one has nothing else in the house, only one piece of eggplant could serve the purpose of maintaining prestige of a householder - you can roast it, fry it, cook it in a subji, prepare a chutney - any way you like - that eggplant proves itself somewhat extraordinary among all vegetables. Still among all varieties of eggplant, take lapha eggplant - an excellent creation of the supreme godhead indeed!”

   After hearing all this, the landlord replied, “Anyhow, there is no nutritious value in an eggplant.

The sycophant said, “O my lord ,off cause! That’s why it is called “be-gun” which means “no value at potential value, but began, the eggplant is much more inferior to that. An eggplant gives more itching trouble in the mouth than any wild turnip or “kocu” root! Eggplant is the root cause of so many troubles. Eggplant carries eternal bad luck. That’s why it is often roasted before serving!”

   The landlord then retorted saying, “You’re a very strange fellow! When I say ‘Potato is good ‘ you also repeat,’ Yes, potato is very good’, and when I say ‘it is bad’ , then you also start pleading that it is very, very bad. When I said , ‘Eggplant is good’, then your appreciation for eggplant knew no bounds. When I said, ‘Eggplant is bad’ deprecating it as if it should never be considered as a vegetable. Don’t you  possess any personal integrity?’

   With folded hands and faltering voice the sycophant explained, “O my lord! Please have mercy, please forgive my offences. But, to be truthful, I am not a servant of a potato, nor of an eggplant - I am simply your servant, my lord! Whatever you say, my lord, I must say likewise. Potato will not provide me with a wage packet every month, and eggplant is not going to give me a job for my livelihood. I am your servant, so my lord’s voice should be my voice.”



Some people always row with the wind for their own advantage, and express their concocted opinions only motivated by their own selfish desires for gaining reputation. Sometimes they pretend to be devotees of Lord Shri Chaitanya, or patriots, social leaders, or simply unmindful lovers, or many other disguises. Basically they are impersonalists, or in other words, they do not believe in the eternal holy name, form, qualities, associates and pastimes of the Supreme Lord.

   Any appreciation or eulogising of Lord Shri Chaitanya expressed by such persons is simply their verbal expression, as they are anxious to pose themselves as “devotees” before the common people.

   Many such persons eulogise Lord Shri Chaitanyadeva with an ulterior motive of attracting some sort of honour and respect from a large community of Vaishnavas. But they are not at all interested in relishing the nectar of true instructions bestowed by Lord Shri Chaitanyadeva who deprecated such renowned ideologies as Buddhism, Sankaracarya philosophy, and the doctrines of fruitive work, mundane knowledge and meditational yogic philosophy. Those motivated persons do not accept Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s advice to worship Lord Vishnu only and to consider all other forms of demigods and goddesses as subordinate to Lord Vishnu. Nor can they endorse wholeheartedly the devotional practices of religion, wealth, lust, and liberation.

   This only happens because as there are many followers of Lord Shri Chaitanyadeva, similarly there exits a number of fanatics in the line of Shri Sankaracarya, Buddha, Madhvira Jina, Kumarila Bhatta, Kapila the atheist and the like, who preached non-devotional doctrines among the people.

   In this event, all motivated persons consider it beneficial to   their self-interest of earning name, fame and reputation to preach the doctrines of other communities than those of Shri Chaitanyadeva, since these non-devotional communities command a wide populace.

   Those who are devoid of the real urge for inquiring into the realm of eternal and absolute truth will always hush up the basic doctrines as propagated by Lord Shri Chaitanyadeva. These people are neither sincere followers of Lord Shri Chaitanyadeva, nor of Shri Sankaracarya. In fact they are basically opportunists trying to gratify their senses.

   These opportunists are of the opinion that “all doctrines are good”, but their real nature is exposed whenever it is clearly proved that the love for Lord Shri Krishna can never be equated with the non-devotional practices for gaining positions in the fields of religion, mundane wealth, material enjoyment,  and liberation from the cycle of birth, death, old age and disease.

   Any attempt in synthesizing all doctrines irrespective of their intrinsic merit is a hypocrisy. this was very boldly expressed by Lord Shri Chaitanyadeva, with reference to His reflections on one of His own devotees, Shri Mukunda Datta Thakura, thus,


          prabhu bale, o beta jakhan yetha jaye /

          sei moto katha kohi tathayi misaye //


          vasistha padaye jave advaiter sange /

          bhakti-yoge nace gaye trna kori dante //


          anya sampradaye giya yakhan sambhaye

          nahi mane bhakti, jathi maraye sadaye //


          bhakti haite bada ache-ye iha vakhane /

          nirantar jathi more mare sei jane //


Lord Chaitanya said : “Whenever that rascal (Mukunda) goes to the mayavadis          , he becomes like them, talking according to their theory. Whenever he studies the yoga-vasistha with Advaita Acarya, he dances in ecstasy holding straw in his teeth.

“And going to other sampradayas (mayavadis), when he speaks, not only does he neglect bhakti, he always attacks bhakti. One who says there is something better than bhakti, is beating Me.”

(Chaitanya Bhagavata M.10.188-191)


The person has made offences to devotional service and due to this he will never attain Krishna.

   Most of the professional narrators of scriptural and mythological stories, speakers, writers, authors etc. Try to entertain common people through their deliberations and performances only to attract some sort of material gains and fortunes. In fact, their expositions of devotional scriptures, are not truly expressive of their real love and devotion for the Supreme Lord.