After Dékñä, can we decide our relationship with the Lord…?
Understanding our Relationship with Lord Kåñëa: Embracing the Essence of Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya…!!
Introduction: The question of whether, after initiation, one can choose relationship with Lord Kåñëa or not, seems to be filled with innocence, but actually it is filled with ignorance, about the meaning of Sampradäya, about Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya, about what Lord Gauräìga Mahäprabhu has come to give.
This article delves into-
- the essence of Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya, and
- clarifies the significance of the Divine Relationship with the Lord, which is bestowed upon devotees, and not a matter of personal choice.
To understand this, first of all, one should understand the meaning of Sampradäya.
Sampradäya is ‘samyak pradäyate iti sampradaya.’ Sampradäya means which gives exactly what is being given to them, from the very starting. In other words, Sampradäya bestows ONLY ONE bhäva.
No Sampradäya is a supermarket of all bhävas,
that one can choose out of the very many options…!!
One can go to any Sampradaya… one will find how clearly Upasana in one particular bhava only, is done each Sampradaya.
- Go to Nimbärké Sampradäya, they are very clear- “we are däsés of Rädhä and Kåñëa.”
- Go to any Räma Sampradäya, they will say– “I am däsa of Lord Räma.
- Go to Haridäsé Sampradäya, they will clearly say, “we are däsés of Rädhä Kåñëa.”
Plain and simple.
No if’s and but’s… No, nothing!
- If one is not yet initiated and is just starting spiritual life, from being a completely ignorant materialistic person, then the answer is yes, one can choose his/her Relationship with the Lord, and get connected to the Sampradaya, which bestows that bhava/that relationship with the Lord.
- But once one is connected to a Sampradäya… Be very clear, that at the time of initiation only, one’s relationship with the Lord is given to the devotee, “you have this particular relationship with the Lord.”
Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya: Now, let us understand the meaning of Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya. Gaudiya Vaisnavas means followers of Sriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu…!! Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya bestows the bhava bestowed by Sriman Gauranga Mahaprabhu…!!
So, what was the ONLY bhava bestowed by Sriman Mahaprabhu?
anarpita-caréà cirät karuëayävatérëaù kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasäà sva-bhakti-çriyam
sadä hådaya-kandare sphuratu vaù çacé-nandanaù
(Vidagdha Mädhava 1.2)
Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé tells that Çréman Mahäprabhu gave that rasa which was not bestowed earlier.
- Sakhya rasa was there earlier,
- Däsya rasa was there earlier,
- Vätsalya rasa was also there earlier.
- Even gopé bhäva was there earlier. Vidyäpati, Caëòédäsa, etc. did sädhanä in gopé bhäva.
So, all these bhävas were there earlier also…!
Then, which bhäva has been bestowed by Çréman Mahäprabhu?
It is the servitude to Çré Çré Rädhä Kåñëa as their däsé. This bhäva was not there earlier. Mahaprabhu bestowed devotees with the rare privilege of serving Rädhä and Kåñëa as Their däsé, a relationship not granted earlier in any other Yuga by any other Incarnation of the Lord.
Çréman Mahäprabhu has come here to give, which was not bestowed earlier. This Caitanya Candrämåta Verse 3 also tells,
yan näptaà karma-niñöhair na ca samadhigataà yat tapodhyäna-yogair
vairägyais tyäga-tattva-stutibhir api na yat tarkitaà cäpi kaiçcit
govinda-prema-bhäjäm api na ca kalitaà yad rahasyaà svayaà tan
nämnaiva präduräséd avatarati pare yatra taà naumi gauram
govinda-prema-bhäjäm api na ca kalitaà, He is giving that which govinda-prema-bhäjäm api na ca kalitaà – Even devotees filled with the love for Lord Kåñëa, never get… Çréman Mahäprabhu is giving them that! Çréman Mahäprabhu is giving all the Gauòéya Vaiñëavas that form of love which even devotees of Lord Kåñëa, don’t get.
He’s not giving love of Kåñëa… Çréman Mahäprabhu is giving love for Rädhä & Kåñëa. Thus, gauòéya vaiñëavas are not worshippers of Çré Kåñëa alone, they are worshippers of both Çré Rädhä & Çré Kåñëa.
In Särvabhauma Çataka, Çréla Särvabhauma Bhattäcärya, very clearly tells in Verse 2,
çré-rädhä-kåñëayoù seväà sthäpayitvä gåhe gåhe
çrémat-saìkértane gauro nåtyati prema-vihvalaù
Çréman Mahäprabhu introduced the loving devotional service of Çré Rädhä Kåñëa in each and every home.
Caitanya Candrämåta (Verse 112) by Çréla Prabodhänanda Sarasvaté also affirms this–
stré-puträdi-kathäà jahur viñayiëaù çästra-pravädaà budhä
yogéndrä vijahur marun-niyama-ja-kleçaà tapas täpasäù
jïänäbhyäsa-vidhià jahuç ca yatayaç caitanya-candre paräm
äviñkurvati bhakti-yoga-padavéà naivänya äséd rasaù
When Çréman Mahäprabhu descended, He preached and gave love of Çré Rädhä and Kåñëa, to everyone, that it seemed no other rasa remained on the planet, except service to Çré Rädhä and Kåñëa, as mentioned in the concluding words of this verse- naivänya äséd rasaù. All other rasas seemed to have evaporated, ONLY service to Çré Rädhä Kåñëa completely took the entire planet earth, that everyone was ecstatic serving Çré Rädhä Kåñëa.
All our Gosvämés have written Granthas, only on how to serve Çré Rädhä Kåñëa. They have not written any Grantha on sakhya, däsya, or on vatsalya rasa etc.
One can read any Añöakams, like Rädhäkuëòa Añöakam, Kåñëa Añöakam, Rädhikä Añöakam, Lalitä Añöakam, etc. The phala çruti of all is the same – “May you get love of Rädhä Kåñëa by hearing and chanting about these stutis.”
In other words, Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya means follower of Lord Gauräìga. And as Mahäprabhu has given ONLY service to Sri Rädhä Kåñëa, then, can Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya give something else?
Accepting & Embracing the Reality:
- Despite doing Tulasi äraté everyday in the morning as well as in the evening-
çré rädhä govinda preme sadä jena bhäsi,
namo namaù tulasi kåñëa preyäsé
“May I always float in love for Rädhä & Govinda.”
Still asking this question- which relationship I should have?
- Despite chanting Hare Kåñëa for so many years, one is saying, I don’t know what relationship I have with the Lord,
Then, one must understand, one is not in Gauòéya Vaisnava Sampradäya. One is associated with some cult, some group…!!
One may say, “There are so many Lords, Jagannätha Baladeva Subhadrä is there, Sétä Räma is there, Nsiàha Bhagaväna is there, I’m attending a common Maìgala äraté!”
Undoubtedly, anyone, who attends maìgala äraté of his Éñöa Deva, gets siddhi, provided he attends maìgala äraté ONLY of his Éñöa Deva, not of so many forms of God at the same time! This is simply not required.
In any yuga, any Sampradäya, we would have never seen any devotee doing daily maìgala äraté of the Lord and doesn’t even know his relationship with the Lord. Thus, if one has this question, “I don’t know, can I have any relationship?”, it is simply ignorance.
For, one gets the bhäva of the Sampradäya on Dékñä… one just needs to render sädhanä accordingly, and then, one can get Siddhi.
- If one is connected to Puñöi Sampradäya, then one’s relationship with Krsna is in vätsalya bhava.
- Likewise, all Gauòéya Vaiñëavas, other than Iskcon and Gauòiya maöha, are very clear, just like Nimbärkis, when you ask them, what is your relationship with the Lord? They’ll say – “Rädhä-Kåñëa are my Lord and I am Their däsé.”
Conclusion: The Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya offers a unique and profound path of devotion centered on the loving service of Rädhä and Kåñëa. By embracing the actual teachings of Mahäprabhu and the essence of Gauòéya Vaiñëava Sampradäya, devotees will have no confusion, ever, as to their relationship with the Lord. They will be able to immerse themselves in the loving devotional service of the divine couple and attain the highest realms of spiritual ecstasy.