Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī’s style was very peaceful. Mahāprabhu chose Rūpa Goswāmī as the leader of His sampradaya, and so there is special honour for Rūpa Goswāmī. Śrīla Sanātan Goswāmī was very busy in Vṛndāvan, but Rūpa Goswāmī Prabhu was not so busy like Sanātan Goswāmī. Śrīla Dās Goswāmī was following Rūpa Goswāmī. Dās Goswāmī was also a shy-natured man. And Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī was exalted with his quality and qualification, both. He was a great fighter for the sampradāya. Śrīla Prabhupād Saraswatī Goswāmī’s nature was like Jīva Goswāmī.
Śrīla Guru Mahārāj’s nature was something like Jīva Goswāmī, and something like Rūpa Goswāmī. Guru Mahārāj liked to fight, that was his nature. Anywhere that any fighting was going on, he was the first to go there. Once Guru Mahārāj was sick in Badarik Ashram, and with Guru Mahārāj was a qualified party: they were big pandits with different types of qualifications, like Sanskrit. A paṇḍit come and debated with our paṇḍits while Guru Mahārāj was in the next room, sick with pneumonia. But our paṇḍits could not control that visiting paṇḍit. Then Guru Mahārāj sat up in his bed and said, “Who is talking, bring him to me.” They went to Guru Mahārāj’s room, and that man took an atheistic position for debating with Guru Mahārāj, but seeing the face of Guru Mahārāj, and hearing only one śloka from Guru Mahārāj, he fell down at his lotus feet.
That paṇḍit asked, “What is the proof that the ātmā exists? Is there any proof?” And Guru Mahārāj immediately told that man,
hy astīti nāstīti bhidārtha-niṣṭhaḥ
[vyartho ’pi naivoparameta puṁsāṁ
mattaḥ parāvṛtta-dhiyāṁ sva-lokāt]
(Śrīmad Bhāgavatam: 11.22.34)
[The speculative argument of philosophers — “This world is real,” “No, it is not real” — is based upon incomplete knowledge of the Supreme Soul and is simply aimed at understanding material dualities. Although such argument is useless, persons who have turned their attention away from Me, their own true Self, are unable to give it up.]
That man was shocked to hear this, because he knew that śloka, he confessed. He took the feet of Guru Mahārāj, “Mahārāj, the answer is coming timely to you, not to me. This is the difference from you and me. I do not want to debate with you.” He was a great paṇḍit, but he surrendered to Guru Mahārāj.
ātmāparijñāna-mayo vivādo hy astīti nāstīti
“It is existing or not?” This type of question always comes, but we are all seeing that it is existing. When the body dies, the spirit goes out from the body and the body is spoiled. What better example can you give than this? Within the body was a kind of spirit, and when it goes from the body, within three days it will be spoiled and gas will come from that body. It is proved, but still they are asking, “It is or not?”
Everywhere we see the quality and qualification of ātmā, in everything we see the presence of ātmā. I am talking with you, you are intelligent, I am also intelligent, and we are both talking diplomatically about everything; who is doing that? Who is the diplomat living inside? You want to defeat me, and I want to defeat you, but in which way, and who is holding that brain? And when it is going out from the body everything is useless. There will be only insects, and nothing else inside. After three days you will only get insects growing there.
Spoken by Srila Gurudev during his visit to Italy in September 2000