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Disappearance Anniversary of Srila Ramanujacarya

Monday, 03 February 2020 / Published in Classes / 7,705 views

Topic: Maharaj Prthu’s Going Back Home Verse: SB 4.23.18 Occasion: Disappearance Anniversary of Srila Ramanujacarya Speaker: HG Jananivas Prabhu
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tam sarva-guna-vinyasam jive mayamaye nyadhat tam canusayam atma-stham asav anusayi puman jnana-vairagya-viryena svarupa-stho ‘jahat prabhuh

TRANSLATION: Prthu Maharaja then offered the total designation of the living entity unto the supreme controller of illusory energy. Being released from all the designations by which the living entity became entrapped, he became free by knowledge and renunciation and by the spiritual force of his devotional service. In this way, being situated in his original constitutional position of Krsna consciousness, he gave up this body as a prabhu, or controller of the senses. PURPORT: As stated in the Vedas, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the source of material energy. Consequently He is sometimes called maya-maya, or the Supreme person, who can create His pastimes through His potency known as the material energy. The jiva, or the individual living entity, becomes entrapped by the material energy by the supreme will of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In Bhagavad-gita (18.61) we understand: isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrd-dese ‘rjuna tisthati bhramayan sarva-bhutani yantrarudhani mayaya Isvara, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is situated within the heart of all conditioned souls, and by His supreme will the living entity, or individual soul, gets the facility to lord it over material nature in various types of bodies, which are known as yantra, or the moving vehicle offered by the total material energy, maya. Although the individual living entity (jiva) and the Lord are both situated within the material energy, the Lord is directing the movements of the jiva soul by offering him different types of bodies through the material energy, and thus the living entity is wandering throughout the universes in various forms of body and becomes implicated in different situations, partaking of the reactions of fruitive activities. When Prthu Maharaja became spiritually powerful by the enhancement of his spiritual knowledge (jnana) and renunciation of material desires, he became a prabhu, or master of his senses (sometimes called gosvami or svami). This means that he was no longer controlled by the influence of material energy. When one is strong enough to give up the influence of material energy, he is called prabhu. In this verse the word svarupa-sthah is also very significant. The real identity of the individual soul lies in understanding or attaining the knowledge that he is eternally a servant of Krsna. This understanding is called svarupopalabdhi. By culturing devotional service, the devotee gradually comes to understand his actual relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This understanding of one’s pure spiritual position is called svarupopalabdhi, and when one attains that stage he can understand how he is related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead as a servant or friend or as a parent or conjugal lover. This stage of understanding is called svarupa-sthah. Prthu Maharaja realized this svarupa completely, and it will be clear in the later verses that he personally left this world, or this body, by riding on a chariot sent from Vaikuntha. In this verse the word prabhu is also significant. As stated before, when one is completely self-realized and acts according to that position, he can be called prabhu. The spiritual master is addressed as “Prabhupada” because he is a completely self-realized soul. The word pada means “position,” and Prabhupada indicates that he is given the position of prabhu, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, for he acts on behalf of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Unless one is a prabhu, or controller of the senses, he cannot act as spiritual master, who is authorized by the supreme prabhu, or Lord Krsna. In his verses praising the spiritual master, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura writes: saksad-dharitvena samasta-sastrair uktas tatha bhavyata eva sadbhih ** “The spiritual master is honored as much as the Supreme Lord because he is the most confidential servitor of the Lord.” Thus Prthu Maharaja can also be called Prabhupada, or, as described herein, prabhu. Another question may be raised in this connection. Since Prthu Maharaja was a power incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, saktyavesa-avatara, why did he have to execute the regulative principles in order to become a prabhu? Because he appeared on this earth as an ideal king and because it is the duty of the king to instruct the citizens in the execution of devotional service, he followed all the regulative principles of devotional service in order to teach others. Similarly, Caitanya Mahaprabhu, although Krsna Himself, taught us how to approach Krsna as a devotee. It is said, apani acari’ bhakti sikhainu sabare. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu instructed others in the process of devotional service by setting the example Himself through His own personal actions. Similarly, Prthu Maharaja, although a saktyavesa-avatara incarnation, still behaved exactly as a devotee in order to achieve the position of prabhu. Furthermore, svarupa-sthah means “complete liberation.” As it is said (SB 2.10.6), hitvanyatha-rupam svarupena vyavasthitih: when a living entity abandons the activities of maya and attains the position from which he can execute devotional service, his state is called svarupa-sthah, or complete liberation. [End of Srila Prabhupada’s purport to SB 4.23.19]

HG Jananivas Prabhu: So today is also the disappearance of Srila Ramanujacarya. I will speak a little bit on his relationship with Mayapur dham. He visited Puri with his disciples. He was conquering the whole of India with his philosophy visistadvaita-vada. He was conquering and at that time he was in Puri and he was questioning the pundits that the system of worship recommended in Kali Yuga is pancaratrika worship but you all are using vaidiki worship because vaidiki worship, tantric worship. Pancaratriki worship is slightly in between. It is a mixture of both. Vaidiki worship consists of lots of long mantras, tantric, lots of rituals and things like that.

Pancaratriki worship is a little different or in between. So he said that, “It is recommended in kali Yuga that that Pancaratriki worship should go on. So you should change.” They got upset with him. The pundits became very, very scared. He was a very, very powerful personality at that time. He was influencing everyone. So the king also said, “You have to do something.” So the pundits prayed to Lord Jagannath “He is trying to change our seva.” So Jagannath was very old and he had the same seva going for long. Maybe He didn’t like changes also. (People don’t like changes when they get old.) Anyway he said, “Better you leave here.” He followed the Ramanujacarya seva.

He woke up in the morning and he wasn’t in Puri anymore. He was in … miles and miles away. Anyway Bhaktivinode Thakur mentions in the Navadvip Dham Mahatmya that actually Jagannath spoke to him. He said, “Anyway leave things as they are. But you should go and visit Mayapura – very special abode, Navadvip – My very favoured abode. You should go there. Then he woke up in Navadvip that next day. Then Jagannath spoke to him and said, “This is My eternal abode that has descended by the influence of My inconceivable potency. There is no place of maya here. This is the spiritual realm here. Here I appeared in the form of Lord Gauranga. I am teaching pure devotional service.”

Ramanujacarya said, “I have heard this name of Gauranga. It is there in scripture but it is kind of secret. Now You are speaking about it I can understand where it is all coming from. There are so many statements in the sastra about Gauranga’s appearance but it is all kept secret. Now I can understand what all this means.”

Then the Lord appeared to him as his worshipable Lords Laxmi narayan. So he was in ecstasy. Then Lord Narayan – they disappeared and They became Gauranga. He saw this beautiful form as Lord Gauranga. He said, “This is that form.” So he said, “Now I understand what the sastras are saying. It happens in Kali Yuga. So now I am going to go out and preach pure unalloyed devotional service to Krishna in these different mellows of Vrindavan. Just order me, just order me, I am ready to go conquer.”

Lord Jagannath said, “No, no, no. When I come I will do that. For the time being you cultivate and preach up to dasya rasa. Within your heart you can worship Me as your lover but you preach up to dasya rasa. When I come then I will present this.” He said, “I must be here when you perform Your pastimes.” So the Lord gave him the benediction that he would be here. So he appeared as Sri Ananta in Gauranga’s pastimes. He is also an incarnation of Anantasesa. It is also said it the Navadvip Dham Mahatmya that Anantasesa, Nagaraj went to see Visnu and he was offering so many prayers to the Lord. Then he said, “You are showed me so many of Your forms. You revealed to me so many things. Now I would like to see that form of Radha and Krishna, that original form.” He had gone to Svetadvip.

Lord Visnu said, “What are you asking Ananta? Even I can’t see Radha and Krishna’s pastimes. Brahma has to perform tapasya for hundred years and you are asking. After all you are a snake. You are not very intelligent. But if you are asking this question i can understand you must be the greatest devotee. Anyway you have to go to Navadvip then you will be able to understand.” If you understand the Lord’s form as Gauranga then you will be able to understand what is Radha and Krishna. Then he came here and had the darsan as Gauranga.

Lord Gauranga also instructed him that, “When I perform My pastimes you will also take birth there as the large bodied….. anybody knows?” Member from audience answers: Jai Nitai!] Jai Nitai. Nityananda Prabhu. Lord Nityananda Prabhu Ki! Jai! He is an incarnation of Nityananda Prabhu and Anantadev. So He appears here as Lord Nityananda Prabhu in the pastimes.

Our proposition is to the Ramanujacarya followers because they are very, very strong, especially in South India they are prominent, purifying all of the world actually. It is mentioned in the Bhagavatam that when pure devotees appear in South India they then maintain the pure principles of bhakti. So there are many followers of Ramanujacarya. So our proposition to them is that now your worship of the Lord as Ramanujacarya. All his followers need to follow His latest incarnation. That was many hundreds of years ago that he appeared as Ramanujacarya. Now He has appeared in Navadvip in the lasts incarnation as Nityananda Prabhu. So you should all actually follow Nityananda Prabhu. And He taught all to chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. And worship Radha and Krishna. The proposition – evidence is there from sastra. Vedic evidence is there. So if you are living in South India then you can convert all the Ramanujas to become followers of Mahaprabhu. Even if they worship Laxmi Narayan they will go back to Godhead very quickly because of that by the mercy of Panca-Tattva. Ramanuja Mahasayi Ki Jai.

“Prthu Maharaja then offered the total designation of the living entity unto the supreme controller of illusory energy. Being released from all the designations by which the living entity became entrapped, he became free by knowledge and renunciation and by the spiritual force of his devotional service. In this way, being situated in his original constitutional position of Krsna consciousness, he gave up this body as a prabhu, or controller of the senses.” [SB 4.23.18]

They asked Srila Prabhupada how can Sri Caitanya say that: trnad api sunicena taror api sahisnuna amanina manadena kirtaniyah sada harih [ [Cc. Adi 17.31]

How can he say that, “I am lower than a blade of grass.” He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is not lower than a blade of grass. Prabhupada said He could say that because He understood that I am one ten thousand the size of the tip of the hair. (Which He is not.) The soul is considered one ten thousand the tip of the hair. We are all one ten thousand the tip of the hair. Everything is emanating or coming from Krishna. He is the Supreme source of everything. So He is not one tenth thousand the tip of a hair.

Prabhupada said, “He is playing as a bhakta but He is actually believing that, “I am one ten thousand the size of the tip of the hair.” Therefore ayi nanda tanuja kinkaram, he can pray with such feeling, such devotion. He is understanding… So this is Mahaprabhu setting the example. … impossible for the people of Kali yuga. So this is the example. We have to follow this example then we will also get the results of these examples, being situated in our constitutional position – Krishna consciousness and free from designation. This is the beginning of spiritual life, situated properly in the svarup – our original constitutional position, waking up our real identity.

Vrinda devi is svarupa-stho. [As mentioned in the verse above.] They tried to move her from Kamyavana. She just sat there. They wanted to take Vrnda devi to Jaipur. They stopped at Kamyavan and tried to move her but nobody could lift her. She remained there fixed. That is happening there in Vrindavan. The description of Vrindadevi is given by Rupa Goswami in Radha Krishna Ganadesa Dipika. She is always immersed in love for Radha and Krishna. She is always helping to arrange for Their meetings and she is always trying to assist Their transcendental pastimes. So this is her fixed consciousness. It is fixed on her service to Radha and Krishna. It is not her love for Radha and Krishna or my love for Krishna. We have to love. It is me and Krishna. It is not exactly my love for Krishna but it is Krishna. Krishna’s love for Radha and Radha’s love for Krishna. This is important. My love for Krishna is not so important. It is Raha’s love for Krishna that is important.

So there devotees are assisting to enhance Radha and Krishna’s love and not my relationship or my love for Krishna above Hers. She is shy. This is their attitude. They simply want Radha and Krishna’s love. They are assisting in that loving relationship… Rukmini Devi Dasi made a very wonderful statement. She said that actually the centre of creation is a love affair – It is Radha and Krishna. The centre of the creation is a love affair. That is a fact – aham sarvasya prabhavo [Bg 10.8] So it is a fact that is what is happening. This is the original feature of Godhead – Radha and Krishna whom all the other features of God come from. All the other relationships come from there. Everything comes from there.

So that is actually the centre of creation. It is a love affair and the maha mantra, Hare Krishna is the musical … for the film or the drama. You have a love story and then you have a musical theme in a movie. So Hare Krishna is the musical theme. So everyone there is chanting Hare Krishna. Actually the spiritual world is made of Hare Krishna. Prabhupada says in his explanation of Hare Krishna – Mother Hara or Radha please engage me in Your service. Radha Krishna – Hare Krishna.

So this is what the picture of Vrindvan is. Everything is assisting Radha and Krishna in Their loving exchange. Please engage me in the service of Radha. Please engage me in the service of Krishna. So everything is made of Hare Krishna in the spiritual world because that is the purpose there – simply to unite Radha and Krishna and separate Them. As soon as They are separated They can be united again and when They are united They can be separated again. So this is the picture of Vrindavan. Everybody is bringing together Radha and Krishna and then they separate Them only to bring them together.

Everything is made of Hare Krishna. Golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana, that is what is coming into this Navadvip. He has brought the treasure of golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana. What goes on in the centre of creation/ A love affair. So that is what Narada Muni actually brought – golokera prema-dhana, hari-nama-sankirtana. This is the great gift that we have in Kali Yuga.

Devotees of Ramanuja Acarya all go back to Vaikuntha after a long time but here in Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s mission in Navadvip Dham Panca-Tattva … can be done in one lifetime. Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. Srila Prabhupada Ki Jai! Prthu Maharak going back to Godhead Ki Jai! Nitai Gaura Premanande. Hari Haribol. Any comments?

Prabhu: I have one question. You said you know devotional service starts after liberation right? So we have to get rid of these designations to get liberated. So Prabhupada was saying yesterday or someday in the class, if you surrender to a bona fide spiritual master immediately you get liberated. Normally it takes millions of lifetimes. Then he says the qualifications of a spiritual master there in the purport. He says saksad dharitvena – pure Krishna consciousness – 100 percent and he was talking about Vaikuntha. I don’t remember. Suppose you get that person who is fully realised – my question is that if we are still on the bodily platform – means we haven’t surrendered completely to him. So what is going on before that? If it is not devotional service, what is it? HG Jananivas Prabhu: Saddhana Bhakti. Prabhu: Sadhanna Bhakti is not devotional service. HG Jananivas Prabhu: It is not? Prabhu: I am asking. HG Jananivas Prabhu: Wasting my time. [Laughter] Prabhu: I am just asking -If devotional starts after liberation. That is what Srila Prabhupada in the book said. So before that? HG Jananivas Prabhu: Yes. You want realisation. So then there is a process adau sraddha, sadhu- sanga ‘nartha-nivrttih and all the way up to prema there is a progression. So if you want realisation then you practice and see where you are step by step and you put that into full practice and you try to go to the next platform and to the next platform right up to bhava and prema. You can do that. That may not take one lifetime. It may take many lifetimes. The progression is there. If you want it that is how it scientifically goes. You want realisation? Prabhu: Who doesn’t want? I also heard but I am not sure about this. I heard that devotional service before liberation is pious activities. HG Jananivas Prabhu: The process is given by Rupa Goswami. He doesn’t write things himself. He is practicing raganuga-bhakti. He is an eternal associate of the Lord. He doesn’t practice sadhana-bhakti but he came to teach sadhana-bhakti… So it is not pious activity. Anyway even if it is as you say, if you follow the orders of the spiritual master that sound vibration – if you surrender to the sound vibration and follow this process of sadhana. If you surrender to that sound vibration you surrender to guru. The idea is your devotional service in the stage of sadhana-bhakti – service is the main thing. It is the medium by which we are expressing our emotions to Krishna through service. That is the main thing. But you have got service from the very beginning – from day one. The fact is that you are already liberated.

If you want to understand and realise first you enlighten yourself. Become brahma-bhuta and then all the other stages. Then you have to practice them. The idea is as Krishna says, “As you surrender to Me I will reward you accordingly. So if you think I have got to come to the stage of bhajana-kriya. Then I have to come to the stage of anartha-nivritti then you have got to come to the stage of… You do it but Krishna is reciprocating. If you think you have got to come to the stage of anarthana-nivrtti before you approach Me okay. I will wait until you come to the stage of anathana-nivrtti. If that is what you are thinking you have to do to approach Krishna… you wait until you have realised anathana-nivrtti. Then you want ruci, you want taste then Krishna says wait until you develop it. It should be I can’t understand Krishna until I have ruci and I have got asakti and I have got prema. So Krishna says okay He will wait. That will take you lifetimes. Then eventually you will be born in a pure Vaisnava family and then you get liberated.

Otherwise if we are not interested so much in liberation – like Sanatan Goswami when he approached Mahaprabhu and he said, “They are calling me a pandit. I don’t even know who I am. I don’t know if i am this body, if i am the mind or intelligence or so. I don’t know who I am.[End of recording] [To receive Mayapurlive lectures by email, write to mayapurlive@pamho.net]

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17 Responses to “Disappearance Anniversary of Srila Ramanujacarya”

  1. SarathyT says :

    Just to give some context, I am a follower of srivaishnava sampradayam but have had lengthy relationship with ISKCON and have great devotee friends.

    To start with, it is great to see one sampradayam celebrating/talking about other acharyas in a nice way. I have always appreciated this aspect in ISKCON particularly.

    One observation I see in the author is his limited understanding Srivaishnava AKA Ramanuja Sampradayam – but presenting it as if he has thoroughly studied it. Also asking every srivaishnava to follow gaudiya vaishnava sampradayam on the basis of more recent incarnation sounds similar to islam claiming every christian/jew should convert to islam due to the advent of a more recent prophet for quick salvation.

    There are a few misunderstandings about dasya rasa in general in gaudiya sampradaya (or atleast it is presented as such like that to general public). The point that is missed is – dasya rasa is the svarupa of jivatma (to quote from your own scriptures – JIvera svarUpa hoy kRSNera nitya-dAs) – whatever other rasa we get – its upto Krishna to engage us in that service – so, even one who is engaged in maadhurya rasa he/she must not forget that he/she is dasa/dasi because there can only be one boss – krishna – if it is forgotten then that maadhurya rasa will also be lost.

    It would be best before commenting about other sampradayam (especially the philosophy) to do some detailed study of that sampradayam’s literature (rather than general hear say) with proper guidance.

    sarathy ramanuja dasan

  2. GaurNitai Dasa says :

    Hare Krishna,
    It is not a matter of one sampradaya being superior to another. Each sampradaya is bona fide and established by the lord. HG Jananivas Prabhu is only requesting other sampradaya devotees to chant the holy names of the lord, specially the hare krishna maha mantra, which is the yuga dharma given in the vedic scriptures. If somebody is attached to chanting any other holy names then that is also correct. We also tell muslims to chant Allah. But if somebody does not want to chant the holy names but wants to follow any other process then their advancement will be slow, although not incorrect if followed according to scriptures, because it is mentioned in the vedic scriptures that in kali yuga there is no other way – no other way – no other way – but to chant the holy names (harer nama harer nama harer namaiva kevalam, kalau nastyeva, nastyeve, nastyeve gatir anyatha). However, we see that the majority of people do not know this and as per the supreme lord’s (Chaitanya Mahaprabhu) order, we are requesting everybody to chant the holy names and quickly progress to Goloka vrindavan.

  3. SarathyT says :

    Dear GauraNitai Prabhu

    The author is not simply asking srivaishnavas to chant harekrishna mahamantra (which is nice) – he is saying all ramanuja followers should become mahaprabhu followers – as much as I respect mahaprabhu – there is absolutely no need for ramanuja followers to become mahaprabhu followers to speed up our journey to the spiritual world. Ramanujacharya has identified the perfect process to us based on scriptural evidence to reach the lord – there is absolutely no shortcomings – only if there was we should look else where. That is why I am saying that there is some mis-understanding that makes the author (and probably yourself as well) thinks that we need something more to reach the spiritual world even quicker.

    Actually speaking we have a clear guarantee according to our purvacharya literature (which is 100% consistent with sastras) that any one surrendered to an acharya coming under the lineage of ramanujacharya, will be delivered to spiritual world at the end of this very life – no questions asked – because we depend on our acharya’s/lord’s grace (instead of our own limited abilities) which is capable of lifting anyone from material world and placing them in spiritual world. In contrary, in ISKCON, I have heard some times, even when some devotees leave their body, other devotees saying “Hopefully he reached Krishna” – instead of saying “Glad he reached Krishna”.

    sarathy ramanuja dasan

  4. GaurNitai Dasa says :

    Dear Sarathy Prabhu,
    Please chant the holy names. You can do your pancharatrika vidhi, deity worship etc etc but let that be centered around chanting of the holy names of the lord. Lord Nityananda Prabhu is none other than Lord Balaram (the source of Anantasesh..) so if you are attached to Srila Ramanuja charya then you should take to his request, as Nityananda prabhu, that everybody should chant the holy names. Please do not give up this special mercy of the lord towards the suffering souls of kali yuga. Also, we having taken advantage of this mercy, should distribute this to others. We get mercy by giving mercy. That is real compassion and our responsibility towards all living entities as human beings. I therefore request you humbly by falling at your feet and begging you to consider this request.

  5. SarathyT says :

    Dear Gaurabnitai prabhu

    I thank you for recommending to chant the names of the lord.

    We are chanting the names of the lord everyday – it is already part of our daily routine – a vaishnava means engaging in “sravanam kirtanam vinor smaranam” – please understand, chanting of lord’s names is not something new and only present in Gaudiya vaishnava sampradaya. Nor is maadhurya rasa and many other things.

    The main difference is we dont do chanting as a means to attain anything – we do it out of love – we have many 1000s of songs/slokas which are sung by azhwars (dating 5000+years back) and acharyas (in the last 1000+years) which focusses on many aspects/rasas – example: vaatsalya (in the mood of yasoda), maadhurya (in the mood of gopis), daasya (in the mood of hanuman), etc – there are songs in vislesha (separation) and samslesha (togetherness). Literally we can probably list out about 10000 slokas glorifying the lord. The Lord has more glories than we can ever think of. And all of these are chanted regularly. Beyond this, there are literally hundreds of thousands of lines of commentaries by our purvacharyas (they take one word in a sloka and can analyse/explain the meaning of that word in several pages – these words are not just human/material – they are so powerful with deep meanings). And all of these are well documented and is still in practice even today. Just to give an example – for “sarva dharmaan parityanja maam ekam saranam vraja” sloka alone we have 100+ pages of explanation/commentaries. Every word is analysed in so many ways, for people with any interest in krishna – these commentaries/explanations will taste like real nectar.

    The moment we start chanting as means for something (even to free ourselves from the material world) it becomes a business dealing – so our purvacharyas have ensured that we always do everything for our lord as a goal/as our duty (because that is our nature to be engaged in lord’s service) but not as means.

    sarathy ramanuja dasan

  6. GaurNitai Dasa says :

    Dear Sarathy Prabhu,
    Kindly forgive me. I just wanted to correct you on one thing that we chant as a business dealing to get something. This is a wrong notion. The motivation for chanting is that it pleases the lord and is a glorification of the lord. When we chant, it means that we praying in a begging mood to the lord to ‘Engage us in his service.’ It is also a process for purification from six contamination of the heart consisting of lust, geed, anger, envy, pride, illusion which keeps us separated from serving the supreme lord Krishna. Also our acharyas instruct us to chant with love and not mechanically and one can actually feel the reciprocation with the lord when we chant purely. This is the process given in the vedic scriptures for kali yuga and also specially recommended by the supreme lord Narayana or Krishna as Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, who showed the behavior of an ideal devotee. It is the easiest process and full of nectar that only a chanter knows. This process is so sublime that the Alwars of Sri Sampradaya have glorified Chaitanya mahaprabhu’s devotees and have predicted that this wave of Krishma prem by devotees with raised hands chanting the holy names will inundate the whole world. We are already seeing signs of this due to extensive preaching by ISKCON devotees and other Vaishnava devotees as well. Srila Ramanuja charya gave his mercy to the world when he proclaimed on the Gostipur temple and freely gave away the mantra for chanting. He did this so that all the people can chant this holy mantra and attain perfection. His compassion was for the entire masses and not just for a few erudite scholars, pandits and caste brahmins.

  7. SarathyT says :

    Dear Gauranitai prabhu

    Thankyou for your comments – I do understand that proper chanting means doing it as a service and asking for more service alone. But that stage is very difficult to attain since most devotees will find it difficult to cross the naama aabhas stage for a long time. It really requires Krishna krupa and Guru krupa to reach the pure stage of chanting.

    What azhwars said about sriman narayana’s devotees can definitely be applied to all devotees who ecstatically sing and dance – glorifying lord’s names. And sure, it was a great act of charity by Srila Prabhupada to introduce this over to outside India in a larger scale and we can see the results.

    But at times, devotees get carried away and start speaking inappropriately about another sampradaya/its acharyas in a way that may not acceptable for that sampradaya – we always have to be careful with dealing with devotees in general and especially with followers of another sampradaya, since we wont fully know the intricacies of the other sampradaya. As I have identified already, there are various misunderstandings about ramanuja sampraday in ISKCON and is propagated as well – a new devotee who hears this will start thinking along the same lines and everyone will get programmed to think like that. And that certainly is not beneficial for any one.

    According to sastras, the lord has revealed many sampradayas to satisfy the needs/ruchi/rasa of different individuals – it is never all going to be one single sampradaya to which everyone will convert to – and this attitude of the author is what caused me to write my thoughts in this article. It is great to see avaishnavas becoming vaishnavas (since there is benefit for both the lord and the individual – the lord gets a devotee and the individual becomes a devotee of the lord) – but there is no need to pull in vaishnavas from one fold into another.

    sarathy ramanuja dasan

  8. Venkatesh RD says :

    Hare Krishna,

    I am also a Srivaishnava like Sarathy prabhu that has had a long association with many wonderful, humble, and sincere Gaudiya Vaishnavas from ISKCON.

    As unqualified as I am, I feel compelled to say a couple of things in regard to the topic of this discussion. Vaishnavism, unlike modern Christianity (or most other modern faiths for that matter) is not sectarian. I have not seen where Srila Prabhupada was ever sectarian. I remember watching on a DVD, Srila Prabhupada being satisfied with a group of sincere Christian monks/nuns that followed certain basic principles like satvic/vegetarian diet and were chanting God’s names. He was also extremely gracious in his dealings with Srivaishnavas.

    However, I have run into a few uncomfortable instances, be it when a devotee, on being told I am a Srivaishnava, would make the comment that the Ramanandi sect was defeated by Gaudiyas (as though any of the umpteen number of sects that may have adopted or subscribed to Vishistadvaitam losing in whatever way to some other sect, some how reflects on Srivaishnavam; to my knowledge there has never been a debate between representatives of Srivaishnavam and Gaudiyas), or when a devotee from Vrindavan that I had just participated in the Kirtan of, would challenge meon Sampradayic differences (Krishnastu Bhagavan Svayam …). Unfortunately rhetoric such as that in the OP would only serve to encourage sectarian thinking and behavior which we can agree would be intensely displeasing to Srila Prabhupada.

    (continued)

  9. Venkatesh RD says :

    As mentioned by Sarathy prabhu, we are covered as far as Kirtan is concerned. The following is Sri Ramanujacharya’s commentary on Bhagavad Gita 9.14 (Satatam Kirtayanto mam) as translated by
    Sri Alkondavilli Govindacharya in the year 1898:

    By ever chanting hymns of Me, in firm resolve
    engaged in My services, falling prostrate before
    Me in rapt love, the hopers of eternal union
    with Me, meditate on Me.

    Overwhelmed with intense love for Me, they discover that it is impossible to support existence for even an infinitesimal part of a moment without being engaged in singing My names, or in holy exercises, or falling prostrate before Me, (the physical representation of the humbleness and poverty of the soul, and offering of self in love).

    They repeat and call upon My names, –which connote the several distinguishing attributes of My nature,– their frames quivering and hairs bristling with joy, thrilled in holy excitement at such recollections, their voices tremulous and convulsed with holy joy, uttering broken speech, and constantly repeating in yearning notes such names as Narayana, Krishna, Vasudeva, etc.

    With equal zeal are they assiduous in the performance of holy duties and worship, as helps to which, in firm determination, they employ themselves in the laying out of gardens and construction of temples, etc.

    They stretch themselves on the ground–(overcome by holy passion)–like a fragile reed, regardless of dust, mire or pricking pebbles, all the eight members of the body –the heart (manas), the intellect (buddhi), the sense of self-regard (abhimana), the tow hands and the two feet, and the head– falling prostrate in united concerted devotion and worship.

    Ever and incessantly praying (in accents of love) to be eternally united to Me, they ever meditate on Me and worship Me, with the vivid fervent appeal that in holy service they may realize their true atma-nature of abasement and abnegation (dasya).

    (from http://books.google.com/books?id=VH8MLIe9sk8C) whose copyright has expired)

    venkatesh Ramanuja dasan

  10. Venkatesh RD says :

    One other thing I meant to mention at the end of comment#8:

    We hear that Srila Baladeva Vidyabushnana considered conversion of Ramanandis as offensive, what to speak of Srivaishnavas.

  11. GaurNitai Dasa says :

    Dear Sarathy Prabhu,
    All glories to Sri Vaishnavas who are always singing and glorifying the lord. It is very clear from Srila Prabhupada’s teachings that he never tried to convert anybody… he said that the only real religion is that which helps one progress towards developing loving service for the lord. But if by following all rules and regulations someone is not experiencing their loving service towards the lord giving up all materialistic desires then they need to search for a bona fide path that gives them such a result. It is well known that sincere Sri Vaishnavas are very dedicated and have a loving attitude for the service of the lord. This is very good and laudible. There is no need for Sri Vaishnavas to change. We do not advocate that one sampradaya gives up their Guru or disregard their teachings. Sri Sampradaya is absolutely bona fide.. they are vaishnavas and are worshippable by everybody in all the universe. We would request Sri Vaishnavas to continue what they are doing but also consider Lord Chaitanya’s order that vaishnavas should preach vigorously. So in that sense, we are requesting that Sri Vaishnavas continue what they are doing but at the same time introduce people to sankirtana(glorification of the lord), and to convince people with strong logic about the hellish situation of the materialistic way of life and also to establish firmly that Narayan is the supreme personality of Godhead. I understand that preaching activities are being done by Sri Vaishnavas and it can be increased manifold to save this world and Vaishnava culture but more importantly to become instruments of mercy and compassion of the lord.

  12. bbd says :

    GaurNitai

    Mahaprabhu’s purpose, as predicted in various shastras, is two portioned:

    1) To bring/teach Yuga-Dharma (sankirtan)
    2) To teach about attaining the highest level of God consciousness in madhurya bhava

    Mahaprabhu’s mission was not as you say, “Lord Chaitanya’s order that vaishnavas should preach vigorously”?

    From The Harmonist, May 1932, issue number 11. Article originally titled, Sree Chaitanya in South India. Pages 325-326. By Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur

    The world stands in no need of any reformer. The world has a very competent person for guiding its minutest happenings. The person who determines that there is scope for reform of the world, himself stands in need of reform. The world goes on in its own perfect way. No person can deflect it even the breadth of a hair from the course chalked out for it by providence. When we perceive any change being actually effected in the course of events of this world by the agency of any particular individual, we must know very well that the agent possesses no real power at any stage. The agent finds himself driven forward by a force belonging to a different category from himself. The course of the world does not require to be changed by the agency of any person. What is necessary is to change our outlook on this world. This was done for the contemporary generation by the mercy of Sri Chaitanya. It can only be known to recipients of his mercy. The scriptures declare that it is only necessary to listen with an open mind to the name of Krishna from the lips of a bona fide devotee. As soon as Krishna enters the listening ear, he clears up the vision of the listener so that he no longer has any ambition of ever acting the part of a reformer of any other person, because he finds that nobody is left without the very highest guidance. It is therefore his own reform, by the grace of God, whose supreme necessity and nature he is increasingly able to realize, by the eternally continuing mercy of the Supreme Lord.

  13. GaurNitai Dasa says :

    Dear BBD Prabhu,
    What Srila BSST is telling us is, not to have a critical attitude that we are personally the savious of the world but to enquire and be convinced that it is “I” who needs to change first. If what you are proposing is true then why did BSST send Srila Prabhupada to America to preach? If Srila Prabhupada did not preach vigorously then would you and I and thousands of others have become devotees?

    Sri Chaintanya mahaprabhu mood and mission was to preach.. ISKCON is a resultant movement for preaching Lord Chaitanya’s mission on his order

    Lord Chaitanya’s has ordered:
    1) “Jare dekho tare kaho Krishna upadesh, Aamar aagyay guru hoiya taro ei desh”
    “Whomsoever” you meet just talk about Krishna and His teachings, on my order.

    2) “bharata bhumite haila manunya janma jar, janma sarthak kari’ karo para-upakar”
    It is the duty of everyone who has the great fortune to take birth in Bharat ( India ) to preach the glories of Sri Guru & Gauranga to every one in the world. This is the ultimate altruistic act that is beneficial for everyone

    Lord Chaitanya would personally hear praching report daily from Nityananda Prabhu and Haridas thakur about where they preached and how many devotees were made. This is something that we do on a weekly basis in ISKCON following in the footsteps of our Acharyas.

  14. bbd says :

    GaurNitai

    You said, “What Srila BSST is telling us is, not to have a critical attitude that we are personally the savious of the world but to enquire and be convinced that it is “I” who needs to change first.”

    That is not what the Thakur is saying. You should read the quote again, carefully. Bhaktisiddhanta is revealing the essential truth needed for self realization. That truth is that everyone and everthing, at all times, is completely under the supreme control of Radha Krsna, in every way. Krsna is in control of everyone’s destiny/fate and not a single person can check that by any measure (“preaching” or anything else). This is what the Thakur is saying here.

    Then you said, “If what you are proposing is true then why did BSST send Srila Prabhupada to America to preach? If Srila Prabhupada did not preach vigorously then would you and I and thousands of others have become devotees?”

    Everything is not as it seems in life. There are higher levels of perceived reality. Bhaktisiddhanta did not send Srila Prabhupada to America to “preach”. Krsna plans and directs everything to its minutest detail. Just as the Thakur says in the quote I supplied, “When we perceive any change being actually effected in the course of events of this world by the agency of any particular individual, we must know very well that the agent possesses no real power at any stage. The agent finds himself driven forward by a force belonging to a different category from himself.” Therefore, Prabhupada did not independently “preach vigorously” to make thousands into devotees. He was inspired to do everything by the direction of Paramatma, as do you, I, or anyone else for that matter. It is simply Krsna at the source of everything. Everyone is at different levels on their own path of spiritual evolution. This truth may be difficult for some to perceive at first.

    BG 18.61: The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.

    isvarah sarva-bhutanam / hrid-dese ‘rjuna tishthati bhramayan sarva-bhutani / yantrarudhani mayaya The supreme controller is at the heart of all beings Arjuna, isvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-dese ‘rjuna tishthati, driving the movements of all living beings, bhramayan sarva-bhutani, who are mounted on the machine of his universal potency, yantrarudhani mayaya.

  15. bbd says :

    You said, “Sri Chaintanya mahaprabhu mood and mission was to preach.”

    That’s another common misconception. It is only partially correct. One purpose for Mahaprabhu’s advent was to inaugurate congregational chanting of Hari nama. However, Mahaprabhu’s mission/teachings and mood were far more about internal development than what you and many modern Gaudiyas may seem to think. Specifically through practice of raganuga bhakti. Furthermore, esoterically speaking, Mahaprabhu’s mission was also to further establish the supreme position of Radha. For example, followers of Caitanya, like myself, and followers of Nimbarkacarya are taught that Radha is the female version of Krsna. Mahaprabhu’s only writing that was left is the Siksastakam, which clearly shows the progression of a neophyte’s evolution to madhurya bhava. If one wants to really investigate the mood of Caitanya Mahaprabhu, he/she must delve into the teachings of the Six Goswamis.

    You said, “ISKCON is a resultant movement for preaching Lord Chaitanya’s mission on his order.”

    ISKCON always has been an organization based on presenting vaidhi bhakti to the masses. That is Prabhupada’s program as inspired to him from Paramatma. However, this is not the only “show in town” nor the only means for attaining Krsna prema. Therefore, proselytizing, when speaking to followers of other traditions, only shows one’s own lack of spiritual advancement.

    From Caitanya Siksamrita by Bhaktivinode Thakur

    “It is imperative that the people of a specific country give proper respect to their native saints but no one although they may hold a particular belief for their spiritual progress should go to other places and preach that what their teachers have taught is superior to all other teachings.”

    BG 4.11: As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prthā.

  16. azhwars12 says :

    Sri,

    Dear Devotees,

    Adiyen dasan wants to share with you what my acharya and senior Sri Vaishnavas have instructed me.

    First an foremost: Sri Vaishnavas do not follow Bhakti Yoga. We perform SARANAGATHI
    By performing Saranagathi, we Sri Vaishnavas are recognizing that we are not the doer and Sriman Narayana is the ONLY doer. We believe what our beloved acharya Sri Ramanuja said, ONCE YOU DO SARANAGATHI YOU ARE GUARANTEED MOKSHA. The only thing we need to do is have this faith and lead a life in humility that Sriman Narayana is going to save us once this life is done. We are unworthy to speak the vedas, speak the holy name, we are but USELESS.

    We perform our NITYA KRIYA not as a means to attain Sriman Narayana but to give pleasure Him and practice what we will be doing in Vaikuntha that is all. ASKING A SRI VAISHNAVA TO CHANT “Hare Krishna Mahamantra” to go BACK TO KRISHNA IS OFFENSIVE, for Krishna is the only doer we are useless to do anything. We are Prapannas (Saranagathas) like kittens waiting for mother cat to pick us up and take us back home.

    I fall at the feet of Lord Chaitanya for he is a Bhagavata. I feel that Gaudiya Vaishanavas keep talking about Sri Sampradaya by merely reading books written about us by other Gaudiyas. I invite you to come understand our ACHARYAS’ work. Once drinking the ocean of nectar they have written you will not make such statements/posts.

    adiyen Azhwargal Acharaygal dasan,

    Venkatesh

  17. Haridas Das says :

    Dear Venkatesh Swami,

    I did not understand without knowing the basics of Bhakti Yoga how one knows the process of SARANAGATI (Surrenderness) unless for a layman, there is a pure will of the Lord inside the Heart recommending someone to do it without any medium as we have seen in some pastimes. The PRAPANNA who is taking or seeking at the Lotus feet of the Lord or to an Srila Ramanujacarya but we should also try to understand to what Degree of Surrenderness (Sharanagati) that person has. Perumal grants the Moksha if that soul has real Prapanna Bhava and sincere in executing pure devotional service.

    Chanting of the Holy Name of Lord Krishna enunciated by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is for everybody and every creature. This is not something only Gaudiya Sampradaya followers to practice it. There is no OFFENSE in chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra by Sri Vaishnavas. I know some Sri Vaishnavas they are purely convinced with the Mahaprabhu's philosophy and chanting the Hare Krishna Mahamantra on Chanting beads in south india. In Mahaprabhu's Dakshin Yatra Lila the animals and birds also chanted the Holy Name of Krishna and got Liberated by His Divine Mercy. Mahaprabhu has not kept any Hard and Fast rules to chant. "sthane sthitah sruti gatam tanuvan manobhih" One can always chant the Holy Name 24 hours a day wherever he is.
    It is upto ones interest to accept the easy method to attain the Lord for the Lord himself as shown the best path to reach him quickly. As Sri Vaisnavas you recite the Vishnu Sahasra Namam that is also fine but attaining the goal may be slow but is guaranteed.

    One last note, Gaudiya Vaisnavas or Gaudiya Siddhantha will never try to attempt to demean or blaspheme the position of a renowned Acarya instead we glorify that Vaisnava Thakur Srila Ramanujacarya to our best.

    DASOSMI

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