Comments Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa
Displaying 1 To 15 Of 15 Comments
Your article raises some interesting issues.
In fact there are number of issues are to be separated:
1)Mahabharata quote by Yudhisthira: dharmasya tattvaM nihitaM guhAyAM mahA-jano yena gataH sa panthAH, refers to Mahajanas NOT to spiritual master. Yes its a symptom of a sentimental understanding of sastra when things are taken out of context.
2)According to Prabhupada one should not distinguish between rupa and svarupa of ones guru. That is the reason why we worship Prabhupada murti daily. Form of ones spiritual master should be displayed during worship on the altar for the same reason.
Going back to the symptoms of sentimental worship you picked.
Please be careful, some of them are the character of Srila Prabhupada himself, in pure form, in his relations to his guru.
Wanting to get noticed. (one should add without a service attitude)
At that time, Guru Mahäräja was indisposed little, and he was staying at Jagannätha Puri, on the seashore. So I wrote him letter, “My dear master, your other disciples, brahmacäri, sannyäsi, they are rendering you direct service. And I am a householder. I cannot live with you, I cannot serve you nicely. So I do not know. How can I serve you?” Simply an idea, I was thinking of serving him, “How can I serve him seriously?” So the reply was dated 13th December, 1936. In that letter he wrote, “My dear such and such, I am very glad to receive your letter. I think you should try to push our movement in English.” .” – Prabhupäda at Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatis Disappearance in 1968.
Imitating the guru. (the body appearance, voice and style)
Prabhupäda used to say, “Do as I am doing.” ISKCON used to do very well when it was done. However internal qualities, such being just and merciful at the same time – hard to copy. Small falls tested us.
What is wrong is when one imitates or copies ones guru, Haribhaktivilas lists it as an aparadha, to copy walk, voice of ones guru. One should not imitate also in the sense of accepting more then one can use in the service. Many gurus or leaders take more, then they can actually use in the service to Krsna, thus wasting money and displeasing Prabhupäda.
Over-glorifying the guru.
There is absolutely no way one can do that. Of course ones guru is not a guru of another, thus when we hear praise of somebody else’s guru, we should think of our own. Or about Prabhupädas qualities that this praise represent. Guru is one. Krsna is adi guru, there is no limit on praise.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Dec 21, 2007 @ 7:50 pm
Dear Prabhus and respected Prabhupada Das Karapurnam
Yes of course DRAFT of the constitution should be presented to a wider audience and has a greater degree of participation from rank and file or other ISKCON constituencies.
In the same time internet is not the greatest place for it. We all know its limitations.
When you, respected Prabhupada dasa, say that GBC should act in the ways any but modern or contemporary it shows that you are not GBC well wisher. In fact I doubt if you want them to survive.
Prabhupada was in touch with time, he used technology in preaching and he used modernity in preaching. He was writing in the modern language on modern topics and wanted modern people to appreciate his movement. And he left a huge amount of the task to his disciples to complete. That how I take what is above presented by Sesa Prabhu.
There are obvious flaws in your logic: Fist of all in regards of autocracy of guru or administrator. Srila Prabhupada writes: “They were never autocratic monarchs” [SB 2.7]. Why Prabhupada was critical of autocracy in this instance? Why guru always represent Sastra and consults with sadhus and is thus not seen as all-in-all but as a servant of God? Why did Prabhupada said to his leaders “If you make me god, I will turn my back to all of you?” Because they, acaryas, gurus, are humble servants, not autocrats. There was no system of autocracy in the past in India, and the only rulers who showed disrespect to this principle were Ravana, Kamsa as well as modern day dictators and bogus gurus etc you name them. And this concept of autocracy has often polluted the idea of guru-disciple relationship in ISKCON, but guru is only guru IF he represent Sastra and IF sadhus (some individual GBCs for example) accept and support him in that role, and if he thinks to be guru without such order or outside of this relationship he is goru. Again you seems to be of an opinion that guru is a “status” or a level, its however a role and the service that one acts upon in surrender. Guru is such only in relationship with his or her disciples or listeners, not in relationship with his godbrothers or seniors. And yes for every guru there is a senior, this is called paramapara system, you know that.., and even then after departure of the Spiritual Master, it’s the words of the spiritual master and Sastra that remain the point of reference, and they always were the “constitution” for the rule of the guru anyhow. So ISKCON constitution should summarise the rights as they appear in Sastra and Prabhupadas interpretation of it.
For GBC as you pointed out superior is Prabhupadas instructions. And there are plenty of his words that contradict your fundamentalism, he said to a similar to yours doubt by Hayagriva:
Prabhupada: This deposition is very difficult to solve.
(laughing) You want to stay, and he wants to burn it. (laughing)
Hayagriva: Yes. …If the president is in charge, then if he says
to cut it down, it gets cut down.
Prabhupada: No. The committee. The majority decision will be…
Hayagriva: That’s democracy. That’s democracy. That’s no good.
Prabhupada: Democracy? This is the age of democracy.
Hayagriva: I thought you said we should have enlightened monarchy.
Prabhupada: No. Monarchy is out of date now. …
If you have to live together, you have to work together; if you disagree in that way, it will be a difficult job.
It was way before GBC ever formed, years before that… Prabhupada never wanted autocracy.
Where do you take in the Sastra that there is no place of “freedom of interpretation of those instructions”. You must interpret correctly however not in a dogmatic way as you seems to do. There are so many freedoms, freedom to ask question, freedom to choose service, freedom to choose association and choose asrama, and in many many cases Prabhupada put those freedoms in front of his disciples, especially as they became more mature, in fact he liked people around him who could argue the case, and never let “star-eyed” fanatics too close.
You know perfectly well, to every responsibility one takes, there are rights attached, for example, if you have a responsibility to develop a sustainable rural community, you have to have a right to interpret and put in practice Prabupadas instructions, and you know that your interpretation can be different then someone say in East Africa or in South Siberia, due to simple practical reasons.
The dogmatic military style attitude “no-interpretation” is only “one interpretation” of what Srila Prabhupada said, the wrong one, after all he wrote that “this Krishna Consciousness movement is for training man to be independently thoughtful and competent in all types of departments of knowledge and action”, which by the way includes sustainable rural communities but does not exclude everything else.
Go ahead and prove me wrong, but words of Prabhupada and Vaisnava Sastra should be the basis of the constitution of ISKCON and members (or aspiring members) rights and its ruling body rights and definition, and the ultimate managerial authority, the GBC, and especially individual GBCs should respect and obey by that as well, not that they are above it all, autocrats, “the gurus” as you call them. Just like every other acarya in our tradition, for example when commenting on Bhagavatam, will respect and follow the interpretation of Srila Sridhara Svami, even if they have a different interpretation. For example my guru is an individual GBC, but he is still cooperating with the GBC body and often accepts different interpretations because of the spirit of cooperation, and that is both duty and a right. And the GBC body (who you at least in your words above accept as a “functional guru”) wants to have a constitution and wants to do what Sesa Prabhu described above in detail, they do it on the basis of what Srila Prabhupada wanted, are you saying you will never accept their interpretation unless GBC rejects any modern idea and go back 20 centuries to at least Catholic church foundation times? There are names to such an attitude.
There are rights that are based on Srimad Bhagavatam and Prabhupadas words and on common sense, all of it valid pramanas if taken in the parampara, and if you do not accept them you are not following CC. Adi 10.12.
I wonder however if you are critical to the point of not wanting to be part of ISKCON and not wishing well GBC, why would you consider to be following Srila Prabhupada at all? And why comment on constitution?
I remain a firm advocate of the absolute authority of the instructions of Shrila Prabhupad and the dire need for submission and obedience to them.
An the same time you do not accept GBC as the authority AND you are telling them what to do and what not to do, obviously exercising your rights, (that you protest you don’t have), but missing the point of obligation of loyalty or wishing well our GBC body. Even if you have different opinion, its better to cooperate and then GBCs duty will be, if I may say so, to find unity in diversity, and that requires them to be both “exact” and “magnanimous” in their interpretation, I hope it will be part of the constitution…
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Aug 19, 2007 @ 10:03 pm
Dear Prabhupada dasa
In quite a direct way you appear to support ancient system and resist modernisation:
Any constitution ratified by ISKCON must strenuously avoid the inclusion of so-called “Modern Ideology” that supports the attribution of unalienable freedoms and rights of sovereignty to the individual. When the rank and file, who are mostly in the category of ordinary or kanishtha adhikari, are afforded guaranteed rights and freedom to determine who their leaders are, the door is open to eventual control by those vested with mundane consciousness.
Its however should be noted that unlike ancient institutions such as Catholic church, ISKCON is a modern institution that was formed recently and is an innovation in itself.
Innovation and constant interpretation of tradition and use of modern means to keep in tune with the time is a feature of our specific sampradaya, be it poetry or be it collective management system establishedfor example by last two acaryas.
“Freedoms and rights” is a relatively new concept and is based on relatively modern paradigm, but there are unalienable rights of individual, and in particular a brahmin in the ancient paradigm, while positivistic “freedoms and rights” not at all 100% compatible with Vedic or post-vedic traditional systems. especially the materialist interpretation of the concept of equality, what is the basis to assume that it can not be used as an innovative concept not only to protect individuals from potential setbacks in the newly formed institution but also used to establish broader base of responsibilities, that will support it?
Its in modernity that we live, and it would be extremely counterproductive to step back into what you call ” our ancient “autocratic” ” system.
If we are forming something to last we should be ahead of the time not way behind. Its exactly to protect one from the tradition of cast system that daivi varnasrama was used by both Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati and Srila Prabhupada, and also to expose sastric non-complience of this perverted to date, if I may say, tradition.
Its easy to abuse “autocratic” system, especially in the framework of modernity and deterioration of traditional way of life, therefore to make it attractive in the expanding movement and for people to be assured that nobody is going to be in such a position of abused. Its exactly for such a simple reason that daivy-rights need to be considered before stepping any further.
Should it affect the guru-disciple relationship that is a different story, but most certainly at the initial stages of it – yes. Should guru-disciple relationship be even a subject of Law in ISKCON? That is a different story.
Thank you for your comment “a blast from the past”. Its interesting how things change with time and how progressive, in the right meaning of the word, our society has become. Are you prepared to comment on it?
With respect and in good faith,
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Aug 15, 2007 @ 12:36 pm
Thank you Sankirtana Prabhu. This was an inspiration to read on the topic that we often try to avoid or address in some sort of supreficial way. You wrote:
I wonder if its the case with everyone? You are almost elevating a teenager son to be the representative of caitya guru. Well, is it too much? From the other hand why not? Why vaisnava youth will not be ‘in your eyes’ reflection on what Krsna wants us to improve on.. even in preaching. After all if we are unable to relate to a son or an adolescents dependent how far will we be able to relate to the ever-changing preaching field?
You also suggest
Scary seems like a right word. I’m mean its gets more and more scary somehow. What is your suggestion on dealing with the demobilizing fear. Should we just ignore it? I don’t think that devotees for 20 or so years should be afraid to see their own shortcomings. But isn’t it one of the basics of teaching or bringing up, that one is not centered on oneself but on the pupils needs?
Thank you again.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Aug 13, 2007 @ 11:21 am
Thank you for a nice article.
Your main suggestion seems to be that all teachers in ISKCON to be fully qualified and “to have carried out appropriate training”. On top of that I would humbly suggest that at least 2 years of their time after completing above were post qualification experience, the time when they actually receive practical training outside of ISKCON schools. In this way not only we will have only experienced teachers, but also will learn by shared experience with other educational institutions or groups. This option was not really available when ‘ill-famous’ gurukula system was being set up in 1970. Its hard to underestimate post-qualification experience and we have seen what un-experienced and un-qualified (in both meaning of the word) teaching can do. At least vast majority of teaching positions in ISKCON should have it as basic but not the only requirement. Hope this adds a little to your ever-hard-to-realize but very much needed suggestion. Thank you.
Caitanya candrodaya dasa
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Aug 13, 2007 @ 1:29 pm
Is there any way to hear the original unedited tapes. As you said: ” I made myself a personal set of tapes from the original unedited tapes which I have to this day.”?
Even from edited tapes Prabhupadas intent was very clear, but still it would be such a benefit for all of us to hear it without cuts and edits.
Thank you for very personal and in fact amazing recollection of what happened and the reaction of then management. Of course a lot has changed to the social dynamics in ISKCON since then, but such radical thinking is always an inspiration to hear. Thank you.
Caitanya candrodaya dasa
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Aug 13, 2007 @ 12:46 pm
Hare Krisna Kesava krsna prabhu.
It is interesting to note that in all areas of ISKCON where there is a strong mood of respect and veneration to gurus an amazing thing happens, devotees do attract new people. It often happens regardless of the qualification of the gurus, and rightly so as the principle is applicable in all cases regardless of adhikara, but its evident that the enthusiasm in guru disciple relationship appears to be the main driving force and fundamental reason for attracting mercy of Lord Caitanya in practical preaching. Or could it be that people without good fortune to receive this message will not generally be born in areas where there is an offensive or diminished mood in terms of guru-nistha? Possibly , but most likely not. Of course we should note that there is also a systematic effort by ritvik apa-sampradaya and many sympathizers to diminish any guru-nistha of devotees in thier gurus. It seems to be a form of systematic propaganda of a guru-avajna attitude mixed with apa-siddhanta priciples. Sadly again movement just does not expand in such situations and nobody seems to notice the connection… with nama-aparadha as a principle, after all padma purana listed nama-aparadhas are connected not only to personal chanting but to preaching of sankirtana and the spreading the holy name.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Jun 18, 2007 @ 12:44 pm
I hope to share my favorite verse about Kirtanam standards with SPs translation. Of course it should be kept in mind when saying things like: “such kirtan is deficient” or Srila Prabhupada said this was “unbonafide”. All such instructions (if they were) given according to time and place..
“Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed His disciples to write books on the Science of Krsna, a task which those who follow Him have continued to carry out down to the present day. The elaborations and expositions on the philosophy taught by Lord Caitanya are in fact most voluminous, exacting and consistent due to the system of disciplic succession. Although Lord Caitanya was widely renowned as a scholar in His youth, He left only eight verses, called Śiksastaka. These eight verses clearly reveal His mission and precepts. These supremely valuable prayers are translated herein
namnam akari bahudha nija-sarva-saktis
tatrarpita niyamitah smarane na kalah
etadrsi tava krpa bhagavan mamapi
durdaivam idrsam ihajani nanuragah
O my Lord, Your holy name alone can render all benediction to living beings, and thus You have hundreds and millions of names like Krishna and Govinda. In these transcendental names You have invested all Your transcendental energies. There are not even hard and fast rules for chanting these names. O my Lord, out of kindness You enable us to easily approach You by Your holy names, but I am so unfortunate that I have no attraction for them.
Srila Prabhupada in Teachings of Lord Caitanya
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Jun 12, 2007 @ 2:28 pm
Varaha Nrisima seems to asks: How far “it all” from the pure vaisnava tradition or bhakti that was brought to the west by SP.
The answer is: It is as far as (1) the time that separates them and (2) as long as distance that separates it (besides, of course, to the essential points that separate one tradition from the other, both of them taken as representing a personal aspect of the Supreme)
So if a person asks: “Now how far away is all this from Srila Prabhupada teaching pure bhakti to Krsna… ?” (A rhetorical question of course because the person has already made up his mind)
If you ask…
Between 1900 to 200 years and about 20000 miles apart:-)
How helpful is such attitude for spreading the Sankirtan mission among
everybody anyhow? (Its not a rhetorical question)
(Its obvious that anyone who does put down other religions in the course of ones preaching (not religious Organizations or religious leaders, whom SP was sometimes putting down in the course of his preaching) makes ones preaching very ineffective and sectarian.) There are many remarks by SP which he has made on a regular basis and specifically when preaching in the Muslim world (e.g Tehran visit) where he would be positive about other religions. We should not take them as just being polite. SP had both: respect to other religions and absolute faith that pure bhakti of Samkirtan movement is the best way of deliverance in this age.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Jun 1, 2007 @ 1:14 pm
Its hard to see how multitude of religions is in one way a matter of choice that Krsna himself gives to jivas and is acording to time and place, not only due to some political move, just like there is a choice of sampradayas or rasas even in pure Vaisnava tradition. Even in ISKCON there is choice of gurus, temples and ashramas, and may I add a number of movements already separated itself from it, as an example. There an godulike web with a discussion forum on this same point – why are there so many religions. The author lists A-Z of as many as 200 in an irreverent manner. There is discussion forum there where devotees preach to atheists and agnostics as well.
But believe me its so easy to get across as dogmatic or sectarian - even wording of ones ideas is so important.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On May 30, 2007 @ 1:34 pm
Its important (at least for myself) to understand a few things:
1) That word “religion” does not completely translate the word dharma and there is no such a thing as dharmas
2) Nobody is equal to anyone. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati is not Srila Prabhupadas equal. Nor is Rupa Goswami equal of Svarupa Damodara Goswami or Bhaktivinoda Thakura for example
3) Process of following Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is not a sectarian process, even if seen or presented in this light by people without realisation and has nothing to do with religions and can be followed by a person of any denomination.
4) There is an imbedded fallacy in an organised religion inevitably being part of the setting of the present age. This has nothing or should have nothing to do with para – dharma mentioned in the SB 1.2.6
In a number of places Prabhupada made distinctions between what is understood in English as religion and what is dharma. Not exactly the same thing and Prabhupada loved to bring it up. In a lecture in LA Prabhupada said: “Dharma means religion. Religion… not exactly in the same way as we understand in English language: (Religion is) “a kind of faith.” Dharma. Generally, people understand that “I have got my own dharma.” “I am Hindu; I am Christian; I am Muslim; I am this; I am that.” But in Sanskrit language, dharma does not mean like that, “a kind of faith.” No. Faith is blind. Today you are Hindu, tomorrow you are Christian, today you are Christian. So this faith-changing is not dharma. Dharma means “which you cannot change.” That is dharma. Not that whimsically I change. That dharma is service. Every one of us rendering some service to others. That is dharma. Every one of us. ”
In the introduction to BG Prabhupada confirms that sanatana-dharma “does not refer to any sectarian process of religion” . So what is that dharma that is refered in Bhagavatam in as paro-dharmo for all people? Srila Prabhupada answers: ” The best form of religion. So somebody may recommend that Hindu religion is best, or others may recommend that Christian religion is very good and others may say, “Oh, Muhammadan religion is very good,” and others may say, “Buddhist religion is very good.” But Srimad-Bhagavatam says very nicely… Srimad-Bhagavatam does not advocate that “Hindu religion is good” or “Christian religion is good” or “Muhammadan religion is good” or “Buddhist religion is good.” Srimad-Bhagavatam gives a general description. What is that? Sa vai pumsam paro dharmah: “That is the best form of religion for a person.” What is that? Sa vai pumsam paro dharmah. “That is the best form of religious principle,” yato bhaktir adhoksaje, “by performing which you become a devotee of the adhoksaja.” SBL1.2.6 London 1071
It is not that Caitanya Mahaprabhu started a new religion, all other sects are in the modes of material nature, but this sect is transcendental. Not likes that. All previous acaryas were transcendental representatives of Sri Adhoksaja even before Mahaprabhu has started the sankirtan mission on a wider scale, Ramanuja Acarya, Sri Madhva, Sridhara Svami, Jayadeva, Alvars, Vyasa etc.
In the commentary to Madhya 17.185 SP writes: Srila Madhavendra Puri was a real mahajana, but misguided people cannot distinguish the real from the unreal. But a person who is awakened to Krishna consciousness can understand the real religious path chalked out by the Lord.
Its a matter of realisation, a person with realisation who is hardly “equal” to anyone else wrote and published it under volume 29, number 7, of The Harmonist (1932): “This (opposition to the orders of God) is ensured by the arrangements of all established churches of the world. They have been successful only in supplying watchful Putanas for effecting the spiritual destruction of persons, from the moment of their birth, with the cooperation of their worldly parents. No human contrivance can prevent these Putanas from obtaining possession of the pulpits. This is due to the general prevalence of atheistic disposition in the people of this world.
The church that has the best chance of survival in this damned world is that of atheism under the convenient guise of theism. The churches have always proved the staunchest upholders of the grossest form of worldliness, from which even the worst of non-ecclesiastical criminals are found to recoil.” So one thing is to be on a religious path and yet another to belong or to start a religion, nobody can start a religion (dharma) and men who can not understand this often do start or make artificial distinctions of a religions (faith or denomination).
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On May 22, 2007 @ 10:11 pm
Srila Prabhupada wrote and I like the simplicity of his explanation in that essay:
No religion of the world is without any connection with God. The principal religions of the world are 1. Hinduism, 2. Islam, 3. Buddhism and 4. Christianity. And all of them have some sort of direct or indirect connection with God. Such religions are made and propagated by God Himself or by His authorised agents. So far Hinduism is concerned and the Bhagavad-gita is accepted, all sects and subsects of the Hindu population take up the cause of the Bhagavad-gita and it is directly preached by God Himself in the Form of Lord Sri Krishna. So far Islam is concerned and the Koran is accepted, all Islamic population accept Hazrat Mohammad as the authorised agent of God and the faith is propagated by Him. So far Buddhism is concerned, all the people of the world professing faith in Buddhism obey Lord Buddha as God or the greatest authority. Lord Buddha advented Himself in India and He took up the cause of the poor animals who were being slaughtered unhesitatingly on the plea of Vaidic yajna and therefore Lord Buddha was compelled to disregard the principles of Vedic sacrifice just to establish the principles of nonviolence. The Hindu scriptures especially the Vaishnava literatures of the Vedas accept Lord Buddha as the incarnation of God. It is said that He preached His philosophy amongst those who had practically no faith in the existence of God but by His propaganda such men become faithful to Him and therefore indirectly they accepted God. So far Christianity is concerned, there is open acceptance of God because Lord Jesus declared Himself as the son of God. So all the religions of the world have direct or indirect connection with God and therefore we can take it for acceptance that religion means to learn obedience to the Laws of God as it may be compared with Nationalism means obedience to the laws of the state.
yatra vidvajjano nasti slaghyas tatralpadhirapi
nirastapadape dese erandopi drumayate
In a place where there are no scholars, even a men of petty knowledge is worshiped just as in the land devoid of trees, even a castor oil plant is considered as a big tree.
So there is some use in small tress as well.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On May 9, 2007 @ 9:38 pm
“Finally, looking compassionately into your eyes He tells you -“I don’t know if I can trust you?” ” – is there any sastric support for such an approach? It does not seems to be based on sastras as we have heard them from Srila Prabhupada, is it? Did any of the previous acaryas ever assumed that Supreme soul can or can not “trust” someone. It appears as if we are imposing our limited perception to the Person who has no limitations and his relationships with devotees are always free from duality of trust and mistrust.
How can one have saksad darsan with Krishna if one is not free from such an understanding?
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On May 6, 2007 @ 11:14 am
I guess one has to read between the lines to understand that the current group of the devotees who deal with Vedic Planetarium design do not want to use BI findings and research and would rather use something of a more of a literary approach along the lines of Dhanavir Swamis explanations and without much of the modern science explanations – as in the positions expressed in “various” Puranas, Itihasas, “Vedas” & astronomical Siddhantas.
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On May 6, 2007 @ 11:04 am
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There seems to be a need to provide some sufficient evidence as to identity of Jagadananda Pandit especially in relation to the identity of Sri Vishnupriya devi. Both persons are very intimately related to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. However both are in such a different mood, especially considering later Caitanya caritamrita Antya lila pastimes of Lord Caitanya with Jagadananda and Gadadhara Gosvami.
Also it was claimed that both are incarnate of the same person in Krishnalila. This apparent contradiction should not be misunderstood and should be seen in the light of sastric praman, which does not leave room for such confusion: There is a need at first to evaluate source of information that is often quoted as a sastric praman in this regard– Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika: Please consider the following self qualifying statement from Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika: vilokyanyani sadhunam mathuraudra-nivasinam gaudiyanam api mukhan nisamya sva-manisaya vivicyamreditah kaiscit kaiscit tani likhamy aham namna sri-paramananda-dasah sevita-sasanah “Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami and other great Vaisnava authors have written in their books many descriptions of the great associates of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Lord Nityananda, and Lord Advaita.
These authors have explained that the associates of Lord Caitanya had previously been cowherd boys in Vrndavana during ancient times of Lord Krsna’s advent, and these authors have informed us of the former names of each of these associates of the Lord. I have carefully considered all these writings, and I have also heard the testimonies of the devotees in Bengal, Orissa, and Mathura. Collecting all this evidence, I, Paramananda dasa, write this book describing the previous life of the associates of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu” Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika 5 Here the author confirms that he gets information from different sources. Also he confirms that his information is not always a “prime/ firsthand source” but partially a hearsay.
Then Paramananda dasa/KKp/ goes on to describe Pancatattva as non different from Krsna and Caitanya Mahaprabhu and he forms a basis to his conclusions on the words of Svarupa Damodara himself, which author himself uses as pramana, ‘pancatattvamakam krishnam’ – we should do the same with the recorded words of Sri Jagandananda quoted here later on. Important to note that when describing other personalities in Caitanya lila Pramananda dasa would not always quote one view, but often a difference of views that were current at the time and will not always insist on it being conclusive. About Vallabhacarya he writes without a conclusion: purasij janako raja mithiladhipatir mahan adhuna vallabhacaryo bhismako’pi ca sammatah “The same person who was Maharaja Janaka, the king of Mithila, appeared during Lord Caitanya’s pastimes as Vallabhacarya.
Some differ from this view, and say that Vallabhacarya was an incarnation of Maharaja Bhismaka.” Its important to realize that this clearly confirms that Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika is a compilation of views and personal realizations, not a conclusive tattva dipika, such as dipikas of Sri Jiva Goswamipada for example, and should not be used in this way. For example author even allows in a way to disagree with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself: vibhisano yah prag asid ramacandra-puri smrtah uvacato gaura-harir naitad ramasya karanam jatila radhika-svasruh karyato’visad eva tam ato mahaprabhur bhiksa-sankocadi tato’karot “The person named Ramacandra Puri in Lord Caitanya’s pastimes had previously remembered/been Vibhisana. “Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself did not accept that Ramacandra Puri was the incarnation of Vibhisana, Mahaprabhu himself said that Ramacandra Puri was the empowered incarnation of Srimati Radharani’s mother-in-law Jatila.” Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika 9 It is almost as if devotees at the time were discussing it or trying to assume/reverse engineer/regress identity to previous lilas to then present pastimes, and Lord Caitanya corrected them by an appropriate comparison instead of a wrong one. It appears that they were doing it a lot otherwise and that it was a very common thing- to discuss others identity in this way. So here is a possible source of identity misunderstanding and mix-up and evidence to it.
Whereas Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika by Kavi Karnapura/ Paramananda dasa can be used to support the conclusive vaisnava philosophy is proved by the fact that Srila Prabhupada used to quote Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika in his Bhaktivedanta Purports, following his spiritual master. However realisations and descriptions that appear in Sri Caitanya caritamrita and other direct sources are much more consistent and a free from duality, as they have been recorded and transmitted almost first hand and there is no mix of hearsay and truth, Caitanya caritamrita is a conclusive truth itself and is the prime source of knowledge about Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. If one chooses to find contradictions in sastras or as in this case with hearsay collective records (for whatever motive one has to do that remains a secret to me) one has to put first preference to primary sources and in this case words of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja Goswami should never be questioned. Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, by Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, is the principal work on the life and teachings of Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Its clearly and conclusively described in Adi lila and in Antya lila, that Jagadananda Pandit was a svarupa of Satyabhama. Of course it also means that he was in the same challenging mood as Satyabhama i.e. in terms of sringara-rasa vicara “jealous anger that arose only in the heart of Satyabhama and not in the heart of any other queen.”.
Caitanya caritamrita Adi lila states: pandita jagadananda prabhura prana-rupa loke khyata yenho satyabhamara svarupa “Pandita Jagadananda, the sixth branch of the Caitanya tree, was celebrated as the life and soul of the Lord. He is known to have been of a svarupa of Satyabhama.” See more on that from the mouth of Lord Caitanya and from Jagadananda Pandit himself later. On the topic of nitya siddhas amsas: Vishnupriya dasi is not a nitya siddha, just as Radha herself is not a nitya siddha. The concept of nitya – siddha does not apply to such a level as Laksmi or personal sakti potency of Krishna herself. One also have to be very careful as not to subscribe to a mayavada concept of atma. One should not contradict Prabhupada when he states that Jagadananda was taking part in the pastimes in the houses of Chandrashekhara and Srivasa and — thus was very near to Vishupriya house, she is a completely different person and in a different mood of relationships with Gauranga.
Its safer and in accordance with acaryas & sastra to consider Visnupriya to be shakti tattva of the Lord, Bhu shakti if only as metaphor as in Sri Gaura Ganodesa Dipika , but more to the point of tattva, Lords personal – navadha-bhakti svarupa shakti herself ie. Hladini shakti that is surcharged with samvit, as described by Srila Bhaktivinda Thakura in his Jaiva Dharma. See quote below: So Jagadananda Pandit is Satyabhama-svarupa Caitanya caritamrita. Adi.1.21 (which can also be understood as “in the nature or mood that of Satyabhama” especially considering discussions in premavivarta and in Caitanya caritamrita Antya 17 as contrasting with Gadadhara Goswamis mood) and Vishnupriya devi is shakti tattva of Krsna – navadha-bhakti svarupa herself (JD13): To consider Sri Vishnupriya dasi to be an expansion of Satyabhama would be a hearsay that is not supported by primary evidence brought forward. Jaiva Dharma: “Vrajanatha: Which sakti of Sri Gauranga is Sri Visnupriya? Babaji:
The bhaktas generally refer to her as bhu-sakti. However, in reality she is the samvit potency combined with the essence of hladini. In other words, she is the personified form of bhakti, who has descended to assist Gauranga in His work of spreading sri-nama. Just as Navadvipa-dhama is the personified form (svarupa) of the nine-fold process of devotional service (navadha-bhakti) so Sri Visnupriya is also the svarupa of navadha-bhakti” .JD 13 Its hard to imagine that the two persons Visnupriya and Jagadananda would never see each other ever and they are expansion of the same person and for this reason? Both were present at the same time and place when Lord Caitanya subdued Chandkazi and delivered Jagai and Madhai, time of Srivasanga lilas etc. They lived nearby I guess. Such conclusion as to the two saksad expansions of one soul should not be considered, in the first instance because of lack of shastric evidence, without even going into more philosophical reasons. It also can lead to a mayavadi concept to some degree.
To make it all a bit more interesting and to understand Jadadanandas own and Gaurangas mood in relation to the Satyabhamas avesa identity in Jagadananda read below passage from Prema-Vivarta by Jagadananda Pandit where he, the author, would confirm that he was not idetifying himself with his “mood” svarupa of Dvarakas queen, Satyabhama, but with his service identity in Vrindavana (PV 2.11.-16): prabhu more hasya kari kaila eka dina dvarakara patesvari tumi ta pravina ami ta bhikhari ati more seva kena kata sata sannyasi paibe ama hena muni bali rekhe dao tomara chalana radha pada dasi ami o katha bolo na amara radhara varna kariyacho curi vraje laye yaba ami tomaya cora dhari ami cai radha pada tumi phela theli dvaraka pathao more ei tomara keli tomara sannyasi giri ami bhala jani modera banciya radha sevibe apani “One day the Lord Caitanya jokingly said to me, “You have been the chief queen of Dvaraka for a long time, and I am just a poor beggar. Why do you serve Me? You can get so many hundreds of renunciants like Myself to serve.” I replied, “Give up Your pretension and deceit. Why don’t You say that I am simply a maidservant engaged at the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani. “You have stolen the lustre of my dear mistress Radharani: hence, You are a thief, and I shall catch You and return You back to the land of Vraja. “My only desire is to serve Srimati Radharani, but You want to send me to far away Dvaraka.
This is all Your mischievous pastime. Your activities as a renounced sannyasi are only too well-known to me. In fact, You just want to deceive and deprive us while You serve the lotus feet of Radharani all by Yourself.” As I have said before both primary sources on gaura-lila e.g. Caitanya ‘ bhagavata and Caitanya ‘ caritamria do not seem to support the suggestion that Visnupriya was ever in the mood of Satyabhama or is saksad of Satyabhama in the same mood. Rather she was same shakti of the saktiman – Gauranga Himself, Who was at that time not in the mood of Sri Radha. If one insists that Visnupriya is Satyabhama and nobody else ‘ well, I can not see any urgency or spiritual need to resolve such unsubstantial or surface contradiction or should I say, not real contradiction. “Not real” in the sense that such contradictions even if accepted as part of a sastric view will not improve quality of ones personal spiritual life and service to Srila Prabhupada and to his/her manifested/living spiritual master.
But what is the sastric evidence to such a statement anyhow? It is when my spiritual master was compiling Srila Prabhupada Lilamrita, there was often an apparent need to check and double check evidence given by the disciples and friends about Prabhupada, a lot of effort went into it, checking everyone’s story trying to get to the truth. There were and still are some fantastic stories of”‘Prabhupada said” and “Prabhupada wanted” type that just don’t add up and often a product of witnesses prism of imagination or sorry to say imagination only. I myself deal with such stories almost on a daily basis when talking to the second or third generation of followers, some of whom even got an initiation from Prabhupada. Somehow fantastic is more attractive then real and takes over the true perspective, get stuck in the mind and a trail track to the truth is lost.
Some of hearsays even made it to print or some other forms of evidence. But of course the prime source: Lilamrita records of Prabhupada’s preaching is very objective and can always be referred to if in doubt, and you often you better be. Similarly, the evidence about identity of persons in Caitanya lila should not relay on recorded colloquial sources, but should be based on prime and first hand sastric evidence as quoted above. Its often happens that when this evidence is gathered with a proper perspective the matter becomes crystal clear. I’m praying at the lotus feet of my spiritual master and Srila Prabhupada and all Vaisnavas devotees that no offence is causes by the conclusive study and that the question is finally put to a resolution.
Your servant, Caitanya candrodaya dasa
» Posted By Caitanya candrodaya dasa On Apr 26, 2007 @ 8:17 am
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