Gaudéya Vaisnavism In A Nutshell
Bhakti- We all want to do Bhakti…many of us are even trying to do Bhakti…but are we really sure of our Destination? Do we really know what actually we will be doing upon attaining our Destination?
Uncertainty always remains…
And, because of this uncertainty i.e., not knowing exactly, ‘how my Iñöa Deva is served in the Spiritual World by me and others’, despite being on the Path of Bhakti (Devotional Service), burning zeal and determination to do Prema Bhakti unto the Lord of my life (my Iñöa Deva) does not come even after years of coming into Bhakti !!
What is the Reason??
The sole reason behind this is that we have not accepted the Simplest, the Most Basic Truth. The Truth which all Scriptures proclaim is “Bhakti is Science” i.e., Bhakti is systematic and definite. Bhakti Yoga is a scientific process. In other words, if we are doing Bhakti, the Right Way, we will surely get Definite Result, there is no question of “may be” or “may be not”.. no question of uncertainty about anything.
Topmost Gift, “Gauòéya Vaiñëavism”
For rendering Devotional Service (Bhakti) in this Special Kaliyuga (the Age of Kali), the parama karuëämaya (Most Merciful), the combined form of Rädhä and Kåñëa, Lord Gauräìga Mahäprabhu has gifted all of us with the Topmost Gift, “Gauòéya Vaiñëavism”
Çréla Rämänanda Räya glorifies Çré Gauräìga –
nija-güòha-kärya tomära — prema äsvädana
änuñaìge prema-maya kaile tribhuvan
(C.C. Madhya 8.280)
“The very confidential reason of Your descent is to relish the super excellent Çré Rädhä Prema, and as a secondary objective You fill the three worlds with this Prema.”
Highest Form Of Happiness
The true Gauòéya Vaiñëavism is all about that through which we, the insignificant jévas can relish THE HIGHEST FORM OF HAPPINESS, which is su-durlabha (very very rare) even for the Lord’s Eternal Associates- Lalitä Sakhé, Nanda Bäbä, Yaçodä Maiyä etc., what to speak of the Demigods ! That HIGHEST FORM OF HAPPINESS is the personal service of Çrématé Rädhäräné, named Maïjaré Bhäva, the highest aspect of madhura prema rasa. The goal of the Gauòéya Vaiñëavas is Rädhä-däsya, the Maïjaré Bhäva where the object of service is not Çré Kåñëa alone but both Çré Kåñëa and Çrématé Rädhäräné i.e., Yugala Sarakära is the object of service. Gauòéya Vaiñëavas just breathe Rädhä däsya 24×7. In front of Rädhä däsyaà, all human goals are simply insignificant. This Rädhä däsyaà, the highest level of däsya, a jéva can ever have, is the unique gift of Çré Gauräìga Mahäprabhu.
Sréman Mahäprabhu empowered Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé to speak, write such Literature so that the people of the kaliyuga can attain nitya sevä of the Divine Couple in the Nikuïjas (grooves) of Våndävana.
Çréla Viçvanätha Cakravarté Öhäkura explains how Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé established the innermost desire of Çré Caitanya Mahäprabhu on this planet earth.
çré caitanya mahäprabhor mano-‘bhéñöaà, mano-abhiläçitaà çrémad bhagavad bhakti rasa çästraà bhütale yeno rüpa sthäpitaà nirupitaà
By writing Bhakti rasa çästras. Prior to Lord Caitanya’s Appearance, different bhakti rasa çästras were written. Mahäprabhu wanted to give those bhakti rasa çästras, by which even an ordinary person could attain the service of the Divine Couple in maïjaré bhäva. So, Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé wrote about that very mellow in his Granthas. His Granthas have nothing else but maïjaré bhäva. All of this was previously simply inaccessible.
All the granthas of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé have only and only one subject matter i.e., Rädhä däsyaà, how all entities can take this Mahäprabhu’s gift- Rädhä däsyaà (maïjaré bhäva). All the Granthas of Çréla Rüpa Gosvämé are written just for this purpose only.
True Gauòéya Vaiñëavism cannot be understood without the very important Granthas like Çré Caitanya Candrodaya Näöaka, Ñaò sandarabhas, Vidagdha Mädhava, Viläpa kusumäïjalé, Rädhä Rasasudhänidhi etc. which are generally beyond the reach of innocent sädhakas.
How One Can Achieve The Highest Form Of Happiness
Çréman Mahäprabhu inspired Çréla Rämänanda Räya to speak on the various forms of bhakti a jéva can do, and after establishing the supremacy of Rädhä Däsya, the highest attainable goal for the jévas. This çloka of Caitanya Caritämåta reveals how one can achieve the highest. The highest Rädhä prema has been concluded by Lord Gauräìga Himself and the means to achieve that highest is given through this çloka. This çloka has everything, which a gauòéya vaiñëava ever ever ever needs to know, which is the essence. Chapter 8 of Caitanya Caritämåta gives the essence of all the philosophical truths. And this çloka is the essence of Gauòéya Vaiñëavism and is the very life of all the followers of Çréman Mahäprabhu !
ataeva gopé-bhäva kari aìgékära
rätri-dina cinte rädhä-kåñëera vihära
siddha-dehe cinti’ kare tähäìïi seväna
sakhé-bhäve päya rädhä- kåñëera caraëa
(C.C. Madhya 8.228-229)
“‘Ataeva’, therefore, accept this form of Gopé Bhäva i.e., Maïjaré bhäva and contemplate on Rädhä Kåñëa’s madhura pastimes day and night. Contemplate on your siddha deha and do mänasé sevä with that siddha deha of yours. In this way, you will attain the Lotus Feet of Rädhä Kåñëa.”
When sadhakas take the shelter of Çré Guru’s lotusfeet in an unbroken 500 year old bonafide lineage, they become acquainted with their own nitya siddha maïjaré svarüpa and their intrinsic ekädaça bhäva. In this way, they continue doing bhajana externally with this body, by hearing and chanting the glories of the Lord, and internally, in their mentally conceived spiritual bodies, as maïjarés, also called Bhüta Çuddhi, thinking(smaran) round the clock about Çré Rädhä Mädhava’s pastimes and their loving service to Çré Yugala in allegiance to Çré Lalitä and other sakhés and Çré Rüpa and the other maïjarés.
Absorption in bhäva is the main thing. Devotees practising in the mood of the maïjarés should equalize their moods with that of the Nitya Maïjarés. By having oneness with the bhäva of the Nitya Siddha Maïjarés, one’s sense of being different from them disappears totally and one feels entirely non-different from them.
Gaudéya Vaisnavas Have Two Svarüpas
Devotees chanting Hare Kåñëa, the Gauòéya Vaiñëavas, have simultaneously one svarüpa as kiçora brähmaëa in Gaura Lélä and another svarüpa as a maïjaré in Vraja Lélä.
Çréla Narottama Däsa Öhäkura also mentions in Prema Bhakti Candrikä-
‘hethä gauracandra päbo, sethä rädhä kåñëa’
“Here I will get Gauracandra and there I will get Rädhä Kåñëa.”
A gauòéya vaiñëava does not relish topics related to the opulence of Hari, he does not have any desire to go to Vaikuëöha, he does not even desire Hari independently.
Then, what does a gauòéya vaiñëava desire?
çré-våndävana-tattvaà, çré-rädhä-kåñëayos tattvaà
nija-tattvaà ca sadä smara, yat prakaöitam asti gauracandreëa
(Våndävana Mahimämåta 2.95)
“A gauòéya vaiñëava just meditates on the science of self realization, on the science of Rädhä and Kåñëa and on the science of Våndävana, as revealed by Gauracandra.”
äsakto vasa rädhikä-pada-tale nityaà sva-tattve sthitaù
(Våndävana Mahimämåta 4.92)
“Gauòéya vaiñëava must always remain in his constitutional position as a maïjaré and reside always at the feet of Çré Rädha.”
Mahäprabhu Relishes Maïjaré-bhäva
Kåñëa became Gaura to taste the Love that Rädhä feels for Him. After He had experienced that, He also wanted to experience the nectar of the maïjarés’ service. While relishing the indescribable mood of the maïjarés, the epitome of relishment and ecstasy, the Lord’s body became like a turtle (kürmäkåti), and sometimes His limbs would loosen and stretch out (as the sandhi viyoga) due to unbearable ecstasy.
Çré Caitanya Caritämåta describes Çréman Mahäprabhu’s words after being in Kūrmäkåti, because of relishing the Highest Bliss.
ihäì haite äji mui genu govardhane
dekhoì, — yadi kåñëa karena godhana-cäraëe
govardhane caòi’ kåñëa bäjäilä veëu
govardhanera caudike care saba dhenu
veëu-näda çuni’ äilā rädhä-öhakuräné
saba sakhé-gaëa-saìge kariyä säjani
rädhä lasä kåñëa praveçilä kandaräte
sakhī-gaëa kahe more phula uöhäite
(C.C. Antya 14.106-109)
Çré Gadädhara Paëòita, Çréväsa Paëòita and Çré Advaitäcärya also relished maïjaré bhäva. Their maïjaré names are well known. Çréväsa Öhäkura is Çré Maïjaré, Advaita Äcärya is Sampürëa Maïjaré, etc. And there are bonafide Paramparäs of Maïjaré Bhäva from Advaitäcärya’s maïjaré bhäva Lineage, Çréväsa Paëòita Lineage etc. from the time of Çré Gauräìga Mahäprabhu.
Gauòéya Vaiñëavism is a paramparä of maïjaré bhäva where the predecessors and followers practised only maïjaré bhäva, are practising only maïjaré bhäva and will practise only maïjaré bhäva. It is not that my Guru is in maïjaré bhäva but I am in sakhya bhäva, or my Guru is in sakhya bhäva but I am in maïjaré bhäva. This is not Gauòéya Vaiñëavism. Devotees chanting Hare Kåñëa should know what Çréman Mahäprabhu tasted. He wanted all the living entities to taste the same. How the people of the Kaliyuga become eligible to relish the same rasa which Çréman Mahäprabhu Himself tasted, is an open secret in all Gauòéya Lineages which originate from Lord Gauräìga’s time. It is very disheartening to see that people, groups, organizations etc. have enforced their own opinions, their own views about what they think Gauòéya Vaiñëavism is, which is not in union with the opinion of the Scriptures and the original Gauòéya Äcäryas Teachings. This has not only misled sädhakas (aspirants) but has also made them “lakñya-härä” (goal-less). These innocent jévas are chanting Hari Näma without having clear understanding of the goal of Gauòéya Vaiñëavism.”
I Am Not Qualified ! -The False Presumption
It is often propagated that this subject- the conjugal affairs of the Divine Couple is not fit for the devotees to study or practice until they are free from the anarthas, as there is a fear that mundane sexual agitation may arise from it. But the teaching of Çrémad Bhägavatam completely opposes this view.
In the concluding verse of the Räsa lélä, Çréla Çukadeva says:
vikrïitaà vraja-vadhübhir idaà ca viñëoù
çraddhänvito ’nuçåëuyäd atha varëayed yaù
bhaktià paräà bhagavati pratilabhya kämaà
håd-rogam äçv apahinoty acireëa dhéraù
“Anyone, who faithfully hears and describes the pastimes of Çré Kåñëa with the Vraja Gopés, will attain supreme devotion to God and will soon become free from the heart’s disease of lust.”
“Gauòéya Vaiñëavism” Philosophy is anädisiddha, practised since time immemorial, in a well-prescribed manner.. It is not a Fiction, not a matter of Fanaticism, not a matter of someone’s opinion.