Everything you need to become Krishna conscious at home

Identity of Lord Chaitanya

wp-content/uploads/2013/12/1960-03-16-01-208x300.jpg

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is no other than the combined form of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna. He is the life of those devotees who strictly follow the footprints of Sri Srila Rupa Goswami.

Srila Rupa Goswami and Srila Sanatan Goswami both are principal followers of Sri Swarup Damodar Goswami who acted as the most confidential servitor and constant companion of Lord Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whose name was known as Viswambhar in His early life.

And from Srila Rupa Goswami, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami comes as the direct disciple and the author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita i. e., Sri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami stands to be his direct follower.

From Goswami Krishna Das Kaviraj the direct disciple is Srila Narottam Das Thakur who accepted Viswanath Chakrabarty as his servitor. Viswanath Chakrabarty accepted Jagannath Das Babajee from whom Srila Bhaktivinode Thakore was initiated and Srila Gour Kishore Das Babajee the spiritual master of Om Vishnupada Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Prabhupad—the Divine spiritual Master of our humbleself.

The above is the chain of disciplic succession from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu down to our humbleself. As such in this English Commentation of the Chaitanya Charitamrita there will be nothing new manufactured by our tiny brain. It will contain only the remnants of foodstuff that was originally eaten by the Lord Himself. Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu does not belong to the mundane plane of three qualitative modes. He belongs to the transcendental plane (spiritual sky) which is beyond the reach of imperfect sense perceptions of a living being domiciled in the material sky. No living being including the highest erudite mundane scholar because of his residence in the material sky can approach the transcendental plane unless he submits himself to the transcendental sound transmitted from the far beyond spiritual sky and received through the aural sources in a receptive mood. In that mood only the message of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu can be realised. As such everything that will be described here has nothing to do with any sort of experimental thought created by the speculative habit of an unrest mind. It is not a mental concoction but spiritual experience in fact which can be mentioned only by acceptance of the line of disciplic succession as described above keeping the transmission of sound in perfect order. Any deviation from that line will bewilder the reader in understanding the mystery of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita which is a transcendental literature meant for postgraduate study of a student who has not only heard but also has realised all the essence of Vedic literatures such as Upanishad, Vedanta etc. and their natural commentations, Sri Bhagwat Gita and Srimad Bhagwatam respectively. This commentation of Chaitanya Charitamrta is presented for the study of sincere English scholars who are really seeking the Absolute Truth. It is not an arrogance of scholarship of a mental speculator but it is a sincere effort to serve the order of a Superior Authority whose service is the life and soul of this tiny effort.

There is not a bit of deviation from the revealed scriptures and anyone who is in the line will be able to catch up the essence of this book simply by the method of submissive aural reception.

The purport of the first part put up as an essay is as follows:—

There are in the beginning fourteen Sanskrit Slokas as it will appear in the text portion describing the Absolute Truth. The next three slokas in Sanskrit describe the three principal deities of Vrindaban namely Sri Sri Radha Madan Mohan, Sri Sri Radha Govinda Deva and Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Ji.

Out of the first 14 slokas, the first one is the symbolic representation of the Supreme Truth. And the whole of the first part is as a matter of fact devoted to this single sloka. In that description, relevant facts in the matter of the spiritual master all described. The spiritual Master is bifurcated into two plenary facts called by the names of initiator spiritual master and instructor spiritual master. Both of them are one and identical because both of them are phenomenal manifestations of the Supreme Truth. Then there are devotees who are divided into two classes namely, the apprentice and the passed. The Supreme Lord exists with innumerable beams and expansions. Such expansions are called incarnations of the potency, incarnation of the quality and incarnation of authority. They are therefore three in all. The Lord is described in His manifestive and pastimeous features. His potencies are described to be three principally. Such potencies are described as the consorts in the kingdom of God, the Queens of Dwarkadhama the highest of all of them are the damsels of Braja. Lord Sri Krishna and His different plenary portions are all in the category of the Lord Himself while His devotees are considered as eternal associates. As such the devotees are also His potencies. The potent and the potency being unavoidably one and the same thing they are fundamentally one. But the function of the two being differently exhibited, they are simultaneously different also. Thus the Absolute Truth is manifested by diversity in one Unit. This philosophical truth in pursuance of the Vedanta Sutra is called ‘Achinta Veda Ved Tatwa’ or the conception of simultaneously one and different from the Absolute Truth. And in the later portion of this Chapter the transcendental position of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and that of Sri Nityananda Prabhu is described with reference to the above theistic facts.

The author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita has begun practically with a respectful obeisance unto the three deities of Vrindaban namely Sri Radha Madan Mohan, Sri Radhagovinda and Sri Radhagopinath ji. These three deities of Vrindaban are the life and soul of the Bengali Vaishnavas who have a natural aptitude for domiciling in Vrindaban and they are known as the Goudiya Vaishnavas. The Goudiya Vaishnavas who are strictly in the line of Sri Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu do worship the Divinity by chanting the Mantra composed of eighteen letters. Such chanting of transcendental sound belonging to spiritual sky is meant for developing a sense of transcendental relation with the Supreme Lord reciprocation of mutual affectionate mellows and takes on to achieve the desired success in loving service. The three deities mentioned above are the object of worship in three different stages of development and the followers of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu scrupulously follow these principles of approach.

Goudiya means the Bengali. The part of land in India between the southern side of Himalaya Mountain and Northern part of Vindiya Hills is called Aryavarta or the land of the Aryans. This portion is divided into five parts or provinces called by the name of Pancha Gouda. Such divisions are called Saraswat (Kushmere Punjab), Kanyakubja (Uttar Pradesh encircling the city of Lucknow), Mudhya Gouda (M.P.), Maithila (Bihar and part of Bengal) and Utkal or Orissa. Bengal is called by some as Gouda Desha partly due to her forming portion of Maithila and partly because the capital of Hindu king Raja Lakshman Sen who was known as Gouda. Later on this portion of Bengal’s old capital came to be known as ‘Goudapura’ and gradually as Mayapura. The devotees of Orissa are called the Orias and in the same way the devotees of Bengal are called ‘Goudiyas.’ That is the summary history of the Goudiya Vaishnavas, and the devotees of the Southern India are known as Drabiras Devotee. As there are five provinces in the Aryavarta so beyond there is Dakshinatya which is also divided into five provinces called Pancha Dravirs. All four Vaishnava Acharyas as well as Sripad Sankaracharya of the Mayavad school all of them appeared in the provinces of the Pancha Dravir. Amongst the Vaishnava—Acharyas, all of whom are accepted by the Goudiya Vaishnava, Sri Ramanuja Acharya appeared in the southern part of Andhra Desha at Mahubhutapuri. Sri Madhyacharya appeared at ‘Pajakam’ in the district of Mangolese near Vimangiri. Sri Vishnu Swami appeared at Pandya and Sri Nimbarkar appeared at Mengyerpattam in the extreme southern end. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu for all practical purposes accepted the chain of disciplic succession of Madhyacharya. His line of Vaishnavas do not accept the Tatwavadis who also claim as descendant of Madhyacharya. To keep a clear distinction from them the Vaishnavas of Bengal call themselves as Goudiya Vaishnavas. Besides this, Shri Madhyacharya is known by another name called Sri Goudiya Purnanda. And therefore Madhya Goudiya Sampradaya is just the suitable name of the Goudiya Vaishnava.

Now coming again to the first fourteen slokas the author wishes to offer his obeisances to his spiritual master, the Vaishnavas or devotees of the Lord and to the Lord Himself. By doing so the author desires success in his great attempt. By remembering these three foremost guardians of success one can overcome all stumbling blocks in the path of devotional service. And as such one can achieve the desired object very easily.

Such auspicious functions can be ascertained in three different ways. The 1st one is to ascertain the object of worship, the second one is obeisances and the 3rd one is benediction.

Out of the 1st fourteen slokas, two only are meant for offering respectful obeisances to the object of worship particularly and ordinarily.

In the third sloka the object of worship is ascertained which gives us direction to the path of the Absolute Truth. In the four slokas the author offers his holy benedictions to the people in general by wishing the Divine Grace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

In the fourth sloka, the object of Sri Chaitanya’s appearance is superficially described. But in the 5th and 6th Slokas the confidential reasons of Sri Chaitanya’s appearance are distinctively described.

Therefore out of the fourteen slokas, six are devoted for delineating the Truth of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu whereas from the 7th to the 11th slokas the truth about Sri Nityanand Prabhu is elaborately described. In the next two slokas, i.e., by the slokas Nos. 12 & 13, the truth about Sri Adwaita Prabhu is described. In the 14th sloka the summary is made as five Tatvas or five principal factors of the Absolute Truth.

The acts of auspiciousity are therefore chronicled in these fourteen slokas. And in the midst of such auspicious action, the object of worship is definitely ascertained.

Now the author wishes to offer his respects to all the readers and audience of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita just in the manner of a humble Vaishnava before he makes a vivid analysis of each and every one of the above 14 slokas. After offering his obeisances to all the audience he requests them to hear him attentively what he says about Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu with reference to the context of revealed scriptures.

The first one of the above 14 slokas is described as follows:—

Vande Gurunisaabhaktani-
shamustavatarakan Tatprakash-
amascha tachahhakti Krishna
chaitanya Samgakam

Shri Krishna the Personality of Godhead enjoys by His six different potencies and expansions as follows:—

(1) Krishna Himself, (2) His incarnation, (3) His plenary manifestation (4) His devotees who act as two kinds of spiritual masters and (5) His different energies. The author offers his obeisance to all these six principles of the Absolute Truth.

The two spiritual masters are (1) the initiator and (2) the instructor. He is first of all offered respectful obeisances. There is no difference between the initiator and the instructors spiritual master. Although there is influence of functions of the two types of spiritual master, there is no difference in identity.

The instructor spiritual masters are the six Goswamins called by the name (1) Sri Rupa, (2) Sri Sanatan, (3) Sri Bhatta Raghunath, (4) Sri Jiva, (5) Sri Gopal Bhatta and (6) Sri Raghunath Das Goswami. The author accepts them as his instructor spiritual masters. By such acceptance it is specifically made clear that nobody should be accepted as a Goudiya Vaishnava who has no obedience to these six Goswamins. He therefore offers his respectful obeisances unto them.

He proceeds on further to pay his respects unto those unalloyed devotees to which Sribas Thakur is the leading one. After this the author desires to pay his homage unto Adwaitaprabhu who is the plenary portion of the Lord. And then he proposes to make his obeisances unto Sri Nityananda Prabhu, counter manifestation of the Lord Himself.

Shri Gadhadhar Prabhu is the eternal energy of the Lord Himself and the author offers his obeisances unto Him with all respects.

Shri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the Personality of Godhead Himself and this author offers his obeisance more than thousand and one times at His Lotus feet.

The above is the process of approaching the Supreme Lord by gradual appreciation. That is the way of devotional service. If anyone desires unalloyed devotional service, one must keep his aim for associating with the devotees of Shri Krishna. By the association of the devotees only, a conditioned soul can achieve a taste for such transcendental love. By such association of devotees only one can revive his eternal relation with Godhead in His specific manifestation as well as in the specific transcendental mellows which one has eternally imbibed in him. If any one of such neophyte devotees wants to know more about the Supreme Truth Sri Krishna such fortunate devotee takes shelter of one or more than one spiritual masters and submissively enquires from them in the science of devotion. There are two ways of understanding the truths about Sri Krishna. A devotee who is already attracted by the Name, Form, Quality etc. of the Supreme Lord may be directed to the specific manner of devotional service without wasting time in the matter of logical approach. The expert spiritual master knows well how to engage one’s energy in the matter of transcendental loving service of the Lord and thus according to the devotees special tendency, he is engaged in the species of devotional service. The initiator spiritual master is one only because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one initiator spiritual master is always forbidden. But there is no limit for accepting a number of instructor spiritual master. Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in the matter of spiritual science becomes the initiator spiritual master later on.

We should always remember that a person who is reluctant to accept a spiritual master for initiation is sure to become baffled in his endeavour to go back to Godhead. Such person who is not properly initiated may present himself as a great devotee but in fact he is sure to encounter many many stumbling blocks on his way of progressive march towards spiritual realisation and the net result is that he has to continue the term of his material existence without any relief. Such helpless person is compared with a ship without a rudder as such a careless ship cannot reach her destination. It is imperative therefore to accept a spiritual master if at all anyone desires to gain the favour of the Lord. Service of the spiritual master is essential in this matter.

If there is no chance of directly serving the spiritual master, then the devotee does serve him by remembering his instructions only. There is no difference between the spiritual master’s instructions and the spiritual master himself. In his absence, therefore, his words of direction shall be the guide of the disciple. If a man thinks that he is above all suspicion and therefore there is no need of consulting any other else including the spiritual master, he becomes at once an offender in the lotus feet of the Lord and an offender can never go back to home back to Godhead. It is imperative also that a seriously inclined person must accept a bonafide spiritual master in terms of the Shastric injunction and give up the company of a pseudo spiritual master in terms of social usages and hereditary or customary and ecclesiastic conventions.

Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami is one of the authorised spiritual masters and as such he teaches us worship of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu along with His all constant associates. Such associates are principally six such as (1) Guru or the spiritual master (2) Isabhakta or the principle of servitorship (3) Isaprakasa or the principle of manifested Godhead (4) Isavatara or the principle of incarnations of Godhead (5) Isasakti or the principle of potency of Godhead and Isaswarupa or the principle of Supreme Lordship in Person.

These principles are adored at once by chanting the following transcendental sound namely—

Sreekrishna Chaitanya
Prabhu Nityananda.
Sree Adwaita Gadhadhar
Sreebasadi Gour Bhakta-Vrinda.

In this arrangement Shrikrishna Chaitanya is the Personality of Godhead Himself and Shri Nityananda is manifested Godhead available to everyone and all without any distinction. As such He is the original spiritual master as well. All spiritual masters therefore must be as good as Shri Nityananda Prabhu without imitation. The followers of Nityananda Prabhu both in theory and practice are all descendants of the Lord. The family of Nityananda Prabhu is not fixed up in a particular type of flesh and blood or the bones ever. Shri Nityananda Prabhu does not belong to any ingredients of the mundane world. There is no difference between His body and self as ordinary living being. It is an offense therefore to bring in Nityananda Prabhu to the characteristics of mundane plane and falsely claim to become His flesh and blood. Anyone following the instructions of Shri Nityananda Prabhu and duly authorised by an Acharya can perform the duty of bonafide spiritual master. Such spiritual master is intimately connected with Shri Nityananda Prabhu but he can never claim to be identical with Him although he is no lesser than Him in the matter of spiritual mastership.

Shri Adwaitaprabhu is the incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, Shri Gadhadhar Prabhu is His Internal Potency and Shri Nivas Prabhu is the Chief of His innumerable devotees and servitors. The external potency of Godhead is called Maya who can never stay as intimate associate of the Lord as much as darkness cannot remain in the presence of light, although darkness has no independant existence without light. Darkness is an illusion and temporary cover of the light.

The relation of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relation with the Supreme Lord. The spiritual master shall always represent himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead. The author of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita explains this fact very nicely in a number of Payars (Sonet). He says that according to the tenets of authoritative scriptures the spiritual master is equal in position like Shri Krishna because he bestows mercies upon his disciple.

A spiritual master is not therefore an enjoyer of facilities offered by a disciple but on the contrary he (the spiritual master) is a constant servitor as the parents are to their children. Without the most attentive service of the parents no children can grow up to a manhood and similarly without the care of the spiritual master nobody can rise up to the plane of transcendental service.

In the Sreemad Bhagwat (SB 11.17.22) Srikrishna the Personality of Godhead instructed Shri Uddhava as follows:

“My dear Uddhava, you can accept the spiritual master as Myself. You should not, as a matter of fact, consider the spiritual master as an ordinary man and thus belittle his personality. Guru or the spiritual master represents all the dominating gods.”

As we have already discussed the two principles of spiritual master namely the initiator spiritual master and the instructor spiritual master are one. So Srila Kaviraj Goswami says that the instructor spiritual master is as much a bonafide representative of Srikrishna, because Shrikrishna Himself also teaches us as instructor spiritual master from within and without. From within He teaches us as Paramatma our constant companion and from without He teaches us as it is in the Bhagwat Geeta and so also as the instructor spiritual master.

The spiritual master is called Acharya or the transcendental professor. Such professors of spiritual science initiate the disciple in the studies of spiritual science and the ceremony observed in this connection is called Upanayan or to bring one nearer the spiritual master. One who cannot be so brought nearer to the spiritual master is indicated as sudra who remains without any sacred thread. The sacred thread hanging on the body of a Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya is the symbol of such initiation by the spiritual master and the thread is not worth even a pie if the same is put on as a matter of boasting a high parentage. It is the duty of the spiritual master to initiate the disciple by thread ceremony and after such Samaskara or purificatory process, the spiritual master begins to teach the disciple Vedas. A Sudra born man is not debarred from such spiritual initiation but he must be approved by a spiritual master who is authorised to award the right of becoming a Brahmin, if he at all finds the disciple to be perfectly in order. Such spiritual master can be bonafide only if he has himself a perfect knowledge of the Vedic shastras and he himself is accustomed to abide by the injunctions of the Shastras. Specific description of this spiritual mastership as well as the sign of bonafide disciple are described both in the Manu Samheeta (2.140) as also in the Vayu Puranam.

In the Srimad Bhagwatam also (S.B. 11.29.6) Shri Uddhava Ji, after hearing from Shri Krishna all necessary instruction about Yoga, said, “Oh my Lord! transcendental poets or experts in the spiritual science cannot express their indebtedness unto You even though they are endowed with a prolonged life of a Brahma. They are so unable because nobody can estimate the volume of Your mercy which You manifest in the shape of a spiritual master from without and as the super soul from within; all for dissipating the unfavourable conditions of a living being and for revealing Yourself in his pure heart.”

In fact the Personality of Godhead out of His immense compassion only reveals Himself as the spiritual master. Therefore in the dealings of an Acharya there is nothing except a servitorship attitude on behalf of the Personality of Godhead. He is the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead. Therefore if any person poses himself as an Acharya without such servitorship attitude, then he will be considered as offender and such offensive attitude cannot be a qualification of the Acharya. Cent percent servitorship attitude of an Acharya makes him a bonafide manifestation of the Supreme Lord and a real representative of Shri Nityananda Prabhu. Dissatisfied by an attitude of sense-gratification by mundaner one criticizes a real Acharya, dictated by envious temperament. But a bonafide Acharya is nondifferent from the Personality of Godhead and therefore to maintain an envious attitude toward an Acharya is to envy the very Personality of Godhead producing a subversive effect in the matter of transcendental realisation.

As mentioned above a disciple shall always behave with his spiritual master as manifestation of Shri Krishna. But at the same time it would be remembered always that a spiritual master cannot imitate or is authorised to imitate every one of the transcendental pastimes of Shri Krishna. False spiritual master poses himself as identical with Shri Krishna in every action and exploits the sentiments of an innocent disciple in various ways. The impersonalist only can mislead the disciple that the spiritual master is identical with Krishna in every respect as such impersonalist desire ultimately to become one with Him. The real philosophy is Achinta Vedaved Tatwa which establishes everything as simultaneously one and different from the Personality of Godhead. That is the real position of a bonafide spiritual master. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami confirms this fact and says that we should always think of the spiritual master in terms of his intimate relation with Mukunda (Srikrishna). Srila Jiva Goswami, in his Bhakti-Sandarva (216), has clearly defined that a pure devotee’s observation of the spiritual master and that of Lord Shiva as one with the Personality of Godhead is estimated in terms of their becoming very much dear to Him (the Personality of Godhead) being identical in all respects. Following the footprints of Srila Das Goswami and that of Srila Jiva Goswami later Acharyas like Srila Viswanath Chakrabarty has also confirmed the same truth in his celebrated prayers on the spiritual master that the spiritual master is accepted as identical with the Personality of Godhead in all the revealed scriptures but he is so accepted for his becoming very much dear and confidential servant of the Lord. The Goudiya Vaishnavas therefore worship Srila Gurudeva (the spiritual master) in that light of being the servitor Personality of Godhead and in all old literatures of devotional service or in the songs of Srila Narottamdas Thakur, Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur or any other unalloyed Vaishnavas the spiritual master is always considered either as one of the confidential associate of Sreemati Radharani or the manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu.

A spiritual master who has to teach in the matter of transcendental science cannot be a mannerless and senseless deviated person. A mannerless person deviated from the truths of spiritual science cannot be designated as the bonafide Acharya. The Acharya spiritual master is divided into two as (1) liberated soul fully absorbed in meditation of devotional service and (2) as the invoker of spiritual consciences of a man by means of relevant instruction. The science of devotion is divided in respect of (1) the object of worship and (2) the means of worship. The Acharya who is authorised to deliver Krishna in the true sense of the term enriches the disciple with full spiritual knowledge and thus awakens him in the act of devotional service. To become initiated by the spiritual master means the beginning of submissive aural reception of transcendental instructions and thus to awaken him in the practical service of Vishnu. This procedure of devotional service is known as Avidheya or actions which one is duty bound to do, the initiator spiritual master is the Personal manifestation of Shri Shrila Madan Mohan Vigraha while the instructor spiritual master is the Personal representation of Shri Shrila Govinda Deva. Both these deities are worshipped in Vrindaban. Shrila Gopinath ji is the last attraction of spiritual realisations.

In the Bhagwat Geeta (Bg. 10.10) it is clearly stated as how Lord Shrila Govinda Deva instructs his bonafide devotee. He says that persons who are constantly engaged in His transcendental loving service are awarded by Him an attachment for Him by enlightenment of theistic knowledge. And by this awakening of Divine Consciousness the devotee is enabled to relish the specific transcendental mellow in which he is eternally related.

This awakening of Divine Consciousness is awarded to such persons only who are convinced by devotional service about the transcendental nature of the Personality of Godhead. They know that the Supreme truth is the one without a second all Spirit and powerful Person full with senses transcendental and from Him everything is generated. He is the fountain Head of all emanance. Such pure devotees are always merged in the knowledge of Krishna and being absorbed in Krishna Consciousness the pure devotees exchange thoughts and realisations like big scientists exchange their views and result of researches in scientific academy. By each exchange of thoughts in regard to Krishna gives pleasure to the Lord and as such with pleasure only Sri Krishna favours them with all enlightenment. The maxim in English ‘God helps them so to help themselves’ is also appreciable in this transcendental realm.

There are many such instances in the scripture about the Personality of Godhead’s action as the instructor spiritual master from within. He was the instructor spiritual master of Brahma the original living being of the cosmic creation. When Brahma was first created within this universe he was overwhelmed with and as to how he could apply his creative energy to decorate the whole cosmic situation. At first there was only sound and it resounded with the word ‘Tapa’ or to take trouble for spiritual realisation. One should voluntarily accept all sorts of troubles for spiritual realisation refraining from sense enjoyment. That is called ‘Tapa.’ The sense enjoyer can never realise God and His science. When Brahma thus initiated by Shri Krishna engaged himself in ‘Tapasya’ or in the acts of transcendental realisation, he was by the pleasure of Vishnu able to visualize the transcendental world in spiritual sky known as Vaikuntha. Modern science can affirm this statement by its several discoveries like radio electrons, television, automation, transmission of radio messages etc. But the science which was applied in the painstaking of Brahma the original father of mankind was still more subtler than modern science and in time the material scientist may be able also how we can communicate with the Vaikuntha world which is far beyond the material sky. When Brahma was able to enter into the Vaikuntha world, he enquired about the potencies of the Supreme Lord and the enquiry was met by the Personality of Godhead in six consecutive statements. They are as follows and they are exactly the instructions from the Personality of Godhead as the Supreme spiritual master (Bhagwat 2.19.30-35).

(1) Transcendental knowledge about Shri Krishna is deeper than the impersonal knowledge of Brahman. Such knowledge is not only related with the fame and Personality of Shri Krishna but also it includes all other knowledge which are all related with Shri Krishna. There is nothing in existence which is not related with Shri Krishna. In a sense there is nothing except Shri Krishna and yet nothing is Shri Krishna except His Primeval Personality of Godhead. All these knowledges make a complete transcendental science. And Vishnu wanted to give Brahma the full-fledged knowledge of all about them. The mystery of this transcendental knowledge eliminates in personal attachment for the Supreme Lord with a resulting effect of detachment for everything non-Krishna. And there are nine different transcendental means for attaining this stage which are substantiated by the submissive process of ‘hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet, worshipping, praying, assisting, fraternising and sacrificing everything for Him.’ These are different parts of the same devotional service which is full of transcendental mystery. The Lord said to Brahma that He was pleased upon Brahma and by His Grace only the mystery was being opened.

(2) The mystery is about His Personality and His transcendental Personal Form. The mystery is about the symptoms of His Form which is distinct from any form of mundane elements. The mystery about His immemorable forms as Shyamsunder, Warayus, Rama, Gour Sunder and His colour of the form namely whitish, yellowship, reddish, and cloudish. The mystery is about His qualities as responsive Personality of Godhead to the pure devotees and impersonal Brahman to the dry speculators. His uncommon activities like lifting of the Govardhan Hill, marrying as many as sixteen thousands of Queens at Dwaraka or to enter into Rasa Dance with the damsels of Braja expanding Himself in as many forms as there were the damsels. And many many other uncommon acts of which only one aspect of scientific knowledge is presented in the body of the Bhagwatgita so widely read and adored all over the world by all classes of scholars with as many interpretations as there are the number of empiric philosophers. Thus He disclosed Himself in all the above mysterious aspects. The truth was revealed to Brahma by the process of descending knowledge without any help of the ascending process. His mercy descends from Him to a devotee like Brahma or from Brahma to Narada and from Narada to Vyasa and Vyasa to Sukhdeva etc. in the bonafide chain of disciplic succession. We cannot discover the mystery by any of our mundane endeavour but it is opened only by His Grace to the proper devotee. And there are different stages of such devotees. The mystery is gradually opened in the proportion of gradual process of development of service attitude. In other words, the impersonalists who simply depend on the strength of their poor fund of knowledge by a speculative habit without any submissive service of hearing etc. as mentioned above, cannot penetrate into that mysterious region of transcendence where the Supreme Truth is a transcendental Person without a tinge of material elements. Discovering the mystery means eliminating of the impersonal feature realised by a common class of servitor.

(3) In the course of disclosing the mystery of transcendental Personality of Godhead, the word ‘Aham’ is deliberately used. This ‘Aham’ word is extensively used in the Bhagwad Geeta also which is the preliminary study of Shreemad Bhagwat. Impersonal feature of the Absolute Person is called Brahman is clearly explained in the Bhagwat with emphasis on the word ‘Aham.’ The Lord is never a created being of the cosmic manifestation. He exists prior to the creation of this material world. The impersonal Brahman or the inexplicable unknown are all subordinate to the transcendental person. And after the annihilation of this cosmic creation He shall exist eternally. In the Srutis or Vedas the same truth is explained in the following words namely, “There was Vasudeva only before creation and there was neither Brahma nor Shankara.” “Only Narayana was there and none else including Brahma and Rudra” etc. His existence means His Name, Fame, Form, Qualities, Paraphernalia everything. The king is there means the king is there with all his associates and aristocracy. The king is never alone. When the name of the king is uttered, all his estates and para- [this article ends here – Ed.]

ESSAYS AND TEXT

(First Part continued from issue XVI)

(4) This real and unreal feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is more explicitly explained as follows:—

Darkness is the name of absence of light. In light there is no darkness but it is the outside experience or negative conception of light. Similarly, the kingdom of God or the Vaikuntha world is the real reality without any change or annihilation. The material world is a temporary shadow of the Vaikuntha world and as such the life in the material world is temporary, knowledge imperfect and happiness flickering, as the shadow is always temporary and flicking and without any substance. The material world is the phenomenal representation of the noumenal Vaikuntha world. The sun rays is reflected by a mirror in darkness. The so-called light in darkness has no value if there was no sun. Reflection of the sun ray is a proof of the existence of sun. The living beings are so many separated fragments of the Supreme Whole. Such living entities in different categories of life enter into this material life and give it a false and temporary life. The matter is inert and therefore matter as it is has no automatic action. The sparks of the Supreme Lord or the living being handles matter in an enjoying spirit creates some interaction by different arrangement and the whole thing appears to be real. But actually the reality is not in the material world but it is in the spiritual world Vaikuntha. Both matter and the living entities are different energies of the same Supreme Lord although the living being is a superior energy than the material one.

(5) The example of interaction of the material elements is understandable in the matter of real and unreal existence. The five elements like the sky, air, fire, water and earth do enter into the making of any material body but still all of them are aloof from such material construction. Any material construction is nothing but an amalgamation or exchange of material elements in varied degrees. Although the sky is outside the body still it appears that it has entered all material constructions. In the same way the Personality of Godhead is far beyond the reach of a conditioned living being but yet He has entered everything in the material construction including atoms electrons. The Personality of Godhead in His all-pervading Paramatma or Super Soul feature does enter in every entity call it the biggest or the minutest but He is realised only by entity who is submissive and surrendered soul. Proportionate development of submissiveness is the order of spiritual realisation ultimately meeting the Supreme Lord in Person as a man meets another man face to face. The surrendered soul proportionate to his development of an attachment transcendental for the Supreme Lord feels the presence of his beloved everywhere and all his senses are engaged in the loving service of the Lord. His eyes are engaged in seeing the beautiful couple of Shri Radha and Krishna seated on the decorated throne underneath the desire tree in the transcendental land of Vrindaban. His noses are engaged in smelling the fragrance of flowers offered at the Lotus feet of the Lord. His ears are engaged in hearing the messages from the Vaikuntha world and his hands are busy in embracing the Lotus feet of the Lord and His associates. In such a way the Lord is manifested before the pure devotee from within and without and these are some of the mysteries of devotional relation of a devotee and the Lord bound up by the tie of spontaneous love which is the goal of life for every living being.

(6) Therefore those who are serious about the knowledge of the transcendental world, which is far far beyond the material cosmic creation—must approach a bonafide spiritual master to learn the science bothwise namely directly and indirectly. One has to learn bothwise namely the ways and means of approaching the desired destination as well as things which are hindrances to such progressive march. The spiritual master knows how to regulate the habits of a neophyte disciple and the serious student has to learn the science from him in all respects. There are different grades and standards of prosperity. The standard of comfort and happiness, conceived by the common man engaged in manual labour, is the lowest grade of happiness in relation with the body. The highest standard of such bodily comfort is achieved by the fruitive worker either for this life or the life after death by pious activities to reach up to the plane of Heaven the kingdom of the created gods with delegated powers. But this conception of comfortable life in Heaven is insignificant in comparison to the happiness of being one—in the impersonal Brahman. The happiness of Brahmananda or the spiritual bliss derived from the impersonal Brahman is also compared with a pit in the face of an ocean when one develops pure love for the Lord. Ever increasing ocean of transcendental happiness is derived from the association of the Personality of Godhead. To qualify oneself for reaching that stage of life is the highest perfection of life. One should try to purchase a ticket for going back to home back to Godhead and the price for such traveling ticket is an intense desire only. This intense desire is not easy to awaken even by continuous pious activities of crores of life. All associations of mundane relations are sure to be broken in course of time but once the relation is established with the Personality of Godhead, in different mellows—it is never to be broken even after the annihilation of the material world.

Srila Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami therefore quotes an authoritative passage from the songs of ‘Krishna Karnamrita’ composed by a great devotee Srila Bilwamangal Thakur. He was designated as Leelasuk. He intensely desired to enter into the eternal pastimes of the Lord and lived at Vrindaban for seven hundred years in the vicinity of Brahmakunda. Sri Bilwamangal Thakur appeared in South India and was the chief disciple of Vishnuswami. It is said that he installed Dwarkadhish Deity who was given over to the Ballava sect Vaishnavas for worship. He flourished in the 8th Century Saka. Chintamani was his instructor spiritual master because at first it is she only who had shown him the spiritual path. Soma Giri was his initiator spiritual master and Shri Krishna who is constantly decorated with the plume feather of a peacock was also his instructor spiritual master. He has adored all of them on equal term and that is the point we have to note down in this connection. In his adoration for Shri Krishna the Personality of Godhead, he describes that Srimati Radharani takes shelter under the shade of His lotus feet and enjoys the transcendental mellow of conjugal love. This complete treatise of Krishna Karnamrita is dedicated to the transcendental pastimes of Shri Krishna and Srimati Radharani. It is a book read and understood by the highest grade devotees of Shri Krishna.

In our conditioned state when we are engaged within the material body it is not possible to see Shri Krishna with these naked eyes. But we can feel His presence if we offer to Him bonafide service. And satisfied by such transcendental loving service only, the Lord, who is present in everyone’s heart as the Super Soul, gives His advices and favours us by sending His representative a liberated soul as our instructor spiritual master. Therefore it is imperative that in order to learn the transcendental science one must avoid the company of undesirable persons and shall always seek the company of the saints and sages who are able to impart us lessons on transcendental knowledge. The impregnated words of such realised soul penetrate within our heart and thereby eradicate all sorts of misgivings accumulated by years of our undesirable association. The undesirable persons, for a neophyte devotee, are (1) the gross materialists constantly engaged in the matter of sense gratification and (2) unbelievers who does not serve the Personality of Godhead but serves the senses and whims of the mind by speculative habit. Intelligent persons seeking for transcendental realisation shall avoid their company very scrupulously.

The advantage of such association with saints and sages who are constantly engaged in discussion of messages from Vaikuntha is described in the Bhagwat (3.25.22) which was spoken by Lord Kapila to His mother Devahuti. The Lord said, “By intimate relation with the devotees, it so happens that the impregnated words of Me are systematically discussed. And in their association only such messages become pleasing to the aural reception of the recipient. And in course of hearing these powerful words it is quite possible that the path of transcendental realisation becomes clearer and resulting in first of all a reverence for Me gradually developing into attachment and ultimately transcendental love for Me.” The process of transcendental realisation begins with a sense of reverence for the Lord. And by constant company with the saints and sages such reverence transforms into devotional service which drives away all sorts of unholy attachment for material objects. When he is thus cleaned of all misgivings a systematic steadiness follows giving birth to attachment leading ultimately to spontaneous love for Godhead.

And who is a saint? Only those who have unalloyed devotion for the Lord are pure saints. Due to such pure devotional love for the Lord such saints develop the sense of awakening of the Lord’s presence. In the Srimad Bhagwatam also it is said like this. The Lord said to Durbasha Muni who picked up a quarrel with a great householder devotee namely King Amburish. As a result of misunderstanding between the King and the Muni, the latter tried to kill the King when Sudarshan Chakra, the celebrated weapon of Godhead, appeared on the scene for protection of the devotee King. When Sudarshan Chakra attacked Durbasha Muni he fled away frightened by the weapon and sought shelter practically from all big Gods of the heaven. Everyone was unable to protect him so ultimately he approached the Personality of Godhead who also sent the Muni to beg pardon from the King and glorified His devotees by saying, “The saints are my heart and I am also their hearts. They do not know anything besides myself and reciprocally I also do not know anyone else besides them.” In the same way Maharaj Judhisthir addressed saint Vidur after his return from a tour of pilgrimage. The king said, “My dear Sir, saints like you are themselves pilgrimage personified. Such saints, on account of their hearts being occupied by the Personality of Godhead, can cleanse the place of pilgrimage polluted by the sinners who visit such places to purify themselves.”

Such devotees are of two different varieties namely, (1) the associates and (2) the neophytes. Perfect servitors are called associates whereas devotees who are endeavouring to attain perfection are called neophytes. Amongst the associates some of them are attracted by the opulence of the Personality of Godhead and others are attracted by conjugal love of Godhead. The former devotees are placed in the realm of Vaikuntha to render reverential service while the latter devotees are placed in Vrindaban for direct service of Shri Krishna.

The Personality of Godhead also expands Himself by three kinds of incarnations. They are (1) partial incarnation (2) qualitative incarnations are such as the three Purusha-Avatars expanded in the matter of creation of the material world and other incarnations like Matsa, Kurma, Varaha etc.

About the qualitative incarnations, the trio of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwur, to create, maintain and annihilate the material world, are counted. And instances of empowered incarnations are like the king Prithu and the Vedavyas Muni.

Apart from the incarnations of different categories of Personality of Godhead He manifests Himself in two similar expansions called by the name “Prakash” and “Vilash.” Shri Krishna married at Dwarka sixteen thousand queens and He was present with each and every one queen at the same time in the same Form also. Similarly, during Rasa Dance He expanded Himself in the same form to perform the duet with each and every damsel of Braja. Such innumerable forms of Godhead of the same original pattern is called “Prakash Vigraha.” When He expands Himself a little differently from His original form such as the form of Valadeva in Vrindaban and Narayana in Vaikuntha then He expands His Vilash Vigrahas. There is no difference in bodily forms of both Shri Krishna and Valadeva but the colour is different. Similarly in Vaikuntha Narayana has four hands while Shri Krishna has two hands only. So these forms of Valadeva and Narayana are called Vilash Vigrahas. The forms of Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Pradumna, Samkarshana etc. are also His Vilas expansions. This fact is corroborated by the words of Srimad Bhagwatam (10.33.35) “The All-powerful Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna engaged Himself in the performance of Rasa dance by placing Himself separately in between a group of two Gopis. All the Gopis present in the dance felt it individually that they were being embraced by the Lord as soon as the latter entered the dance. And to have a glimpse of this transcendental Rasa dance all the denizens of heaven appeared in planes accompanied by the respective consort. They then showered flowers from the sky in reverential delight. The showers of flowers from them were combined with celestial concert music.”

And the same Bhagwatam (10.69.3) description of the Lord’s Rasa Dance is given as follows:

“It was astonishing that Lord Shri Krishna who is one without a second expanded Himself in sixteen thousand similar forms to present Himself during His marriage with sixteen thousand queens in their respective homes.”

And in the Loghu-Bhagwatamritam compiled by Srila Sanatan Goswami the fact is corroborated as follows:— (L.B.A. 1/Abesh 9).

“Such innumerable forms exactly resembling each other in all respects are called ‘Prakash-Vigraha.'”

And so far the Vilash Vigraha is concerned as explained above the same Laghubhagabatamrita confirms as follows:

“By the inconceivable mystic powers of the Lord, when He presents Himself in different forms with equal potency the Lord is then known as Vilash Vigraha.”

Such Vilash Vigrahas are represented in Valadeva in Vrindaban and Narayana in Vaikuntha as well as His expansion in the Forms of Vasudeva, Aniruddha, Pradumna and Samkarshan.

The author of Shri Chaitanya Charitamrita thus explains the feature of different potencies of Shri Krishna. There are then primary different consorts of the Lord. They are called the Lakshmis Queens and the Damsels of Braja. Consorts in Vaikuntha are called Lakshmis as Lakshmi Narayana. Consorts in Dwarka are called Queens as Rukmini Krishna and the consorts in Vrindaban are called Gopis as Radha-Gopinath. Gopinath Shri Krishna who takes pleasure in being addressed as the son of the king of Braja (Nanda Maharaj) is the original form of the Personality of Godhead Shri Krishna.

Shri Krishna and His different incarnations potential power and all such innumerable expansions are associated with further smaller expansions or servitor expansions called by the name devotees. The Personality of Godhead remains overcrowded by His pure devotees and consorts. Therefore to offer prayers to the Lord must be preceded with prayers for His associates and this procedure is good in all respect for the praying devotee. The author has therefore offered his respects in the above manner and next he proceeds to deal with the 2nd Sloka out of the 14th prayful offerings.

The second sloka as referred to above is described as follows:

“I offer my respectful prayers to both the Lords namely Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda combinedly who have appeared as the sun and the moon on the tiger-hill horizon of Gouda Desha (Bengal) surprisingly at one and the same time.”

And who are these Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda? They are no other than the same Shri Krishna and Valarama who are the resources of all rays of the sun and the moon, both of them in persons appeared themselves simultaneously on the horizon of Gouda-desha.

Appearance of the Lords Shri Krishna Chaitanya and Nityananda causes disappearance of all sorts of darkness and the whole universe is enlightened thereof. By such enlightenment the substance is revealed like the sun and the moon reveal the perspective view of the world. By such dissipation of darkness by the Lords, religion in the real sense is explored by a common man. The appearance of these two transcendental brothers makes it easier to understand the Absolute Truth along with the disappearance of nesciences. Darkness which covers real knowledge is known as pretentious activities. Such pretensions of advancement in knowledge are called by the name of (1) religiosity, (2) economic development, (3) sense-gratification and at last but not the least, (4) the desire for liberation by merging with Brahman. This fact is corroborated by the 2nd beginning sloka of Shrimad Bhagwat as follows:—(Bhag. 1.1.2). The cult of Bhagwat Dharma is real religion for the complete set of living being and specially for the human kind whereas other cults within the categories of the above four items are pretension culture leading to unrest, war, pestilence, animosity, violence and envyness, conditions of corruption, bickerings, and all morbid state of social existence. (add here religion real and religion pretentious). B.T.G. No.—

Out of the above mentioned four kinds of pretentious activities the last one or the desire to get oneself merged into personal Brahman is the subtlest type of atheism.

As soon as such subtlest type of atheism, ambushed in the dress of liberation, is encouraged, the push of devotional service for the Supreme Personality of Godhead is completely blockaded by them.

Not only these pretentious activities but also other altruistic or subversive activities for sense gratification, all are derogatory to the progressive path of devotional service.

But by the mercy of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and that of Nityananda Prabhu, such misleading paths of darkness is dissipated and the real substance becomes revealed in true perspective.

And what is that substantial Reality? It is Sri Krishna the Supreme Personality of Godhead, His devotional service and to attain to the stage of love for Shri Krishna. The easiest way to gain all these at a time is the chanting of His transcendental Name.

The Sun or the Moon vanishes external darkness and exposes all material objects to the vision of the living being. But these two brothers penetrate into the innermost corner of one’s heart and eradicate nescience. After doing so they lead living being to meet two Bhagwats of whom one is called the Bhagwat Puranam and the other is called devotee Bhagwat. (Bhagwat means in relation with the Personality of Godhead).

These two types of Bhagwats are competent to impregnate the transcendental mellow of spiritual attachment and by such attainment of transcendental attachment, the Supreme Lord becomes Himself our constant companion.

The most astonishing feature of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu is that both of them have appeared simultaneously and they can very easily penetrate into the heart of the fallen soul. They are, therefore, veritably useful more than the mundane Sun and Moon and it is a fortune for the people of the world to be favoured by them.

Let us therefore pray at the lotus feet of these two brothers and this act of submission will scare away all kinds of opposition and will help in attaining the goal of life.

The author of Chaitanya Charitamrita thus finished the explanation of the first two stanzas and now he will attempt to explain the third one. The subject matter is so grave and sublime that it requires lots of explanation and has finished the job in as much as possible minimum words. One should speak shortly but it must carry on a volume of meaning. That is the beauty of impressive expostulation.

And anyone who will hear or read these explanations with rapt attention will certainly be benefitted in getting one’s darkness of ignorance illumined. And by such attainment of knowledge one is sure to develop a deep attachment for Shri Krishna.

The author has very carefully expostulated the truths in respect of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Shri Nityananda Prabhu and Shri Adwaita Prabhu as well as the glories of their respective devotees. The truths have been so nicely explained that anyone hearing them will understand the essence of transcendental truth in nutshell.

With all obedience and obeisance unto the lotus feet of the Goswamins headed by Srila Rupa and followed by Sri Raghunath-the author of Sri Chaitanya Charitamrita namely Shri Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami thus finishes the first chapter of the narration in the matter of prayers to the spiritual masters and their associates.

(To be continued)

Series Navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *