Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is none other than the combined form of Sri Radha and Krsna. He is the life of those devotees who strictly follow in the footsteps of Srila Rupa Gosvami. Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Sanatana Gosvami are the two principal followers of Srila Svarupa Damodara Gosvami, who acted as the most confidential servitor of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, known as Visvambhara in His early life. A direct disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami was Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami. The author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami, stands as the direct disciple of Srila Rupa Gosvami and Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.
The direct disciple of Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami was Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, who accepted Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti as his servitor. Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura accepted Srila Jagannatha dasa Babaji, who initiated Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who in turn initiated Srila Gaurakisora dasa Babaji, the spiritual master of Om Visnupada Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, the divine master of our humble self.
Since we belong to this chain of disciplic succession from Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, this edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta will contain nothing newly manufactured by our tiny brains, but only remnants of food originally eaten by the Lord Himself. Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu does not belong to the mundane plane of the three qualitative modes. He belongs to the transcendental plane beyond the reach of the imperfect sense perception of a living being. Even the most erudite mundane scholar cannot approach the transcendental plane unless he submits himself to transcendental sound with a receptive mood, for in that mood only can one realize the message of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. What will be described herein, therefore, has nothing to do with the experimental thoughts created by the speculative habits of inert minds. The subject matter of this book is not a mental concoction but a factual spiritual experience that one can realize only by accepting the line of disciplic succession described above. Any deviation from that line will bewilder the reader's understanding of the mystery of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, which is a transcendental literature meant for the postgraduate study of one who has realized all the Vedic scriptures such as the Upanisads and Vedanta-sutra and their natural commentaries such as Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita.
This edition of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta is presented for the study of sincere scholars who are really seeking the Absolute Truth. It is not the arrogant scholarship of a mental speculator but a sincere effort to serve the order of a superior authority whose service is the life and soul of this humble effort. It does not deviate even slightly from the revealed scriptures, and therefore anyone who follows in the disciplic line will be able to realize the essence of this book simply by the method of aural reception.
The First Chapter of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta begins with fourteen Sanskrit verses that describe the Absolute Truth. Then the next three Sanskrit verses describe the principal Deities of Vrndavana, namely, Sri Radha-Madana-mohana, Sri Radha-Govindadeva and Sri Radha-Gopinathaji. The first of the fourteen verses is a symbolic representation of the Supreme Truth, and the entire First Chapter is in actuality devoted to this single verse, which describes Lord Caitanya in His six different transcendental expansions.
The first manifestation described is the spiritual master, who appears in two plenary parts called the initiating spiritual master and instructing spiritual master. They are identical because both of them are phenomenal manifestations of the Supreme Truth. Next described are the devotees, who are divided into two classes, namely, the apprentices and the graduates. Next are the incarnations (avataras) of the Lord, who are explained to be nondifferent from the Lord. These incarnations are considered in three divisions--incarnations of the potency of the Lord, incarnations of His qualities, and incarnations of His authority. In this connection, Lord Sri Krsna's direct manifestations and His manifestations for transcendental pastimes are discussed. Next considered are the potencies of the Lord, of which three principal manifestations are described: the consorts in the kingdom of God (Vaikuntha), the queens of Dvaraka-dhama and, highest of all, the damsels of Vrajadhama. Finally, there is the Supreme Lord Himself, who is the fountainhead of all these manifestations.
Lord Sri Krsna and His plenary expansions are all in the category of the Lord Himself, the energetic Absolute Truth, whereas His devotees, His eternal associates, are His energies. The energy and energetic are fundamentally one, but since their functions are differently exhibited, they are simultaneously different also. Thus the Absolute Truth is manifested in diversity in one unit. This philosophical truth, which is pursuant to the Vedanta-sutra, is called acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, or the conception of simultaneous oneness and difference. In the latter portion of this chapter, the transcendental position of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and that of Srila Nityananda Prabhu are described with reference to the above theistic facts.
vande gurun isa-bhaktan
tat-prakasams ca tac-chaktih
vande--I offer respectful obeisances; gurun--unto the spiritual masters; isa-bhaktan--unto the devotees of the Supreme Lord; isam--unto the Supreme Lord; isa-avatarakan--unto the incarnations of the Supreme Lord; tat--of the Supreme Lord; prakasan--unto the manifestations; ca--and; tat--of the Supreme Lord; saktih--unto the potencies; krsna-caitanya--Sri Krsna Caitanya; samjnakam--named.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees of the Lord, the Lord's incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies, and the primeval Lord Himself, Sri Krsna Caitanya.
vande--I offer respectful obeisances; sri-krsna-caitanya--to Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya; nityanandau--and to Lord Nityananda; saha-uditau--simultaneously arisen; gauda-udaye--on the eastern horizon of Gauda; puspavantau--the sun and moon together; citrau--wonderful; sam-dau--bestowing benediction; tamah-nudau--dissipating darkness.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all.
yad advaitam brahmopanisadi tad apy asya tanu-bha
ya atmantar-yami purusa iti so 'syamsa-vibhavah
sad-aisvaryaih purno ya iha bhagavan sa svayam ayam
na caitanyat krsnaj jagati para-tattvam param iha
yat--that which; advaitam--nondual; brahma--the impersonal Brahman; upanisadi--in the Upanisads; tat--that; api--certainly; asya--His; tanu-bha--the effulgence of His transcendental body; yah--who; atma--the Supersoul; antah-yami--indwelling Lord; purusah--supreme enjoyer; iti--thus; sah--He; asya--His; amsa-vibhavah--plenary expansion; sat-aisvaryaih--with all six opulences; purnah--full; yah--who; iha--here; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sah--He; svayam--Himself; ayam--this; na--not; caitanyat--than Lord Caitanya; krsnat--than Lord Krsna; jagati--in the world; para--higher; tattvam--truth; param--another; iha--here.
What the Upanisads describe as the impersonal Brahman is but the effulgence of His body, and the Lord known as the Supersoul is but His localized plenary portion. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna Himself, full with six opulences. He is the Absolute Truth, and no other truth is greater than or equal to Him.
anarpita--not bestowed; carim--having been formerly; cirat--for a long time; karunaya--by causeless mercy; avatirnah--descended; kalau--in the Age of Kali; samarpayitum--to bestow; unnata--elevated; ujjvala-rasam--the conjugal mellow; sva-bhakti--of His own service; sriyam--the treasure; harih--the Supreme Lord; purata--than gold; sundara--more beautiful; dyuti--of splendor; kadamba--with a multitude; sandipitah--lighted up; sada--always; hrdaya-kandare--in the cavity of the heart; sphuratu--let Him be manifest; vah--your; saci-nandanah--the son of mother Saci.
May that Lord who is known as the son of Srimati Sacidevi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant spiritual knowledge of the mellow taste of His service.
radha--Srimati Radharani; krsna--of Lord Krsna; pranaya--of love; vikrtih--the transformation; hladini saktih--pleasure potency; asmat--from this; eka-atmanau--both the same in identity; api--although; bhuvi--on earth; pura--from beginningless time; deha-bhedam--separate forms; gatau--obtained; tau--those two; caitanya-akhyam--known as Sri Caitanya; prakatam--manifest; adhuna--now; tat-dvayam--the two of Them; ca--and; aikyam--unity; aptam--obtained; radha--of Srimati Radharani; bhava--mood; dyuti--the luster; su-valitam--who is adorned with; naumi--I offer my obeisances; krsna-svarupam--to Him who is identical with Sri Krsna.
The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krsna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord's internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krsna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri Krsna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani although He is Krsna Himself.
sri-radhayah pranaya-mahima kidrso vanayaiva-
svadyo yenadbhuta-madhurima kidrso va madiyah
saukhyam casya mad-anubhavatah kidrsam veti lobhat
tad-bhavadhyah samajani saci-garbha-sindhau harinduh
sri-radhayah--of Srimati Radharani; pranaya-mahima--the greatness of the love; kidrsah--of what kind; va--or; anaya--by this one (Radha); eva--alone; asvadyah--to be relished; yena--by that love; adbhuta-madhurima--the wonderful sweetness; kidrsah--of what kind; va--or; madiyah--of Me; saukhyam--the happiness; ca--and; asyah--Her; mat-anubhavatah--from realization of My sweetness; kidrsam--of what kind; va--or; iti--thus; lobhat--from the desire; tat--Her; bhava-adhyah--richly endowed with emotions; samajani--took birth; saci-garbha--of the womb of Srimati Sacidevi; sindhau--in the ocean; hari--Lord Krsna; induh--like the moon.
Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani's love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Srimati Sacidevi, as the moon appeared from the ocean.
garbhoda-sayi ca payobdhi-sayi
sesas ca yasyamsa-kalah sa nitya-
nandakhya-ramah saranam mamastu
sankarsanah--Maha-Sankarsana in the spiritual sky; karana-toya-sayi--Karanodakasayi Visnu, who lies in the Causal Ocean; garbha-uda-sayi--Garbhodakasayi Visnu, who lies in the Garbhodaka Ocean of the universe; ca--and; payah-abdhi-sayi--Ksirodakasayi Visnu, who lies in the ocean of milk; sesah--Sesa Naga, the couch of Visnu; ca--and; yasya--whose; amsa--plenary portions; kalah--and parts of the plenary portions; sah--He; nityananda-akhya--known as Lord Nityananda; ramah--Lord Balarama; saranam--shelter; mama--my; astu--let there be.
May Sri Nityananda Rama be the object of my constant remembrance. Sankarsana, Sesa Naga and the Visnus who lie on the Karana Ocean, Garbha Ocean and ocean of milk are His plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions.
rupam yasyodbhati sankarsanakhyam
tam sri-nityananda-ramam prapadye
maya-atite--beyond the material creation; vyapi--all-expanding; vaikuntha-loke--in Vaikunthaloka, the spiritual world; purna-aisvarye--endowed with full opulence; sri-catuh-vyuha-madhye--in the quadruple expansions (Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha); rupam--form; yasya--whose; udbhati--appears; sankarsana-akhyam--known as Sankarsana; tam--to Him; sri-nityananda-ramam--to Lord Balarama in the form of Lord Nityananda; prapadye--I surrender.
I surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, who is known as Sankarsana in the midst of the catur-vyuha [consisting of Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha]. He possesses full opulences and resides in Vaikunthaloka, far beyond the material creation.
sete saksat karanambhodhi-madhye
yasyaikamsah sri-puman adi-devas
tam sri-nityananda-ramam prapadye
maya-bharta--the master of the illusory energy; aja-anda-sangha--of the multitude of universes; asraya--the shelter; angah--whose body; sete--He lies; saksat--directly; karana-ambhodhi-madhye--in the midst of the Causal Ocean; yasya--whose; eka-amsah--one portion; sri-puman--the Supreme Person; adi-devah--the original purusa incarnation; tam--to Him; sri-nityananda-ramam--to Lord Balarama in the form of Lord Nityananda; prapadye--I surrender.
I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose partial representation called Karanodakasayi Visnu, lying on the Karana Ocean, is the original purusa, the master of the illusory energy, and the shelter of all the universes.
loka-srastuh sutika-dhama dhatus
tam sri-nityananda-ramam prapadye
yasya--whose; amsa-amsah--portion of a plenary portion; srila-garbha-uda-sayi--Garbhodakasayi Visnu; yat--of whom; nabhi-abjam--the navel lotus; loka-sanghata--of the multitude of planets; nalam--having a stem that is the resting place; loka-srastuh--of Lord Brahma, the creator of the planets; sutika-dhama--the birthplace; dhatuh--of the creator; tam--to Him; sri-nityananda-ramam--to Lord Balarama in the form of Lord Nityananda; prapadye--I surrender.
I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, a partial part of whom is Garbhodakasayi Visnu. From the navel of Garbhodakasayi Visnu sprouts the lotus that is the birthplace of Brahma, the engineer of the universe. The stem of that lotus is the resting place of the multitude of planets.
posta visnur bhati dugdhabdhi-sayi
ksauni-bharta yat-kala so 'py anantas
tam sri-nityananda-ramam prapadye
yasya--whose; amsa-amsa-amsah--a portion of a portion of a plenary portion; para-atma--the Supersoul; akhilanam--of all living entities; posta--the maintainer; visnuh--Visnu; bhati--appears; dugdha-abdhi-sayi--Ksirodakasayi Visnu; ksauni-bharta--upholder of the earth; yat--whose; kala--portion of a portion; sah--He; api--certainly; anantah--Sesa Naga; tam--to Him; sri-nityananda-ramam--to Lord Balarama in the form of Lord Nityananda; prapadye--I surrender.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose secondary part is the Visnu lying in the ocean of milk. That Ksirodakasayi Visnu is the Supersoul of all living entities and the maintainer of all the universes. Sesa Naga is His further sub-part.
maha-visnuh--Maha-Visnu, the resting place of the efficient cause; jagat-karta--the creator of the cosmic world; mayaya--by the illusory energy; yah--who; srjati--creates; adah--that universe; tasya--His; avatarah--incarnation; eva--certainly; ayam--this; advaita-acaryah--of the name Advaita Acarya; isvarah--the Supreme Lord, the resting place of the material cause.
Lord Advaita Acarya is the incarnation of Maha-Visnu, whose main function is to create the cosmic world through the actions of Maya.
bhaktavataram isam tam
advaitam--known as Advaita; harina--with Lord Hari; advaitat--from being nondifferent; acaryam--known as Acarya; bhakti-samsanat--from the propagation of devotional service to Sri Krsna; bhakta-avataram--the incarnation as a devotee; isam--to the Supreme Lord; tam--to Him; advaita-acaryam--to Advaita Acarya; asraye--I surrender.
Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates the cult of devotion, He is called Acarya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord's devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him.
panca-tattva-atmakam--comprehending the five transcendental subject matters; krsnam--unto Lord Krsna; bhakta-rupa--in the form of a devotee; sva-rupakam--in the expansion of a devotee; bhakta-avataram--in the incarnation of a devotee; bhakta-akhyam--known as a devotee; namami--I offer my obeisances; bhakta-saktikam--the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who supplies energy to the devotee.
I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Krsna, who is nondifferent from His features as a devotee, devotional incarnation, devotional manifestation, pure devotee, and devotional energy.
jayatam suratau pangor
mama manda-mater gati
jayatam--all glory to; su-ratau--most merciful, or attached in conjugal love; pangoh--of one who is lame; mama--of me; manda-mateh--foolish; gati--refuge; mat--my; sarva-sva--everything; pada-ambhojau--whose lotus feet; radha-madana-mohanau--Radharani and Madana-mohana.
Glory to the all-merciful Radha and Madana-mohana! I am lame and ill-advised, yet They are my directors, and Their lotus feet are everything to me.
divyat--shining; vrnda-aranya--in the forest of Vrndavana; kalpa-druma--desire tree; adhah--beneath; srimat--most beautiful; ratna-agara--in a temple of jewels; simha-asana-sthau--sitting on a throne; srimat--very beautiful; radha--Srimati Radharani; srila-govinda-devau--and Sri Govindadeva; prestha-alibhih--by most confidential associates; sevyamanau--being served; smarami--I remember.
In a temple of jewels in Vrndavana, underneath a desire tree, Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances unto Them.
karsan venu-svanair gopir
gopi-nathah sriye 'stu nah
sri-man--most beautiful; rasa--of the rasa dance; rasa--of the mellow; arambhi--the initiator; vamsi-vata--of the name Vamsivata; tata--on the shore; sthitah--standing; karsan--attracting; venu--of the flute; svanaih--by the sounds; gopih--the cowherd girls; gopi-nathah--Sri Gopinatha; sriye--benediction; astu--let there be; nah--our.
Sri Srila Gopinatha, who originated the transcendental mellow of the rasa dance, stands on the shore in Vamsivata and attracts the attention of the cowherd damsels with the sound of His celebrated flute. May they all confer upon us their benediction.
jaya jaya--all glory; sri-caitanya--to Sri Caitanya; jaya--all glory; nityananda--to Lord Nityananda; jaya advaita-candra--all glory to Advaita Acarya; jaya--all glory; gaura-bhakta-vrnda--to the devotees of Lord Caitanya.
Glory to Sri Caitanya and Nityananda! Glory to Advaitacandra! And glory to all the devotees of Sri Gaura [Lord Caitanya]!
ei tina thakura gaudiyake kariyachena atmasat
e tinera carana vandon, tine mora natha
These three Deities of Vrndavana [Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopinatha] have absorbed the heart and soul of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas [followers of Lord Caitanya]. I worship Their lotus feet, for They are the Lords of my heart.
The author of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta offers his respectful obeisances unto the three Deities of Vrndavana named Sri Radha-Madana-mohana, Sri Radha-Govindadeva and Sri Radha-Gopinathaji. These three Deities are the life and soul of the Bengali Vaisnavas, or Gaudiya Vaisnavas, who have a natural aptitude for residing in Vrndavana. The Gaudiya Vaisnavas who follow strictly in the line of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu worship the Divinity by chanting transcendental sounds meant to develop a sense of one's transcendental relationship with the Supreme Lord, a reciprocation of mellows (rasas) of mutual affection, and, ultimately, the achievement of the desired success in loving service. These three Deities are worshiped in three different stages of one's development. The followers of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu scrupulously follow these principles of approach.
Gaudiya Vaisnavas perceive the ultimate objective in Vedic hymns composed of eighteen transcendental letters that adore Krsna as Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopijana-vallabha. Madana-mohana is He who charms Cupid, the god of love, Govinda is He who pleases the senses and the cows, and Gopijana-vallabha is the transcendental lover of the gopis. Krsna Himself is called Madana-mohana, Govinda, Gopijana-vallabha and countless other names as He plays in His different pastimes with His devotees.
The three Deities--Madana-mohana, Govinda and Gopijana-vallabha--have very specific qualities. Worship of Madana-mohana is on the platform of reestablishing our forgotten relationship with the Personality of Godhead. In the material world we are presently in utter ignorance of our eternal relationship with the Supreme Lord. Pangoh refers to one who cannot move independently by his own strength, and manda-mateh is one who is less intelligent because he is too absorbed in materialistic activities. It is best for such persons not to aspire for success in fruitive activities or mental speculation, but instead simply to surrender to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The perfection of life is simply to surrender to the Supreme. In the beginning of our spiritual life we must therefore worship Madana-mohana so that He may attract us and nullify our attachment for material sense gratification. This relationship with Madana-mohana is necessary for neophyte devotees. When one wishes to render service to the Lord with strong attachment, one then worships Govinda on the platform of transcendental service. Govinda is the reservoir of all pleasures. When by the grace of Krsna and the devotees one reaches perfection in devotional service, he can appreciate Krsna as Gopijana-vallabha, the pleasure Deity of the damsels of Vraja.
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu explained this mode of devotional service in three stages, and therefore these worshipable Deities were installed in Vrndavana by different Gosvamis. They are very dear to the Gaudiya Vaisnavas there, who visit the temples at least once a day. Besides the temples of these three Deities, many other temples have been established in Vrndavana, such as the temple of Radha-Damodara of Jiva Gosvami, the temple of Syamasundara of Syamananda Gosvami, the temple of Gokulananda of Lokanatha Gosvami, and the temple of Radha-ramana of Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. There are seven principal temples over four hundred years old that are the most important of the five thousand temples now existing in Vrndavana.
"Gaudiya" indicates the part of India between the southern side of the Himalayan Mountains and the northern part of the Vindhya Hills, which is called Aryavarta, or the Land of the Aryans. This portion of India is divided into five parts or provinces (Panca-gaudadesa): Sarasvata (Kashmir and Punjab), Kanyakubja (Uttar Pradesh, including the modern city of Lucknow), Madhya-gauda (Madhya Pradesh), Maithila (Bihar and part of Bengal) and Utkala (part of Bengal and the whole of Orissa). Bengal is sometimes called Gaudadesa, partly because it forms a portion of Maithila and partly because the capital of the Hindu king Raja Laksmana Sena was known as Gauda. This old capital later came to be known as Gaudapura and gradually Mayapur.
The devotees of Orissa are called Udiyas, the devotees of Bengal are called Gaudiyas, and the devotees of southern India are known as Dravida devotees. As there are five provinces in Aryavarta, so Daksinatya, southern India, is also divided into five provinces, which are called Panca-dravida. The four Vaisnava acaryas who are the great authorities of the four Vaisnava disciplic successions, as well as Sripada Sankaracarya of the Mayavada school, appeared in the Panca-dravida provinces. Among the four Vaisnava acaryas, who are all accepted by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Sri Ramanuja Acarya appeared in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh at Mahabhutapuri, Sri Madhva Acarya appeared at Pajakam (near Vimanagiri) in the district of Mangalore, Sri Visnusvami appeared at Pandya, and Sri Nimbarka appeared at Mungera-patana in the extreme south.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted the chain of disciplic succession from Madhva Acarya, but the Vaisnavas in His line do not accept the tattva-vadis, who also claim to belong to the Madhva-sampradaya. To distinguish themselves clearly from the tattva-vadi branch of Madhva's descendants, the Vaisnavas of Bengal prefer to call themselves Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Sri Madhva Acarya is also known as Sri Gauda-purnananda, and therefore the name Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya is quite suitable for the disciplic succession of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. Our spiritual master, Om Visnupada Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Maharaja, accepted initiation in the Madhva-Gaudiya-sampradaya.
granthera arambhe kari 'mangalacarana'
guru, vaisnava, bhagavan,----tinera smarana
granthera--of this book; arambhe--in the beginning; kari--I make; mangala-acarana--auspicious invocation; guru--the spiritual master; vaisnava--the devotees of the Lord; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; tinera--of these three; smarana--remembering.
In the beginning of this narration, simply by remembering the spiritual master, the devotees of the Lord, and the Personality of Godhead, I have invoked their benedictions.
tinera smarane haya vighna-vinasana
anayase haya nija vanchita-purana
tinera--of these three; smarane--by remembrance; haya--there is; vighna-vinasana--the destruction of all difficulties; anayase--very easily; haya--there is; nija--our own; vanchita--of the desired object; purana--fulfillment.
Such remembrance destroys all difficulties and very easily enables one to fulfill his own desires.
se mangalacarana haya tri-vidha prakara
vastu-nirdesa, asirvada, namaskara
The first two verses offer respectful obeisances, generally and specifically, to the Lord, who is the object of worship.
trtiya slokete kari vastura nirdesa
yaha ha-ite jani para-tattvera uddesa
trtiya slokete--in the third verse; kari--I make; vastura--of the object; nirdesa--indication; yaha ha-ite--from which; jani--I understand; para-tattvera--of the Absolute Truth; uddesa--identification.
In the third verse I indicate the Absolute Truth, who is the ultimate substance. With such a description, one can visualize the Supreme Truth.
caturtha slokete kari jagate asirvada
sarvatra magiye krsna-caitanya-prasada
caturtha--fourth; slokete--in the verse; kari--I make; jagate--for the world; asih-vada--benediction; sarvatra--everywhere; magiye--I am begging; krsna-caitanya--of Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu; prasada--the mercy.
In the fourth verse I have invoked the benediction of the Lord upon all the world, praying to Lord Caitanya for His mercy upon all.
sei sloke kahi bahyavatara-karana
panca sastha sloke kahi mula-prayojana
sei sloke--in that same verse; kahi--I tell; bahya--the external; avatara--for the incarnation of Lord Caitanya; karana--reason; panca--the fifth; sastha--and the sixth; sloke--in the verses; kahi--I tell; mula--the prime; prayojana--purpose.
In that verse I have also explained the external reason for Lord Caitanya's incarnation. But in the fifth and sixth verses I have explained the prime reason for His advent.
ei chaya sloke kahi caitanyera tattva
ara panca sloke nityanandera mahattva
ei--these; chaya--six; sloke--in verses; kahi--I describe; caitanyera--of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; tattva--truth; ara--further; panca sloke--in five verses; nityanandera--of Lord Nityananda; mahattva--the glory.
In these six verses I have described the truth about Lord Caitanya, whereas in the next five I have described the glory of Lord Nityananda.
ara dui sloke advaita-tattvakhyana
ara eka sloke panca-tattvera vyakhyana
ara--further; dui sloke--in two verses; advaita--of Sri Advaita Prabhu; tattva--of the truth; akhyana--description; ara--further; eka sloke--in one verse; panca-tattvera--of the Panca-tattva; vyakhyana--explanation.
The next two verses describe the truth of Advaita Prabhu, and the following verse describes the Panca-tattva [the Lord, His plenary portion, His incarnation, His energies and His devotees].
ei caudda sloke kari mangalacarana
tanhi madhye kahi saba vastu-nirupana
ei caudda sloke--in these fourteen verses; kari--I make; mangala-acarana--auspicious invocation; tanhi--therefore in that; madhye--within; kahi--I speak; saba--all; vastu--object; nirupana--description.
These fourteen verses, therefore, offer auspicious invocations and describe the Supreme Truth.
saba srota-vaisnavere kari' namaskara
ei saba slokera kari artha-vicara
saba--all; srota--hearers or audience; vaisnavere--unto the Vaisnavas; kari'--offering; namaskara--obeisances; ei saba slokera--of all these (fourteen) verses; kari--I make; artha--of the meaning; vicara--analysis.
I offer my obeisances unto all my Vaisnava readers as I begin to explain the intricacies of all these verses.
sakala vaisnava, suna kari' eka-mana
sakala--all; vaisnava--O devotees of the Lord; suna--please hear; kari'--making; eka-mana--rapt attention; caitanya--Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; krsnera--of Lord Sri Krsna; sastra--scriptural reference; mata--according to; nirupana--decision.
I request all my Vaisnava readers to read and hear with rapt attention this narration of Sri Krsna Caitanya as inculcated in the revealed scriptures.
Lord Caitanya is the Absolute Truth, Krsna Himself. This is substantiated by evidence from the authentic spiritual scriptures. Sometimes people accept a man as God on the basis of their whimsical sentiments and without reference to the revealed scriptures, but the author of Caitanya-caritamrta proves all his statements by citing the sastras. Thus he establishes that Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
krsna, guru, bhakta, sakti, avatara, prakasa
krsna ei chaya-rupe karena vilasa
krsna--the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna; guru--the spiritual masters; bhakta--the devotees; sakti--the potencies; avatara--the incarnations; prakasa--plenary portions; krsna--Lord Krsna; ei chaya-rupe--in these six features; karena vilasa--enjoys.
Lord Krsna enjoys by manifesting Himself as the spiritual masters, the devotees, the diverse energies, the incarnations and the plenary portions. They are all six in one.
ei chaya tattvera kari carana vandana
prathame samanye kari mangalacarana
I therefore worship the lotus feet of these six diversities of the one truth by invoking their benedictions.
vande gurun isa-bhaktan
tat-prakasams ca tac-chaktih
vande--I offer respectful obeisances; gurun--unto the spiritual masters; isa-bhaktan--unto the devotees of the Supreme Lord; isam--unto the Supreme Lord; isa-avatarakan--unto the incarnations of the Supreme Lord; tat--of the Supreme Lord; prakasan--unto the manifestations; ca--and; tat--of the Supreme Lord; saktih--unto the potencies; krsna-caitanya--Sri Krsna Caitanya; samjnakam--named.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees of the Lord, the Lord's incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies, and the primeval Lord Himself, Sri Krsna Caitanya.
Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami has composed this Sanskrit verse for the beginning of his book, and now he will explain it in detail. He offers his respectful obeisances to the six principles of the Absolute Truth. Gurun is plural in number because anyone who gives spiritual instructions based on the revealed scriptures is accepted as a spiritual master. Although others give help in showing the way to beginners, the guru who first initiates one with the maha-mantra is to be known as the initiator, and the saints who give instructions for progressive advancement in Krsna consciousness are called instructing spiritual masters. The initiating and instructing spiritual masters are equal and identical manifestations of Krsna, although they have different dealings. Their function is to guide the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead. Therefore Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami accepted Nityananda Prabhu and the six Gosvamis in the category of guru.
Isa-bhaktan refers to the devotees of the Lord like Sri Srivasa and all other such followers, who are the energy of the Lord and are qualitatively nondifferent from Him. Isavatarakan refers to acaryas like Advaita Prabhu, who is an avatara of the Lord. Tat-prakasan indicates the direct manifestation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nityananda Prabhu, and the initiating spiritual master. Tac-chaktih refers to the spiritual energies (saktis) of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Gadadhara, Damodara and Jagadananda belong to this category of internal energy.
The six principles are differently manifested but all equally worshipable. Krsnadasa Kaviraja begins by offering his obeisances unto them to teach us the method of worshiping Lord Caitanya. The external potency of Godhead, called maya, can never associate with the Lord, just as darkness cannot remain in the presence of light; yet darkness, being but an illusory and temporary covering of light, has no existence independent of light.
mantra-guru ara yata siksa-guru-gana
tanhara carana age kariye vandana
mantra-guru--the initiating spiritual master; ara--and also; yata--as many (as there are); siksa-guru-gana--all the instructing spiritual masters; tanhara--of all of them; carana--unto the lotus feet; age--at first; kariye--I offer; vandana--respectful obeisances.
I first offer my respectful obeisances at the lotus feet of my initiating spiritual master and all my instructing spiritual masters.
Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his thesis Bhakti-sandarbha (202), has stated that uncontaminated devotional service is the objective of pure Vaisnavas and that one has to execute such service in the association of other devotees. By associating with devotees of Lord Krsna, one develops a sense of Krsna consciousness and thus becomes inclined toward the loving service of the Lord. This is the process of approaching the Supreme Lord by gradual appreciation in devotional service. If one desires unalloyed devotional service, one must associate with devotees of Sri Krsna, for by such association only can a conditioned soul achieve a taste for transcendental love and thus revive his eternal relationship with Godhead in a specific manifestation and in terms of the specific transcendental mellow (rasa) that one has eternally inherent in him.
If one develops love for Krsna by Krsna conscious activities, one can know the Supreme Absolute Truth, but he who tries to understand God simply by logical arguments will not succeed, nor will he get a taste for unalloyed devotion. The secret is that one must submissively listen to those who know perfectly the science of God, and one must begin the mode of service regulated by the preceptor. A devotee already attracted by the name, form, qualities, etc., of the Supreme Lord may be directed to his specific manner of devotional service; he need not waste time in approaching the Lord through logic. The expert spiritual master knows well how to engage his disciple's energy in the transcendental loving service of the Lord, and thus he engages a devotee in a specific devotional service according to his special tendency. A devotee must have only one initiating spiritual master because in the scriptures acceptance of more than one is always forbidden. There is no limit, however, to the number of instructing spiritual masters one may accept. Generally a spiritual master who constantly instructs a disciple in spiritual science becomes his initiating spiritual master later on.
One should always remember that a person who is reluctant to accept a spiritual master and be initiated is sure to be baffled in his endeavor to go back to Godhead. One who is not properly initiated may present himself as a great devotee, but in fact he is sure to encounter many stumbling blocks on his path of progress toward spiritual realization, with the result that he must continue his term of material existence without relief. Such a helpless person is compared to a ship without a rudder, for such a ship can never reach its destination. It is imperative, therefore, that one accept a spiritual master if he at all desires to gain the favor of the Lord. The service of the spiritual master is essential. If there is no chance to serve the spiritual master directly, a devotee should serve him by remembering his instructions. There is no difference between the spiritual master's instructions and the spiritual master himself. In his absence, therefore, his words of direction should be the pride of the disciple. If one thinks that he is above consulting anyone else, including a spiritual master, he is at once an offender at the lotus feet of the Lord. Such an offender can never go back to Godhead. It is imperative that a serious person accept a bona fide spiritual master in terms of the sastric injunctions. Sri Jiva Gosvami advises that one not accept a spiritual master in terms of hereditary or customary social and ecclesiastical conventions. One should simply try to find a genuinely qualified spiritual master for actual advancement in spiritual understanding.
bhagavanera--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhakta--the devotees; yata--as many (as there are); srivasa pradhana--headed by Sri Srivasa; tan'-sabhara--of all of them; pada-padme--unto the lotus feet; sahasra--thousands; pranama--respectful obeisances.
There are innumerable devotees of the Lord, of whom Srivasa Thakura is the foremost. I offer my respectful obeisances thousands of times unto their lotus feet.
Srila Nityananda Rama is the plenary manifestation of the Lord, and I have been initiated by Him. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto His lotus feet.
tan'-sabara carane mora sahasra pranati
gadadhara-pandita-adi--headed by Sri Gadadhara Pandita; prabhura--of the Supreme Lord; nija-sakti--internal potencies; tan'-sabara--of all of them; carane--unto the lotus feet; mora--my; sahasra--thousands; pranati--respectful obeisances.
I offer my respectful obeisances unto the internal potencies of the Lord, of whom Sri Gadadhara Prabhu is the foremost.
sri-krsna-caitanya--Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu; prabhu--the Supreme Lord; svayam-bhagavan--is the original Personality of Godhead; tanhara--His; pada-aravinde--unto the lotus feet; ananta--innumerable; pranama--respectful obeisances.
Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the Personality of Godhead Himself, and therefore I offer innumerable prostrations at His lotus feet.
savarane prabhure kariya namaskara
ei chaya tenho yaiche----kariye vicara
sa-avarane--along with His associates; prabhure--unto Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu; kariya--having made; namaskara--respectful obeisances; ei--these; chaya--six; tenho--He; yaiche--what they are like; kariye--I make; vicara--discussion.
Having offered obeisances unto the Lord and all His associates, I shall now try to explain these six diversities in one.
There are many unalloyed devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, all of whom are considered associates surrounding the Lord. Krsna should be worshiped with His devotees. The diverse principles are therefore the eternal paraphernalia through which the Absolute Truth can be approached.
yadyapi amara guru----caitanyera dasa
tathapi janiye ami tanhara prakasa
yadyapi--even though; amara--my; guru--spiritual master; caitanyera--of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; dasa--the servitor; tathapi--still; janiye--know; ami--I; tanhara--of the Lord; prakasa--direct manifestation.
Although I know that my spiritual master is a servitor of Sri Caitanya, I know Him also as a plenary manifestation of the Lord.
Every living entity is essentially a servant of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and the spiritual master is also His servant. Still, the spiritual master is a direct manifestation of the Lord. With this conviction, a disciple can advance in Krsna consciousness. The spiritual master is nondifferent from Krsna because he is a manifestation of Krsna.
Lord Nityananda, who is Balarama Himself, the first direct manifestation or expansion of Krsna, is the original spiritual master. He helps Lord Krsna in His pastimes, and He is a servant of the Lord.
Every living entity is eternally a servant of Sri Krsna Caitanya; therefore the spiritual master cannot be other than a servant of Lord Caitanya. The spiritual master's eternal occupation is to expand the service of the Lord by training disciples in a service attitude. A spiritual master never poses as the Supreme Lord Himself; he is considered a representative of the Lord. The revealed scriptures prohibit one's pretending to be God, but a bona fide spiritual master is a most faithful and confidential servant of the Lord and therefore deserves as much respect as Krsna.
guru krsna-rupa hana sastrera pramane
guru-rupe krsna krpa karena bhakta-gane
guru--the spiritual master; krsna-rupa--as good as Krsna; hana--is; sastrera--of revealed scriptures; pramane--by the evidence; guru-rupe--in the form of the spiritual master; krsna--Lord Sri Krsna; krpa--mercy; karena--distributes; bhakta-gane--unto His devotees.
According to the deliberate opinion of all revealed scriptures, the spiritual master is nondifferent from Krsna. Lord Krsna in the form of the spiritual master delivers His devotees.
The relationship of a disciple with his spiritual master is as good as his relationship with the Supreme Lord. A spiritual master always represents himself as the humblest servitor of the Personality of Godhead, but the disciple must look upon him as the manifested representation of Godhead.
acaryam mam vijaniyan
acaryam--the spiritual master; mam--Myself; vijaniyat--one should know; na avamanyeta--one should never disrespect; karhicit--at any time; na--never; martya-buddhya--with the idea of his being an ordinary man; asuyeta--one should be envious; sarva-deva--of all demigods; mayah--representative; guruh--the spiritual master.
"One should know the acarya as Myself and never disrespect him in any way. One should not envy him, thinking him an ordinary man, for he is the representative of all the demigods."
This is a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.17.27) spoken by Lord Krsna when He was questioned by Uddhava regarding the four social and spiritual orders of society. He was specifically instructing how a brahmacari should behave under the care of a spiritual master. A spiritual master is not an enjoyer of facilities offered by his disciples. He is like a parent. Without the attentive service of his parents, a child cannot grow to manhood; similarly, without the care of the spiritual master one cannot rise to the plane of transcendental service.
The spiritual master is also called acarya, or a transcendental professor of spiritual science. The Manu-samhita (2.140) explains the duties of an acarya, describing that a bona fide spiritual master accepts charge of disciples, teaches them the Vedic knowledge with all its intricacies, and gives them their second birth. The ceremony performed to initiate a disciple into the study of spiritual science is called upaniti, or the function that brings one nearer to the spiritual master. One who cannot be brought nearer to a spiritual master cannot have a sacred thread, and thus he is indicated to be a sudra. The sacred thread on the body of a brahmana, ksatriya or vaisya is a symbol of initiation by the spiritual master; it is worth nothing if worn merely to boast of high parentage. The duty of the spiritual master is to initiate a disciple with the sacred thread ceremony, and after this samskara, or purificatory process, the spiritual master actually begins to teach the disciple about the Vedas. A person born a sudra is not barred from such spiritual initiation, provided he is approved by the spiritual master, who is duly authorized to award a disciple the right to be a brahmana if he finds him perfectly qualified. In the Vayu Purana an acarya is defined as one who knows the import of all Vedic literature, explains the purpose of the Vedas, abides by their rules and regulations, and teaches his disciples to act in the same way.
Only out of His immense compassion does the Personality of Godhead reveal Himself as the spiritual master. Therefore in the dealings of an acarya there are no activities but those of transcendental loving service to the Lord. He is the Supreme Personality of Servitor Godhead. It is worthwhile to take shelter of such a steady devotee, who is called asraya-vigraha, or the manifestation or form of the Lord of whom one must take shelter.
If one poses himself as an acarya but does not have an attitude of servitorship to the Lord, he must be considered an offender, and this offensive attitude disqualifies him from being an acarya. The bona fide spiritual master always engages in unalloyed devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. By this test he is known to be a direct manifestation of the Lord and a genuine representative of Sri Nityananda Prabhu. Such a spiritual master is known as acaryadeva. Influenced by an envious temperament and dissatisfied because of an attitude of sense gratification, mundaners criticize a real acarya. In fact, however, a bona fide acarya is nondifferent from the Personality of Godhead, and therefore to envy such an acarya is to envy the Personality of Godhead Himself. This will produce an effect subversive of transcendental realization.
As mentioned previously, a disciple should always respect the spiritual master as a manifestation of Sri Krsna, but at the same time one should always remember that a spiritual master is never authorized to imitate the transcendental pastimes of the Lord. False spiritual masters pose themselves as identical with Sri Krsna in every respect to exploit the sentiments of their disciples, but such impersonalists can only mislead their disciples, for their ultimate aim is to become one with the Lord. This is against the principles of the devotional cult.
The real Vedic philosophy is acintya-bhedabheda-tattva, which establishes everything to be simultaneously one with and different from the Personality of Godhead. Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami confirms that this is the real position of a bona fide spiritual master and says that one should always think of the spiritual master in terms of his intimate relationship with Mukunda (Sri Krsna). Srila Jiva Gosvami, in his Bhakti-sandarbha (213), has clearly defined that a pure devotee's observation of the spiritual master and Lord Siva as one with the Personality of Godhead exists in terms of their being very dear to the Lord, not identical with Him in all respects. Following in the footsteps of Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami and Srila Jiva Gosvami, later acaryas like Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura have confirmed the same truths. In his prayers to the spiritual master, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura confirms that all the revealed scriptures accept the spiritual master to be identical with the Personality of Godhead because he is a very dear and confidential servant of the Lord. Gaudiya Vaisnavas therefore worship Srila Gurudeva (the spiritual master) in the light of his being the servitor of the Personality of Godhead. In all the ancient scriptures of devotional service and in the more recent songs of Srila Narottama dasa Thakura, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura and other unalloyed Vaisnavas, the spiritual master is always considered either one of the confidential associates of Srimati Radharani or a manifested representation of Srila Nityananda Prabhu.
siksa-guruke ta' jani krsnera svarupa
antaryami, bhakta-srestha,----ei dui rupa
siksa-guruke--the spiritual master who instructs; ta'--indeed; jani--I know; krsnera--of Krsna; sva-rupa--the direct representative; antaryami--the indwelling Supersoul; bhakta-srestha--the best devotee; ei--these; dui--two; rupa--forms.
One should know the instructing spiritual master to be the Personality of Krsna. Lord Krsna manifests Himself as the Supersoul and as the greatest devotee of the Lord.
Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami states that the instructing spiritual master is a bona fide representative of Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna Himself teaches us as the instructing spiritual master from within and without. From within He teaches as Paramatma, our constant companion, and from without He teaches from the Bhagavad-gita as the instructing spiritual master. There are two kinds of instructing spiritual masters. One is the liberated person fully absorbed in meditation in devotional service, and the other is he who invokes the disciple's spiritual consciousness by means of relevant instructions. Thus the instructions in the science of devotion are differentiated in terms of the objective and subjective ways of understanding. The acarya in the true sense of the term, who is authorized to deliver Krsna, enriches the disciple with full spiritual knowledge and thus awakens him to the activities of devotional service.
When by learning from the self-realized spiritual master one actually engages himself in the service of Lord Visnu, functional devotional service begins. The procedures of this devotional service are known as abhidheya, or actions one is dutybound to perform. Our only shelter is the Supreme Lord, and one who teaches how to approach Krsna is the functioning form of the Personality of Godhead. There is no difference between the shelter-giving Supreme Lord and the initiating and instructing spiritual masters. If one foolishly discriminates between them, he commits an offense in the discharge of devotional service.
Srila Sanatana Gosvami is the ideal spiritual master, for he delivers one the shelter of the lotus feet of Madana-mohana. Even though one may be unable to travel on the field of Vrndavana due to forgetfulness of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he can get an adequate opportunity to stay in Vrndavana and derive all spiritual benefits by the mercy of Sanatana Gosvami. Sri Govindaji acts exactly like the siksa-guru (instructing spiritual master) by teaching Arjuna the Bhagavad-gita. He is the original preceptor, for He gives us instructions and an opportunity to serve Him. The initiating spiritual master is a personal manifestation of Srila Madana-mohana vigraha, whereas the instructing spiritual master is a personal representative of Srila Govindadeva vigraha. Both of these Deities are worshiped at Vrndavana. Srila Gopinatha is the ultimate attraction in spiritual realization.
na eva--not at all; upayanti--are able to express; apacitim--their gratitude; kavayah--learned devotees; tava--Your; isa--O Lord; brahma-ayusa--with a lifetime equal to Lord Brahma's; api--in spite of; krtam--magnanimous work; rddha--increased; mudah--joy; smarantah--remembering; yah--who; antah--within; bahih--outside; tanu-bhrtam--of those who are embodied; asubham--misfortune; vidhunvan--dissipating; acarya--of the spiritual master; caittya--of the Supersoul; vapusa--by the forms; sva--own; gatim--path; vyanakti--shows.
"O my Lord! Transcendental poets and experts in spiritual science could not fully express their indebtedness to You, even if they were endowed with the prolonged lifetime of Brahma, for You appear in two features--externally as the acarya and internally as the Supersoul--to deliver the embodied living being by directing him how to come to You."
This verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.29.6) was spoken by Sri Uddhava after he heard from Sri Krsna all necessary instructions about yoga.
dadami buddhi-yogam tam
yena mam upayanti te
"To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me."
This verse of the Bhagavad-gita (10.10) clearly states how Govindadeva instructs His bona fide devotee. The Lord declares that by enlightenment in theistic knowledge He awards attachment for Him to those who constantly engage in His transcendental loving service. This awakening of divine consciousness enthralls a devotee, who thus relishes his eternal transcendental mellow. Such an awakening is awarded only to those convinced by devotional service about the transcendental nature of the Personality of Godhead. They know that the Supreme Truth, the all-spiritual and all-powerful person, is one without a second and has fully transcendental senses. He is the fountainhead of all emanations. Such pure devotees, always merged in knowledge of Krsna and absorbed in Krsna consciousness, exchange thoughts and realizations as great scientists exchange their views and discuss the results of their research in scientific academies. Such exchanges of thoughts in regard to Krsna give pleasure to the Lord, who therefore favors such devotees with all enlightenment.
yatha--just as; brahmane--unto Lord Brahma; bhagavan--the Supreme Lord; svayam--Himself; upadisya--having instructed; anubhavitavan--caused to perceive.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead [svayam bhagavan] taught Brahma and made him self-realized.
The English maxim that God helps those who help themselves is also applicable in the transcendental realm. There are many instances in revealed scriptures of the Personality of Godhead's acting as the spiritual master from within. He was the spiritual master who instructed Brahma, the original living being in the cosmic creation. When Brahma was first created, he could not apply his creative energy to arrange the cosmic situation. At first there was only sound, vibrating the word tapa, which indicates the acceptance of hardships for spiritual realization. Refraining from sensual enjoyment, one should voluntarily accept all sorts of difficulty for spiritual realization. This is called tapasya. An enjoyer of the senses can never realize God, godliness or the science of theistic knowledge. Thus when Brahma, initiated by Sri Krsna by the sound vibration tapa, engaged himself in acts of austerity, by the pleasure of Visnu he was able to visualize the transcendental world, Sri Vaikuntha, through transcendental realization. Modern science can communicate using material discoveries such as radio, television and computers, but the science invoked by the austerities of Sri Brahma, the original father of mankind, was still more subtle. In time, material scientists may also know how we can communicate with the Vaikuntha world. Lord Brahma inquired about the potency of the Supreme Lord, and the Personality of Godhead answered his inquiry in the following six consecutive statements. These instructions, which are reproduced in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.9.31-36), were imparted by the Personality of Godhead, acting as the supreme spiritual master.
jnanam parama-guhyam me
sa-rahasyam tad-angam ca
grhana gaditam maya
jnanam--knowledge; parama--extremely; guhyam--confidential; me--of Me; yat--which; vijnana--realization; samanvitam--fully endowed with; sa-rahasyam--along with mystery; tat--of that; angam--supplementary parts; ca--and; grhana--just try to take up; gaditam--explained; maya--by Me.
"Please hear attentively what I shall speak to you, for transcendental knowledge about Me is not only scientific but also full of mysteries.
Transcendental knowledge of Sri Krsna is deeper than the impersonal knowledge of Brahman, for it includes knowledge of not only His form and personality but also everything else related to Him. There is nothing in existence not related with Sri Krsna. In a sense, there is nothing but Sri Krsna, and yet nothing is Sri Krsna save and except His primeval personality. This knowledge constitutes a complete transcendental science, and Visnu wanted to give Brahmaji full knowledge about that science. The mystery of this knowledge culminates in personal attachment to the Lord, with a resulting effect of detachment from anything "non-Krsna." There are nine alternative transcendental means to attain this stage: hearing, chanting, remembering, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, worshiping, praying, assisting, fraternizing with the Lord, 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 since He was pleased with him, by His grace the mystery was being revealed.
yavan aham yatha-bhavo
astu te mad-anugrahat
yavan--as I am in My eternal form; aham--I; yatha--in whichever manner; bhavah--transcendental existence; yat--whatever; rupa--various forms and colors; guna--qualities; karmakah--activities; tatha eva--exactly so; tattva-vijnanam--factual realization; astu--let there be; te--your; mat--My; anugrahat--by causeless mercy.
"By My causeless mercy, be enlightened in truth about My personality, manifestations, qualities and pastimes."
The transcendental personal forms of the Lord are a mystery, and the symptoms of these forms, which are absolutely different from anything made of mundane elements, are also mysterious. The innumerable forms of the Lord, such as Syamasundara, Narayana, Rama and Gaurasundara; the colors of these forms (white, red, yellow, cloudlike syama and others); His qualities, as the responsive Personality of Godhead to pure devotees and as impersonal Brahman to dry speculators; His uncommon activities like lifting Govardhana Hill, marrying more than sixteen thousand queens at Dvaraka, and entering the rasa dance with the damsels of Vraja, expanding Himself in as many forms as there were damsels in the dance--these and innumerable other uncommon acts and attributes are all mysteries, one aspect of which is presented in the scientific knowledge of the Bhagavad-gita, which is read and adored all over the world by all classes of scholars, with as many interpretations as there are empiric philosophers. The truth of these mysteries was revealed to Brahma by the descending process, without the help of the ascending one. His mercy descends to a devotee like Brahma and, through Brahma, to Narada, from Narada to Vyasa, from Vyasadeva to Sukadeva and so on in the bona fide chain of disciplic succession. We cannot discover the mysteries of the Lord by our mundane endeavors; they are only revealed, by His grace, to the proper devotees. These mysteries are gradually disclosed to the various grades of devotees in proportion to the gradual development of their service attitude. In other words, impersonalists who depend upon the strength of their poor fund of knowledge and morbid speculative habits, without submission and service in the forms of hearing, chanting and the others mentioned above, cannot penetrate to the mysterious region of transcendence where the Supreme Truth is a transcendental person, free from all tinges of the material elements. Discovering the mystery of the Lord eliminates the impersonal feature realized by common spiritualists who are merely trying to enter the spiritual region from the mundane platform.
aham evasam evagre
nanyad yat sad-asat param
pascad aham yad etac ca
yo 'vasisyeta so 'smy aham
aham--I, the Personality of Godhead; eva--certainly; asam--existed; eva--only; agre--before the creation; na--never; anyat--anything else; yat--which; sat--the effect; asat--the cause; param--the supreme; pascat--at the end; aham--I, the Personality of Godhead; yat--which; etat--this creation; ca--also; yah--who; avasisyeta--remains; sah--that; asmi--am; aham--I, the Personality of Godhead.
"Prior to the cosmic creation, only I exist, and no phenomena exist, either gross, subtle or primordial. After creation, only I exist in everything, and after annihilation, only I remain eternally."
Aham means "I"; therefore the speaker who is saying aham, "I," must have His own personality. The Mayavadi philosophers interpret this word aham as referring to the impersonal Brahman. These Mayavadis are very proud of their grammatical knowledge, but any person who has actual knowledge of grammar can understand that aham means "I" and that "I" refers to a personality. Therefore the Personality of Godhead, speaking to Brahma, uses aham while describing His own transcendental form. Aham has a specific meaning; it is not a vague term that can be whimsically interpreted. Aham, when spoken by Krsna, refers to the Supreme Personality of Godhead and nothing else.
Before the creation and after its dissolution, only the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His associates exist; there is no existence of the material elements. This is confirmed in the Vedic literature. Vasudevo va idam agra asin na brahma na ca sankarah. The meaning of this mantra is that before creation there was no existence of Brahma or Siva, for only Visnu existed. Visnu exists in His abode, the Vaikunthas. There are innumerable Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual sky, and on each of them Visnu resides with His associates and His paraphernalia. It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita that although the creation is periodically dissolved, there is another abode, which is never dissolved. The word "creation" refers to the material creation because in the spiritual world everything exists eternally and there is no creation or dissolution.
The Lord indicates herein that before the material creation He existed in fullness with all transcendental opulences, including all strength, all wealth, all beauty, all knowledge, all fame and all renunciation. If one thinks of a king, he automatically thinks of his secretaries, ministers, military commanders, palaces and so on. Since a king has such opulences, one can simply try to imagine the opulence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the Lord says aham, therefore, it is to be understood that He exists with full potency, including all opulences.
The word yat refers to Brahman, the impersonal effulgence of the Lord. In the Brahma-samhita (5.40) it is said, tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam: the Brahman effulgence expands unlimitedly. Just as the sun is a localized planet although the sunshine expands unlimitedly from that source, so the Absolute Truth is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but His effulgence of energy, Brahman, expands unlimitedly. From that Brahman energy the creation appears, just as a cloud appears in sunshine. From the cloud comes rain, from the rain comes vegetation, and from the vegetation come fruits and flowers, which are the basis of subsistence for many other forms of life. Similarly, the effulgent bodily luster of the Supreme Lord is the cause of the creation of infinite universes. The Brahman effulgence is impersonal, but the cause of that energy is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. From Him, in His abode, the Vaikunthas, this brahmajyoti emanates. He is never impersonal. Since they cannot understand the source of the Brahman energy, impersonalists mistakenly choose to think this impersonal Brahman the ultimate or absolute goal. But as stated in the Upanisads, one has to penetrate the impersonal effulgence to see the face of the Supreme Lord. If one desires to reach the source of the sunshine, he has to travel through the sunshine to reach the sun and then meet the predominating deity there. The Absolute Truth is the Supreme Person, Bhagavan, as Srimad-Bhagavatam explains.
Sat means "effect," asat means "cause," and param refers to the ultimate truth, which is transcendental to cause and effect. The cause of the creation is called the mahat-tattva, or total material energy, and its effect is the creation itself. But neither cause nor effect existed in the beginning; they emanated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead, as did the energy of time. This is stated in the Vedanta-sutra (janmady asya yatah). The source of birth of the cosmic manifestation, or mahat-tattva, is the Personality of Godhead. This is confirmed throughout Srimad-Bhagavatam and the Bhagavad-gita. In the Bhagavad-gita (10.8) the Lord says, aham sarvasya prabhavah: "I am the fountainhead of all emanations." The material cosmos, being temporary, is sometimes manifest and sometimes unmanifest, but its energy emanates from the Supreme Absolute Lord. Before the creation there was neither cause nor effect, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead existed with His full opulence and energy.
The words pascad aham indicate that the Lord exists after the dissolution of the cosmic manifestation. When the material world is dissolved, the Lord still exists personally in the Vaikunthas. During the creation the Lord also exists as He is in the Vaikunthas, and He also exists as the Supersoul within the material universes. This is confirmed in the Brahma-samhita (5.37). Goloka eva nivasati: although He is perfectly and eternally present in Goloka Vrndavana in Vaikuntha, He is nevertheless all-pervading (akhilatma-bhutah). The all-pervading feature of the Lord is called the Supersoul. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, aham krtsnasya jagatah prabhavah: the cosmic manifestation is a display of the energy of the Supreme Lord. The material elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego) display the inferior energy of the Lord, and the living entities are His superior energy. Since the energy of the Lord is not different from Him, in fact everything that exists is Krsna in His impersonal feature. Sunshine, sunlight and heat are not different from the sun, and yet simultaneously they are distinct energies of the sun. Similarly, the cosmic manifestation and the living entities are energies of the Lord, and they are considered to be simultaneously one with and different from Him. The Lord therefore says, "I am everything," because everything is His energy and is therefore nondifferent from Him.
Yo 'vasisyeta so 'smy aham indicates that the Lord is the balance that exists after the dissolution of the creation. The spiritual manifestation never vanishes. It belongs to the internal energy of the Supreme Lord and exists eternally. When the external manifestation is withdrawn, the spiritual activities in Goloka and the rest of the Vaikunthas continue, unrestricted by material time, which has no existence in the spiritual world. Therefore in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, yad gatva na nivartante tad dhama paramam mama: "The abode from which no one returns to this material world is the supreme abode of the Lord." (Bg. 15.6)
rte 'rtham yat pratiyeta
na pratiyeta catmani
tad vidyad atmano mayam
yathabhaso yatha tamah
rte--without; artham--value; yat--that which; pratiyeta--appears to be; na--not; pratiyeta--appears to be; ca--certainly; atmani--in relation to Me; tat--that; vidyat--you must know; atmanah--My; mayam--illusory energy; yatha--just as; abhasah--the reflection; yatha--just as; tamah--the darkness.
"What appears to be truth without Me is certainly My illusory energy, for nothing can exist without Me. It is like a reflection of a real light in the shadows, for in the light there are neither shadows nor reflections."
In the previous verse the Absolute Truth and its nature have been explained. One must also understand the relative truth to actually know the Absolute. The relative truth, which is called maya, or material nature, is explained here. Maya has no independent existence. One who is less intelligent is captivated by the wonderful activities of maya, but he does not understand that behind these activities is the direction of the Supreme Lord. In the Bhagavad-gita it is said, mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram: the material nature is working and producing moving and nonmoving beings only by the supervision of Krsna (Bg. 9.10).
The real nature of maya, the illusory existence of the material manifestation, is clearly explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Absolute Truth is substance, and the relative truth depends upon its relationship with the Absolute for its existence. Maya means energy; therefore the relative truth is explained to be the energy of the Absolute Truth. Since it is difficult to understand the distinction between the absolute and relative truths, an example can be given for clarification. The Absolute Truth can be compared to the sun, which is appreciated in terms of two relative truths: reflection and darkness. Darkness is the absence of sunshine, and a reflection is a projection of sunlight into darkness. Neither darkness nor reflection has an independent existence. Darkness comes when the sunshine is blocked. For example, if one stands facing the sun, his back will be in darkness. Since darkness stands in the absence of the sun, it is therefore relative to the sun. The spiritual world is compared to the real sunshine, and the material world is compared to the dark regions where the sun is not visible.
When the material manifestation appears very wonderful, this is due to a perverted reflection of the supreme sunshine, the Absolute Truth, as confirmed in the Vedanta-sutra. Whatever one can see here has its substance in the Absolute. As darkness is situated far away from the sun, so the material world is also far away from the spiritual world. The Vedic literature directs us not to be captivated by the dark regions (tamah) but to try to reach the shining regions of the Absolute (yogi-dhama).
The spiritual world is brightly illuminated, but the material world is wrapped in darkness. In the material world, sunshine, moonshine or different kinds of artificial light are required to dispel darkness, especially at night, for by nature the material world is dark. Therefore the Supreme Lord has arranged for sunshine and moonshine. But in His abode, as described in the Bhagavad-gita (15.6), there is no necessity for lighting by sunshine, moonshine or electricity because everything is self-effulgent.
That which is relative, temporary and far away from the Absolute Truth is called maya, or ignorance. This illusion is exhibited in two ways, as explained in the Bhagavad-gita. The inferior illusion is inert matter, and the superior illusion is the living entity. The living entities are called illusory in this context only because they are implicated in the illusory structures and activities of the material world. Actually the living entities are not illusory, for they are parts of the superior energy of the Supreme Lord and do not have to be covered by maya if they do not want to be so. The actions of the living entities in the spiritual kingdom are not illusory; they are the actual, eternal activities of liberated souls.
yatha mahanti bhutani
tatha tesu na tesv aham
yatha--as; mahanti--the universal; bhutani--elements; bhutesu--in the living entities; ucca-avacesu--both gigantic and minute; anu--after; pravistani--situated internally; apravistani--situated externally; tatha--so; tesu--in them; na--not; tesu--in them; aham--I.
"As the material elements enter the bodies of all living beings and yet remain outside them all, I exist within all material creations and yet am not within them."
The gross material elements (earth, water, fire, air and ether) combine with the subtle material elements (mind, intelligence and false ego) to construct the bodies of this material world, and yet they are beyond these bodies as well. Any material construction is nothing but an amalgamation or combination of material elements in varied proportions. These elements exist both within and beyond the body. For example, although the sky exists in space, it also enters within the body. Similarly, the Supreme Lord, who is the cause of the material energy, lives within the material world as well as beyond it. Without His presence within the material world, the cosmic body could not develop, just as without the presence of the spirit within the physical body, the body could not develop. The entire material manifestation develops and exists because the Supreme Personality of Godhead enters it as Paramatma, or the Supersoul. The Personality of Godhead in His all-pervading feature of Paramatma enters every entity, from the biggest to the most minute. His existence can be realized by one who has the single qualification of submissiveness and who thereby becomes a surrendered soul. The development of submissiveness is the cause of proportionate spiritual realization, by which one can ultimately meet the Supreme Lord in person, as a man meets another man face to face.
Because of his development of transcendental attachment for the Supreme Lord, a surrendered soul 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 Sri Radha and Krsna sitting on a decorated throne beneath a desire tree in the transcendental land of Vrndavana. His nose is engaged in smelling the spiritual aroma of the lotus feet of the Lord. Similarly, his ears are engaged in hearing messages from Vaikuntha, and his hands embrace the lotus feet of the Lord and His associates. Thus the Lord is manifested to a pure devotee from within and without. This is one of the mysteries of the devotional relationship in which a devotee and the Lord are bound by a tie of spontaneous love. To achieve this love should be the goal of life for every living being.
etavad eva jijnasyam
yat syat sarvatra sarvada
etavat--up to this; eva--certainty; jijnasyam--to be inquired about; tattva--of the Absolute Truth; jijnasuna--by the student; atmanah--of the Self; anvaya--directly; vyatirekabhyam--and indirectly; yat--whatever; syat--it may be; sarvatra--everywhere; sarvada--always.
"A person interested in transcendental knowledge must therefore always directly and indirectly inquire about it to know the all-pervading truth."
Those who are serious about the knowledge of the transcendental world, which is far beyond the material cosmic creation, must approach a bona fide spiritual master to learn the science both directly and indirectly. One must learn both the means to approach the desired destination and the hindrances to such progress. The spiritual master knows how to regulate the habits of a neophyte disciple, and therefore a serious student must learn the science in all its aspects from him.
There are different grades and standards of prosperity. The standard of comfort and happiness conceived by a common man engaged in material labor is the lowest grade of happiness, for it is in relationship with the body. The highest standard of such bodily comfort is achieved by a fruitive worker who by pious activities reaches the plane of heaven, or the kingdom of the creative gods with their delegated powers. But the conception of comfortable life in heaven is insignificant in comparison to the happiness enjoyed in the impersonal Brahman, and this brahmananda, the spiritual bliss derived from impersonal Brahman, is like the water in the hoofprint of a calf compared to the ocean of love of Godhead. When one develops pure love for the Lord, he derives an ocean of transcendental happiness from the association of the Personality of Godhead. To qualify oneself to reach this stage of life is the highest perfection.
One should try to purchase a ticket to go back home, back to Godhead. The price of such a ticket is one's intense desire for it, which is not easily awakened, even if one continuously performs pious activities for thousands of lives. All mundane relationships are sure to be broken in the course of time, but once one establishes a relationship with the Personality of Godhead in a particular rasa, it is never to be broken, even after the annihilation of the material world.
One should understand, through the transparent medium of the spiritual master, that the Supreme Lord exists everywhere in His transcendental spiritual nature and that the living entities' relationships with the Lord are directly and indirectly existing everywhere, even in this material world. In the spiritual world there are five kinds of relationships with the Supreme Lord--santa, dasya, sakhya, vatsalya and madhurya. The perverted reflections of these rasas are found in the material world. Land, home, furniture and other inert material objects are related in santa, or the neutral and silent sense, whereas servants work in the dasya relationship. The reciprocation between friends is called sakhya, the affection of a parent for a child is known as vatsalya, and the affairs of conjugal love constitute madhurya. These five relationships in the material world are distorted reflections of the original, pure sentiments, which should be understood and perfected in relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead under the guidance of a bona fide spiritual master. In the material world the perverted rasas bring frustration. If these rasas are reestablished with Lord Krsna, the result is eternal, blissful life.
From this and the preceding three verses of the Caitanya-caritamrta, which have been selected from Srimad-Bhagavatam, the missionary activities of Lord Caitanya can be understood. The Srimad-Bhagavatam has eighteen thousand verses, which are summarized in the four verses beginning with aham evasam evagre (53) and concluding with yat syat sarvatra sarvada (56). In the first of these verses (53) the transcendental nature of Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is explained. The second verse (54) further explains that the Lord is detached from the workings of the material energy, maya. The living entities, as parts and parcels of Lord Krsna, are prone to be controlled by the external energy because although they are spiritual, in the material world they are encased in bodies of material energy. The eternal relationship of the living entities with the Supreme Lord is explained in that verse. The next verse (55) instructs that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by His inconceivable energies, is simultaneously one with and different from the living entities and the material energy. This knowledge is called acintya-bhedabheda-tattva. When an individual living entity surrenders to Lord Krsna, he can then develop natural transcendental love for the Supreme Lord. This surrendering process should be the primary concern of a human being. In the next verse (56) it is said that a conditioned soul must ultimately approach a bona fide spiritual master and try to understand perfectly the material and spiritual worlds and his own existential position. Here the words anvaya-vyatirekabhyam, "directly and indirectly," suggest that one must learn the process of devotional service in its two aspects: one must directly execute the process of devotional service and indirectly avoid the impediments to progress.
cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me
siksa-gurus ca bhagavan sikhi-pincha-maulih
lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayasrih
cintamanih jayati--all glory to Cintamani; soma-girih--Somagiri (the initiating guru); guruh--spiritual master; me--my; siksa-guruh--instructing spiritual master; ca--and; bhagavan--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; sikhi-pincha--with peacock feathers; maulih--whose head; yat--whose; pada--of the lotus feet; kalpa-taru--like desire trees; pallava--like new leaves; sekharesu--at the toe nails; lila-svayam-vara--of conjugal pastimes; rasam--the mellow; labhate--obtains; jaya-srih--Srimati Radharani.
"All glories to Cintamani and my initiating spiritual master, Somagiri. All glories to my instructing spiritual master, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who wears peacock feathers in His crown. Under the shade of His lotus feet, which are like desire trees, Jayasri [Radharani] enjoys the transcendental mellow of an eternal consort."
This verse is from the Krsna-karnamrta, which was written by a great Vaisnava sannyasi named Bilvamangala Thakura, who is also known as Lilasuka. He intensely desired to enter into the eternal pastimes of the Lord, and he lived at Vrndavana for seven hundred years in the vicinity of Brahma-kunda, a still-existing bathing tank in Vrndavana. The history of Bilvamangala Thakura is given in a book called Sri Vallabha-digvijaya. He appeared in the eighth century of the Saka Era in the province of Dravida and was the chief disciple of Visnusvami. In a list of temples and monasteries kept in Sankaracarya's monastery in Dvaraka, Bilvamangala is mentioned as the founder of the Dvarakadhisa temple there. He entrusted the service of his Deity to Hari Brahmacari, a disciple of Vallabha Bhatta.
Bilvamangala Thakura actually entered into the transcendental pastimes of Lord Krsna. He has recorded his transcendental experiences and appreciation in the book known as Krsna-karnamrta. In the beginning of that book he has offered his obeisances to his different gurus, and it is to be noted that he has adored them all equally. The first spiritual master mentioned is Cintamani, who was one of his instructing spiritual masters because she first showed him the spiritual path. Cintamani was a prostitute with whom Bilvamangala was intimate earlier in his life. She gave him the inspiration to begin on the path of devotional service, and because she convinced him to give up material existence to try for perfection by loving Krsna, he has first offered his respects to her. Next he offers his respects to his initiating spiritual master, Somagiri, and then to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who was also his instructing spiritual master. He explicitly mentions Bhagavan, who has peacock feathers on His crown, because the Lord of Vrndavana, Krsna the cowherd boy, used to come to Bilvamangala to talk with him and supply him with milk. In his adoration of Sri Krsna, the Personality of Godhead, he describes that Jayasri, the goddess of fortune, Srimati Radharani, takes shelter in the shade of His lotus feet to enjoy the transcendental rasa of nuptial love. The complete treatise Krsna-karnamrta is dedicated to the transcendental pastimes of Sri Krsna and Srimati Radharani. It is a book to be read and understood by the most elevated devotees of Sri Krsna.
jive saksat nahi tate guru caittya-rupe
siksa-guru haya krsna-mahanta-svarupe
jive--by the living entity; saksat--direct experience; nahi--there is not; tate--therefore; guru--the spiritual master; caittya-rupe--in the form of the Supersoul; siksa-guru--the spiritual master who instructs; haya--appears; krsna--Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; mahanta--the topmost devotee; sva-rupe--in the form of.
Since one cannot visually experience the presence of the Supersoul, He appears before us as a liberated devotee. Such a spiritual master is none other than Krsna Himself.
It is not possible for a conditioned soul to directly meet Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but if one becomes a sincere devotee and seriously engages in devotional service, Lord Krsna sends an instructing spiritual master to show him favor and invoke his dormant propensity for serving the Supreme. The preceptor appears before the external senses of the fortunate conditioned soul, and at the same time the devotee is guided from within by the caittya-guru, Krsna, who is seated as the spiritual master within the heart of the living entity.
tato duhsangam utsrjya
satsu sajjeta buddhi-man
santa evasya chindanti
tatah--therefore; duhsangam--bad association; utsrjya--giving up; satsu--with the devotees; sajjeta--one should associate; buddhi-man--an intelligent person; santah--devotees; eva--certainly; asya--one's; chindanti--cut off; manah-vyasangam--opposing attachments; uktibhih--by their instructions.
"One should therefore avoid bad company and associate only with devotees. With their realized instructions, such saints can cut the knot connecting one with activities unfavorable to devotional service."
This verse, which appears in Srimad-Bhagavatam (11.26.26), was spoken by Lord Krsna to Uddhava in the text known as the Uddhava-gita. The discussion relates to the story of Pururava and the heavenly courtesan Urvasi. When Urvasi left Pururava, he was deeply affected by the separation and had to learn to overcome his grief.
It is indicated that to learn the transcendental science, it is imperative that one avoid the company of undesirable persons and always seek the company of saints and sages who are able to impart lessons of transcendental knowledge. The potent words of such realized souls penetrate the heart, thereby eradicating all misgivings accumulated through years of undesirable association. For a neophyte devotee there are two kinds of persons whose association is undesirable: (1) gross materialists who constantly engage in sense gratification and (2) unbelievers who do not serve the Supreme Personality of Godhead but serve their senses and their mental whims in terms of their speculative habits. Intelligent persons seeking transcendental realization should very scrupulously avoid their company.
satam prasangan mama virya-samvido
bhavanti hrt-karna-rasayanah kathah
taj-josanad asv apavarga-vartmani
sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati
satam--of the devotees; prasangat--by intimate association; mama--of Me; virya-samvidah--talks full of spiritual potency; bhavanti--appear; hrt--to the heart; karna--and to the ears; rasa-ayanah--a source of sweetness; kathah--talks; tat--of them; josanat--from proper cultivation; asu--quickly; apavarga--of liberation; vartmani--on the path; sraddha--faith; ratih--attraction; bhaktih--love; anukramisyati--will follow one after another.
"The spiritually powerful message of Godhead can be properly discussed only in a society of devotees, and it is greatly pleasing to hear in that association. If one hears from devotees, the way of transcendental experience quickly opens to him, and gradually he attains a taste in knowledge that in due course develops into attraction and devotion."
This verse appears in Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.25.25), where Kapiladeva replies to the questions of His mother, Devahuti, about the process of devotional service. As one advances in devotional activities, the process becomes progressively clearer and more encouraging. Unless one gets this spiritual encouragement by following the instructions of the spiritual master, it is not possible to make advancement. Therefore, one's development of a taste for executing these instructions is the test of one's devotional service. Initially, a person must develop confidence by hearing the science of devotion from a qualified spiritual master. Then, as he associates with devotees and tries to adopt the means instructed by the spiritual master in his own life, his misgivings and other obstacles are vanquished by his execution of devotional service. Strong attachment for the transcendental service of the Lord develops as he continues listening to the messages of Godhead, and if he steadfastly proceeds in this way, he is certainly elevated to spontaneous love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
isvara--the Supreme Personality of Godhead; svarupa--identical with; bhakta--the pure devotee; tanra--His; adhisthana--abode; bhaktera--of the devotee; hrdaye--in the heart; krsnera--of Lord Krsna; satata--always; visrama--the resting place.
A pure devotee constantly engaged in the loving service of the Lord is identical with the Lord, who is always seated in his heart.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead is one without a second, and therefore He is all-powerful. He has inconceivable energies, of which three are principal. The devotee is considered to be one of these energies, never the energetic. The energetic is always the Supreme Lord. The energies are related to Him for the purpose of eternal service. A living entity in the conditioned stage can uncover his aptitude for serving the Absolute Truth by the grace of Krsna and the spiritual master. Then the Lord reveals Himself within his heart, and he can know that Krsna is seated in the heart of every pure devotee. Krsna is actually situated in the heart of every living entity, but only a devotee can realize this fact.
sadhavo hrdayam mahyam
sadhunam hrdayam tv aham
mad-anyat te na jananti
naham tebhyo manag api
"Saints are My heart, and only I am their hearts. They do not know anyone but Me, and therefore I do not recognize anyone besides them as Mine."
This verse appears in Srimad-Bhagavatam (9.4.68) in connection with a misunderstanding between Durvasa Muni and Maharaja Ambarisa. As a result of this misunderstanding, Durvasa Muni tried to kill the king, when the Sudarsana cakra, the celebrated weapon of Godhead, appeared on the scene for the devoted king's protection. When the Sudarsana cakra attacked Durvasa Muni, he fled in fear of the weapon and sought shelter from all the great demigods in heaven. Not one of them was able to protect him, and therefore Durvasa Muni prayed to Lord Visnu for forgiveness. Lord Visnu advised him, however, that if he wanted forgiveness he had to get it from Maharaja Ambarisa, not from Him. In this context Lord Visnu spoke this verse.
The Lord, being full and free from problems, can wholeheartedly care for His devotees. His concern is how to elevate and protect all those who have taken shelter at His feet. The same responsibility is also entrusted to the spiritual master. The bona fide spiritual master's concern is how the devotees who have surrendered to him as a representative of the Lord may make progress in devotional service. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is always mindful of the devotees who fully engage in cultivating knowledge of Him, having taken shelter at His lotus feet.
bhavat--your good self; vidhah--like; bhagavatah--devotees; tirtha--holy places of pilgrimage; bhutah--existing; svayam--themselves; vibho--O almighty one; tirthi-kurvanti--make into holy places of pilgrimage; tirthani--the holy places; sva-antah-sthena--being situated in their hearts; gada-bhrta--by the Personality of Godhead.
"Saints of your caliber are themselves places of pilgrimage. Because of their purity, they are constant companions of the Lord, and therefore they can purify even the places of pilgrimage."
This verse was spoken by Maharaja Yudhisthira to Vidura in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.13.10). Maharaja Yudhisthira was receiving his saintly uncle Vidura, who had been visiting sacred places of pilgrimage. Maharaja Yudhisthira told Vidura that pure devotees like him are personified holy places because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always with them in their hearts. By their association, sinful persons are freed from sinful reactions, and therefore wherever a pure devotee goes is a sacred place of pilgrimage. The importance of holy places is due to the presence there of such pure devotees.
sei bhakta-gana haya dvi-vidha prakara
parisad-gana eka, sadhaka-gana ara
Such pure devotees are of two types: personal associates [parisats] and neophyte devotees [sadhakas].
Perfect servitors of the Lord are considered His personal associates, whereas devotees endeavoring to attain perfection are called neophytes. Among the associates, some are attracted by the opulences of the Personality of Godhead, and others are attracted by nuptial love of Godhead. The former devotees are placed in the realm of Vaikuntha to render reverential devotional service, whereas the latter devotees are placed in Vrndavana for the direct service of Sri Krsna.
isvarera avatara e-tina prakara
amsa-avatara, ara guna-avatara
brahma--Lord Brahma; visnu--Lord Visnu; siva--Lord Siva; tina--three; guna-avatare--among the incarnations controlling the three modes of material nature; gani--I count; sakti-avesa--empowered incarnations; sanaka-adi--the four Kumaras; prthu--King Prthu; vyasa-muni--Vyasadeva.
Brahma, Visnu and Siva are qualitative incarnations. Empowered incarnations are those like the Kumaras, King Prthu and Maha-muni Vyasa [the compiler of the Vedas].
dui-rupe haya bhagavanera prakasa
eke ta' prakasa haya, are ta' vilasa
dui-rupe--in two forms; haya--are; bhagavanera--of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; prakasa--manifestations; eke--in one; ta'--certainly; prakasa--manifestation; haya--is; are--in the other; ta'--certainly; vilasa--engaged in pastimes.
The Personality of Godhead exhibits Himself in two kinds of forms: prakasa and vilasa.
The Supreme Lord expands His personal forms in two primary categories. The prakasa forms are manifested by Lord Krsna for His pastimes, and their features are exactly like His. When Lord Krsna married sixteen thousand queens in Dvaraka, He did so in sixteen thousand prakasa expansions. Similarly, during the rasa dance He expanded Himself in identical prakasa forms to dance beside each and every gopi simultaneously. When the Lord manifests His vilasa expansions, however, they are all somewhat different in their bodily features. Lord Balarama is the first vilasa expansion of Lord Krsna, and the four-handed Narayana forms in Vaikuntha expand from Balarama. There is no difference between the bodily forms of Sri Krsna and Balarama except that Their bodily colors are different. Similarly, Sri Narayana in Vaikuntha has four hands, whereas Krsna has only two. The expansions of the Lord who manifest such bodily differences are known as vilasa-vigrahas.
eka-i vigraha yadi haya bahu-rupa
akare ta' bheda nahi, eka-i svarupa
mahisi-vivahe, yaiche yaiche kaila rasa
ihake kahiye krsnera mukhya 'prakasa'
eka-i--the same one; vigraha--person; yadi--if; haya--becomes; bahu-rupa--many forms; akare--in appearance; ta'--certainly; bheda--difference; nahi--there is not; eka-i--one; sva-rupa--identity; mahisi--with the queens of Dvaraka; vivahe--in the marriage; yaiche yaiche--in a similar way; kaila--He did; rasa--rasa dance; ihake--this; kahiye--I say; krsnera--of Krsna; mukhya--principal; prakasa--manifested forms.
When the Personality of Godhead expands Himself in many forms, all nondifferent in Their features, as Lord Krsna did when He married sixteen thousand queens and when He performed His rasa dance, such forms of the Lord are called manifested forms [prakasa-vigrahas].
rasa-utsavah--the festival of the rasa dance; sampravrttah--was begun; gopi-mandala--by groups of gopis; manditah--decorated; yoga-isvarena--by the master of all mystic powers; krsnena--by Lord Krsna; tasam--of them; madhye--in the middle; dvayoh dvayoh--of each two.
"When Lord Krsna, surrounded by groups of cowherd girls, began the festivities of the rasa dance, the Lord of all mystic powers placed Himself between each two girls."
This verse is also quoted from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.3).
tato dundubhayo nedur
pravistena--having entered; grhitanam--of those embracing; kanthe--on the neck; sva-nikatam--situated at their own side; striyah--the gopis; yam--whom; manyeran--would think; nabhah--the sky; tavat--at once; vimana--of airplanes; sata--with hundreds; sankulam--crowded; diva-okasam--of the demigods; sa-daranam--with their wives; ati-autsukya--with eagerness; bhrta-atmanam--whose minds were filled; tatah--then; dundubhayah--kettledrums; neduh--sounded; nipetuh--fell; puspa-vrstayah--showers of flowers.
"When the cowherd girls and Krsna thus joined together, each girl thought that Krsna was dearly embracing her alone. To behold this wonderful pastime of the Lord, the denizens of heaven and their wives, all very eager to see the dance, flew in the sky in their hundreds of airplanes. They showered flowers and beat sweetly on drums."
This is another quote from Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.33.3-4).
sa prakasa itiryate
anekatra--in many places; prakatata--the manifestation; rupasya--of form; ekasya--one; ya--which; ekada--at one time; sarvatha--in every respect; tat--His; sva-rupa--own form; eva--certainly; sah--that; prakasah--manifestive form; iti--thus; iryate--it is called.
"If numerous forms, all equal in their features, are displayed simultaneously, such forms are called prakasa-vigrahas of the Lord."
This is a quotation from the Laghu-bhagavatamrta (1.21), compiled by Srila Rupa Gosvami.
eka-i vigraha kintu akare haya ana
aneka prakasa haya, 'vilasa' tara nama
Examples of such vilasa-vigrahas are Baladeva, Narayana in Vaikuntha-dhama, and the catur-vyuha--Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha.
isvarera sakti haya e-tina prakara
eka laksmi-gana, pure mahisi-gana ara
vraje gopi-gana ara sabhate pradhana
vrajendra-nandana ya'te svayam bhagavan
isvarera--of the Supreme Lord; sakti--energy; haya--is; e-tina--these three; prakara--kinds; eka--one; laksmi-gana--the goddesses of fortune in Vaikuntha; pure--in Dvaraka; mahisi-gana--the queens; ara--and; vraje--in Vrndavana; gopi-gana--the gopis; ara--and; sabhate--among all of them; pradhana--the chief; vraja-indra-nandana--Krsna, the son of the King of Vraja; ya'te--because; svayam--Himself; bhagavan--the primeval Lord.
The energies [consorts] of the Supreme Lord are of three kinds: the Laksmis in Vaikuntha, the queens in Dvaraka and the gopis in Vrndavana. The gopis are the best of all, for they have the privilege of serving Sri Krsna, the primeval Lord, the son of the King of Vraja.
svayam-rupa krsnera kaya-vyuha----tanra sama
bhakta sahite haya tanhara avarana
svayam-rupa--His own original form (two-handed Krsna); krsnera--of Lord Krsna; kaya-vyuha--personal expansions; tanra--with Him; sama--equal; bhakta--the devotees; sahite--associated with; haya--are; tanhara--His; avarana--covering.
The personal associates of the primeval Lord, Sri Krsna, are His devotees, who are identical with Him. He is complete with His entourage of devotees.
Sri Krsna and His various personal expansions are nondifferent in potential power. These expansions are associated with further, secondary expansions, or servitor expansions, who are called devotees.
bhakta adi krame kaila sabhara vandana
e-sabhara vandana sarva-subhera karana
bhakta--the devotees; adi--and so on; krame--in order; kaila--did; sabhara--of the assembly; vandana--worship; e-sabhara--of this assembly; vandana--worship; sarva-subhera--of all good fortune; karana--the source.
Now I have worshiped all the various levels of devotees. Worshiping them is the source of all good fortune.
To offer prayers to the Lord, one should first offer prayers to His devotees and associates.
prathama sloke kahi samanya mangalacarana
dvitiya slokete kari visesa vandana
prathama--first; sloke--in the verse; kahi--I express; samanya--general; mangala-acarana--invocation of benediction; dvitiya--second; slokete--in the verse; kari--I do; visesa--particular; vandana--offering of prayers.
In the first verse I have invoked a general benediction, but in the second I have prayed to the Lord in a particular form.
vande--I offer respectful obeisances; sri-krsna-caitanya--to Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya; nityanandau--and to Lord Nityananda; saha-uditau--simultaneously arisen; gauda-udaye--on the eastern horizon of Gauda; puspavantau--the sun and moon together; citrau--wonderful; sam-dau--bestowing benediction; tamah-nudau--dissipating darkness.
"I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Krsna Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, who are like the sun and moon. They have arisen simultaneously on the horizon of Gauda to dissipate the darkness of ignorance and thus wonderfully bestow benediction upon all."
vraje ye vihare purve krsna-balarama
koti-surya-candra jini donhara nija-dhama
sei dui jagatere ha-iya sadaya
gaudadese purva-saile karila udaya
vraje--in Vraja (Vrndavana); ye--who; vihare--played; purve--formerly; krsna--Lord Krsna; balarama--Lord Balarama; koti--millions; surya--suns; candra--moons; jini--overcoming; donhara--of the two; nija-dhama--the effulgence; sei--these; dui--two; jagatere--for the universe; ha-iya--becoming; sa-daya--compassionate; gauda-dese--in the country of Gauda; purva-saile--on the eastern horizon; karila--did; udaya--arise.
Sri Krsna and Balarama, the Personalities of Godhead, who formerly appeared in Vrndavana and were millions of times more effulgent than the sun and moon, have arisen over the eastern horizon of Gaudadesa [West Bengal], being compassionate for the fallen state of the world.
sri-krsna-caitanya ara prabhu nityananda
yanhara prakase sarva jagat ananda
sri-krsna-caitanya--Lord Sri Krsna Caitanya; ara--and; prabhu nityananda--Lord Nityananda; yanhara--of whom; prakase--on the appearance; sarva--all; jagat--the world; ananda--full of happiness.
The appearance of Sri Krsna Caitanya and Prabhu Nityananda has surcharged the world with happiness.
surya-candra hare yaiche saba andhakara
vastu prakasiya kare dharmera pracara
ei mata dui bhai jivera ajnana-
tamo-nasa kari' kaila tattva-vastu-dana
surya-candra--the sun and the moon; hare--drive away; yaiche--just as; saba--all; andhakara--darkness; vastu--truth; prakasiya--manifesting; kare--do; dharmera--of inborn nature; pracara--preaching; ei mata--like this; dui--two; bhai--brothers; jivera--of the living being; ajnana--of ignorance; tamah--of the darkness; nasa--destruction; kari'--doing; kaila--made; tattva-vastu--of the Absolute Truth; dana--gift.
As the sun and moon drive away darkness by their appearance and reveal the nature of everything, these two brothers dissipate the darkness of ignorance covering the living beings' and enlighten them with knowledge of the Absolute Truth.
ajnana-tamera nama kahiye 'kaitava'
dharma-artha-kama-moksa-vancha adi saba
ajnana-tamera--of the darkness of ignorance; nama--name; kahiye--I call; kaitava--cheating process; dharma--religiosity; artha--economic development; kama--sense gratification; moksa--liberation; vancha--desire for; adi--and so on; saba--all.
The darkness of ignorance is called kaitava, the way of cheating, which begins with religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation.
dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam
vedyam vastavam atra vastu siva-dam tapa-trayonmulanam
srimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah
sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat
dharmah--religiosity; projjhita--completely rejected; kaitavah--in which fruitive intention; atra--herein; paramah--the highest; nirmatsaranam--of the one-hundred-percent pure in heart; satam--devotees; vedyam--to be understood; vastavam--factual; atra--herein; vastu--substance; siva-dam--giving well-being; tapa-traya--of threefold miseries; unmulanam--causing uprooting; srimat--beautiful; bhagavate--in the Bhagavata Purana; maha-muni--by the great sage (Vyasadeva); krte--compiled; kim--what; va--indeed; paraih--with others; isvarah--the Supreme Lord; sadyah--at once; hrdi--within the heart; avarudhyate--becomes confined; atra--herein; krtibhih--by pious men; susrusubhih--desiring to hear; tat-ksanat--without delay.
"The great scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam, compiled by Maha-muni Vyasadeva from four original verses, describes the most elevated and kindhearted devotees and completely rejects the cheating ways of materially motivated religiosity. It propounds the highest principle of eternal religion, which can factually mitigate the threefold miseries of a living being and award the highest benediction of full prosperity and knowledge. Those willing to hear the message of this scripture in a submissive attitude of service can at once capture the Supreme Lord in their hearts. Therefore there is no need for any scripture other than Srimad-Bhagavatam."
This verse appears in Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.2). The words maha-muni-krte indicate that Srimad-Bhagavatam was compiled by the great sage Vyasadeva, who is sometimes known as Narayana Maha-muni because he is an incarnation of Narayana. Vyasadeva, therefore, is not an ordinary man, but is empowered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He compiled the beautiful Bhagavatam to narrate some of the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His devotees.
In Srimad-Bhagavatam, a distinction between real religion and pretentious religion has been clearly made. According to this original and genuine commentation on the Vedanta-sutra, there are numerous pretentious faiths that pass as religion but neglect the real essence of religion. The real religion of a living being is his natural inborn quality, whereas pretentious religion is a form of nescience that artificially covers a living entity's pure consciousness under certain unfavorable conditions. Real religion lies dormant when artificial religion dominates from the mental plane. A living being can awaken this dormant religion by hearing with a pure heart.
The path of religion prescribed by Srimad-Bhagavatam is different from all forms of imperfect religiosity. Religion can be considered in the following three divisions: (1) the path of fruitive work, (2) the path of knowledge and mystic powers, and (3) the path of worship and devotional service.
The path of fruitive work (karma-kanda), even when decorated by religious ceremonies meant to elevate one's material condition, is a cheating process because it can never enable one to gain relief from material existence and achieve the highest goal. A living entity perpetually struggles hard to rid himself of the pangs of material existence, but the path of fruitive work leads him to either temporary happiness or temporary distress in material existence. By pious fruitive work a person is placed in a position where he can temporarily feel material happiness, whereas vicious activities lead him to a distressful position of material want and scarcity. However, even if a person is put into the most perfect situation of material happiness, he cannot in that way become free from the pangs of birth, death, old age and disease. A materially happy person is therefore in need of the eternal relief that mundane religiosity in terms of fruitive work can never award.
The paths of the culture of knowledge (jnana-marga) and of mystic powers (yoga-marga) are equally hazardous, for one does not know where one will go by following these uncertain methods. An empiric philosopher in search of spiritual knowledge may endeavor most laboriously for many, many births in mental speculation, but unless and until he reaches the stage of the purest quality of goodness--in other words, until he transcends the plane of material speculation--it is not possible for him to know that everything emanates from the Personality of Godhead Vasudeva. His attachment to the impersonal feature of the Supreme Lord makes him unfit to rise to that transcendental stage of vasudeva understanding, and therefore because of his unclean state of mind he glides down again into material existence, even after having ascended to the highest stage of liberation. This falldown takes place due to his want of a locus standi in the service of the Supreme Lord.
As far as the mystic powers of the yogis are concerned, they are also material entanglements on the path of spiritual realization. One German scholar who became a devotee of Godhead in India said that material science had already made laudable progress in duplicating the mystic powers of the yogis. He therefore came to India not to learn the methods of the yogis' mystic powers but to learn the path of transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord, as mentioned in the great scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam. Mystic powers can make a yogi materially powerful and thus give temporary relief from the miseries of birth, death, old age and disease, as other material sciences can also do, but such mystic powers can never be a permanent source of relief from these miseries. Therefore, according to the Bhagavata school, this path of religiosity is also a method of cheating its followers. In the Bhagavad-gita it is clearly defined that the most elevated and powerful mystic yogis one who can constantly think of the Supreme Lord within his heart and engage in the loving service of the Lord.
The path of worship of the innumerable devas, or administrative demigods, is still more hazardous and uncertain than the above-mentioned processes of karma-kanda and jnana-kanda. This system of worshiping many gods, such as Durga, Siva, Ganesa, Surya and the impersonal Visnu form, is accepted by persons who have been blinded by an intense desire for sense gratification. When properly executed in terms of the rites mentioned in the sastras, which are now very difficult to perform in this age of want and scarcity, such worship can certainly fulfill one's desires for sense gratification, but the success obtained by such methods is certainly transient, and it is suitable only for a less intelligent person. That is the verdict of the Bhagavad-gita. No sane man should be satisfied by such temporary benefits.
None of the above-mentioned three religious paths can deliver a person from the threefold miseries of material existence, namely, miseries caused by the body and mind, miseries caused by other living entities, and miseries caused by the demigods. The process of religion described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, however, is able to give its followers permanent relief from the threefold miseries. The Bhagavatam describes the highest religious form--reinstatement of the living entity in his original position of transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord, which is free from the infections of desires for sense gratification, fruitive work, and the culture of knowledge with the aim of merging into the Absolute to become one with the Supreme Lord.
Any process of religiosity based on sense gratification, gross or subtle, must be considered a pretentious religion because it is unable to give perpetual protection to its followers. The word projjhita is significant. Pra means "complete," and ujjhita indicates rejection. Religiosity in the shape of fruitive work is directly a method of gross sense gratification, whereas the process of culturing spiritual knowledge with a view to becoming one with the Absolute is a method of subtle sense gratification. All such pretentious religiosity based on gross or subtle sense gratification is completely rejected in the process of bhagavata-dharma, or the transcendental religion that is the eternal function of the living being.
Bhagavata-dharma, or the religious principle described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, of which the Bhagavad-gita is a preliminary study, is meant for liberated persons of the highest order who attribute very little value to the sense gratification of pretentious religiosity. The first and foremost concern of fruitive workers, elevationists, empiric philosophers and salvationists is to raise their material position. But devotees of Godhead have no such selfish desires. They serve the Supreme Lord only for His satisfaction. Sri Arjuna, wanting to satisfy his senses by becoming a so-called nonviolent and pious man, at first decided not to fight. But when he was fully situated in the principles of bhagavata-dharma, culminating in complete surrender unto the will of the Supreme Lord, he changed his decision and agreed to fight for the satisfaction of the Lord. He then said:
"My dear Krsna, O infallible one, my illusion is now gone. I have regained my memory by Your mercy. I am now firm and free from doubt and am prepared to act according to Your instructions." (Bg. 18.73) It is the constitutional position of a living entity to be situated in this pure consciousness. Any so-called religious process that interferes with this unadulterated spiritual position of the living being must therefore be considered a pretentious process of religiosity.
The real form of religion is spontaneous loving service to Godhead. This relationship of the living being with the Absolute Personality of Godhead in service is eternal. The Personality of Godhead is described as vastu, or the Substance, and the living entities are described as vastavas, or the innumerable samples of the Substance in relative existence. The relationship of these substantive portions with the Supreme Substance can never be annihilated, for it is an eternal quality inherent in the living being.
By contact with material nature the living entities exhibit varied symptoms of the disease of material consciousness. To cure this material disease is the supreme object of human life. The process that treats this disease is called bhagavata-dharma, or sanatana-dharma--real religion. This is described in the pages of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Therefore anyone who, because of his background of pious activities in previous lives, is anxious to hear Srimad-Bhagavatam immediately realizes the presence of the Supreme Lord within his heart and fulfills the mission of his life.
tara madhye moksa-vancha kaitava-pradhana
yaha haite krsna-bhakti haya antardhana
tara--of them; madhye--in the midst; moksa-vancha--the desire to merge into the Supreme; kaitava--of cheating processes; pradhana--the chief; yaha haite--from which; krsna-bhakti--devotion to Lord Krsna; haya--becomes; antardhana--disappearance.
The foremost process of cheating is to desire to achieve liberation by merging into the Supreme, for this causes the permanent disappearance of loving service to Krsna.
The desire to merge into the impersonal Brahman is the subtlest type of atheism. As soon as such atheism, disguised in the dress of liberation, is encouraged, one becomes completely unable to traverse the path of devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
"pra-sabdena moksabhisandhir api nirastah" iti
pra-sabdena--by the prefix "pra"; moksa-abhisandhih--the intention of liberation; api--certainly; nirastah--nullified; iti--thus.
"The prefix 'pra' [in the verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam] indicates that the desire for liberation is completely rejected."
This is an annotation by Sridhara Svami, the great commentator on Srimad-Bhagavatam.
krsna-bhaktira--of devotional service to Krsna; badhaka--hindrance; yata--all; subha-asubha--auspicious or inauspicious; karma--activity; seha--that; eka--one; jivera--of the living entity; ajnana-tamah--of the darkness of ignorance; dharma--the character.
All kinds of activities, both auspicious and inauspicious, that are detrimental to the discharge of transcendental loving service to Lord Sri Krsna are actions of the darkness of ignorance.
The poetical comparison of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda to the sun and moon is very significant. The living entities are spiritual sparks, and their constitutional position is to render devotional service to the Supreme Lord in full Krsna consciousness. So-called pious activities and other ritualistic performances, pious or impious, as well as the desire to escape from material existence, are all considered to be coverings of these spiritual sparks. The living entities must get free from these superfluous coverings and fully engage in Krsna consciousness. The purpose of the appearance of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda is to dispel the darkness of the soul. Before Their appearance, all these superfluous activities of the living entities were covering Krsna consciousness, but after the appearance of these two brothers, people's hearts are becoming cleansed, and they are again becoming situated in the real position of Krsna consciousness.
yanhara prasade ei tamo haya nasa
tamo nasa kari' kare tattvera prakasa
yanhara--whose; prasade--by the grace; ei--this; tamah--darkness; haya--is; nasa--destroyed; tamah--darkness; nasa--destruction; kari'--doing; kare--does; tattvera--of the truth; prakasa--discovery.
By the grace of Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda, this darkness of ignorance is removed, and the truth is brought to light.
tattva-vastu--Absolute Truth; krsna--Lord Krsna; krsna-bhakti--devotional service to Lord Krsna; prema-rupa--taking the form of love for Lord Krsna; nama-sankirtana--congregational chanting of the holy name; saba--all; ananda--of bliss; svarupa--the identity.
The Absolute Truth is Sri Krsna, and loving devotion to Sri Krsna exhibited in pure love is achieved through congregational chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all bliss.
surya candra bahirera tamah se vinase
bahir-vastu ghata-pata-adi se prakase
The sun and moon dissipate the darkness of the external world and thus reveal external material objects like pots and plates.
dui bhai hrdayera ksali' andhakara
dui bhagavata-sange karana saksatkara
dui--two; bhai--brothers; hrdayera--of the heart; ksali'--purifying; andhakara--darkness; dui bhagavata--of the two bhagavatas; sange--by the association; karana--cause; saksat-kara--a meeting.
But these two brothers [Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityananda] dissipate the darkness of the inner core of the heart, and thus They help one meet the two kinds of bhagavatas [persons or things in relationship with the Personality of Godhead].
eka bhagavata bada----bhagavata-sastra
ara bhagavata----bhakta bhakti-rasa-patra
eka--one; bhagavata--in relation to the Supreme Lord; bada--great; bhagavata-sastra--Srimad-Bhagavatam; ara--the other; bhagavata--in relation to the Supreme Lord; bhakta--pure devotee; bhakti-rasa--of the mellow of devotion; patra--the recipient.
One of the bhagavatas is the great scripture Srimad-Bhagavatam, and the other is the pure devotee absorbed in the mellows of loving devotion.
dui bhagavata dvara diya bhakti-rasa
tanhara hrdaye tanra preme haya vasa
dui--two; bhagavata--the bhagavatas; dvara--by; diya--giving; bhakti-rasa--devotional inspiration; tanhara--of His devotee; hrdaye--in the heart; tanra--his; preme--by the love; haya--becomes; vasa--under control.
Through the actions of these two bhagavatas the Lord instills the mellows of transcendental loving service into the heart of a living being, and thus the Lord, in the heart of His devotee, comes under the control of the devotee's love.
eka adbhuta----sama-kale donhara prakasa
ara adbhuta----citta-guhara tamah kare nasa
eka--one; adbhuta--wonderful thing; sama-kale--at the same time; donhara--of both; prakasa--the manifestation; ara--the other; adbhuta--wonderful thing; citta-guhara--of the core of the heart; tamah--darkness; kare--do; nasa--destruction.
The first wonder is that both brothers appear simultaneously, and the other is that They illuminate the innermost depths of the heart.
ei candra surya dui parama sadaya
jagatera bhagye gaude karila udaya
ei--these; candra--moon; surya--sun; dui--two; parama--very; sa-daya--kind; jagatera--of the people of the world; bhagye--for the fortune; gaude--in the land of Gauda; karila--did; udaya--appearance.
These two, the sun and moon, are very kind to the people of the world. Thus for the good fortune of all, They have appeared on the horizon of Bengal.
The celebrated ancient capital of the Sena dynasty, which was known as Gaudadesa or Gauda, was situated in what is now the modern district of Maldah. Later this capital was transferred to the ninth or central island on the western side of the Ganges at Navadvipa, which is now known as Mayapur and was then called Gaudapura. Lord Caitanya appeared there, and Lord Nityananda came there and joined Him from the district of Birbhum. They appeared on the horizon of Gaudadesa to spread the science of Krsna consciousness, and it is predicted that as the sun and moon gradually move west, the movement They began five hundred years ago will come to the Western civilizations by Their mercy.
Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu drive away the five kinds of ignorance of the conditioned souls. In the Mahabharata, Udyoga-parva, Forty-third Chapter, these five kinds of ignorance are described. They are (1) accepting the body to be the self, (2) making material sense gratification one's standard of enjoyment, (3) being anxious due to material identification, (4) lamenting and (5) thinking that there is anything beyond the Absolute Truth. The teachings of Lord Caitanya eradicate these five kinds of ignorance. Whatever one sees or otherwise experiences one should know to be simply an exhibition of the Supreme Personality of Godhead's energy. Everything is a manifestation of Krsna.
sei dui prabhura kari carana vandana
yanha ha-ite vighna-nasa abhista-purana
sei--these; dui--two; prabhura--of the Lords; kari--I do; carana--feet; vandana--obeisance; yanha ha-ite--from which; vighna-nasa--destruction of obstacles; abhista-purana--fulfillment of desires.
Let us therefore worship the holy feet of these two Lords. Thus one can be rid of all difficulties on the path of self-realization.
ei dui sloke kaila mangala-vandana
trtiya slokera artha suna sarva-jana
ei--these; dui--two; sloke--in the verses; kaila--I did; mangala--auspicious; vandana--obeisance; trtiya--third; slokera--of the verse; artha--meaning; suna--please hear; sarva-jana--everyone.
I have invoked the benediction of the Lords with these two verses. Now please hear attentively the purport of the third.
vaktavya-bahulya, grantha-vistarera dare
vistare na varni, sarartha kahi alpaksare
vaktavya--of words to be spoken; bahulya--elaboration; grantha--of the book; vistarera--of the big volume; dare--in fear; vistare--in expanded form; na--not; varni--I describe; sara-artha--essential meaning; kahi--I say; alpa-aksare--in few words.
I purposely avoid extensive description for fear of increasing the bulk of this book. I shall describe the essence as concisely as possible.
bhinna bhinna likhiyachi kariya vicara
sunile janibe saba vastu-tattva-sara
sri-caitanya--of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu; nityananda--of Lord Nityananda; advaita--of Sri Advaita; mahattva--greatness; tanra--Their; bhakta--devotees; bhakti--devotion; nama--names; prema--love; rasa--mellows; tattva--real nature; bhinna bhinna--different; likhiyachi--I wrote; kariya--doing; vicara--consideration; sunile--on hearing; janibe--will know; saba--all; vastu-tattva-sara--the essence of the Absolute Truth.
If one patiently hears about the glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Advaita Prabhu--and Their devotees, devotional activities, names, fame, and the mellows of Their transcendental loving exchanges--one will learn the essence of the Absolute Truth. Therefore I have described these [in the Caitanya-caritamrta] with logic and discrimination.
sri-rupa-raghunatha-pade yara asa
caitanya-caritamrta kahe krsnadasa
sri-rupa--Srila Rupa Gosvami; raghunatha--Srila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami; pade--at the lotus feet; yara--whose; asa--expectation; caitanya-caritamrta--the book named Caitanya-caritamrta; kahe--describes; krsnadasa--Srila Krsnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami.
Praying at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunatha, always desiring their mercy, I, Krsnadasa, narrate Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, following in their footsteps.
Thus end the Bhaktivedanta purports to Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila, First Chapter, describing the spiritual masters.