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13. 12. 2010
In order to understand the teachings of Lord Caitanya, we must refer to the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. Lord Caitanya himself did not leave any written works, except the eight verses of the Siksastaka. There are few verses attributed to him in the Padyavali, but from those verses we cannot take any systematic instructions. There is also a few very small books which some people claim were written by Lord Caitanya. After examining everything, we must conclude that these are all false claims. From the many works which the Goswamis wrote we can thoroughly understand Lord Caitanya's teachings, but they do no mention any works written by Lord Caitanya Himself. Sri Caitanya Caritamrta is the authoritative work. From this work we can understand the Lord's character and teachings. These teachings are confirmed perfectly by the words of the Goswamis. For this reason Sri Caitanya Caritamrta is given so much respect. Sri Krsna Dasa Kaviraja appeared immediately after Lord Caitanya. Mahaprabhu's direct disciples, Raghunatha Goswami, Rupa Goswami and many others assisted Krsna Dasa in writing his work. Before him Kavi Karnapura had written Sri Caitanya Candrodayanataka and Vrndavana das Thakura had written Sri Caitanya Bhagavata. These works were a great help to Krsna Dasa Kaviraja. Considering all points we have had to depend upon Sri Caitanya Caritamrta. During his married life, until the age of twenty-four, Caitanya would preach the glories of the Holy Name and the necessity of chanting the Lord's name to all souls in Srivasa's courtyard, on the bank of the Ganga, in his classroom, and on the road. After taking sannyasa, the Lord instructed Sarvabhauma in Puri, Ramananda Raya in Vidyanagara, Venkata Bhatta in the South, Rupa Goswami as well as Raghupati Upadhyaya and Vallabha Bhatta (by trickery), in Prayaga, and Sanatana Goswami and Prakasananda in Varanasi. From these instructions we can understand Lord Caitanya's teachings as they are in truth. After going through all these teachings the principal points of his philosophy have been presented here. Displaying extraordinary mercy to the living entities, Mahaprabhu preached pure vaisnava dharma or jaiva dharma all over India. He himself went to some places and preached. To other places he sent preachers to do the work. Giving the preachers unlimited spiritual power, he sent them out to all places, and impelled by the prema He has bestowed on them, they took up the task without expectation of pay or reward, for only a preacher of pure heart can preach the pure dharma. In the present age, in various religions, people preach to earn a living. This however cannot give the intended result. In the Caitanya Caritamrta, Adi Lila, 7th Chapter, it is written: Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahkaprabhu and His associates of the Panca tattva distributed the holy name of the Lord to invoke love of Godhead throughout the universe, and thus the entire universe was thankful. Lord Caitanya dispatched the two generals Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami to Vrndavana to preach the bhakti cult. As Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami were sent toward Mathura, so Nityananda Prabhu was sent to Bengal to preach extensively the cult of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu personally went to South India, and He broadcast the holy name of Lord Krsna in every village and town. Thus the Lord went to the southernmost tip of the Indian peninsula, known as Setubhanda. Everywhere He distributed the bhakti cult and love of Krsna, and in this way he delivered everyone. Mahaprabhu taught, in essence, that the eternal function of the living entity is Krsna prema. The living entity can never be separated from this dharma. However, as a result of forgetfulness of Krsna, being deluded by maya, the living entity has attraction for other things, and this dharma is almost lost. It has become concealed within the living entity. Thus the living entity falls into material misery. If the living entity again by good fortune remembers that he is the eternal servant of Krsna, then this dharma again appears and the living entity becomes healthy. Faith in this truth is the root of all success. Faith appears in two ways. Some people develop faith after developing a distaste for the material world after many births of sukrti. If by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Krsna, he begins to associate with devotees. C.C. Madhya 23. 9 Another name for sraddha is visva . By rendering transcendental loving service to Krsna, one automatically performs all subsidiary activities. This confident, firm faith, favorable to the discharge of devotional service, is called sraddha. C.C.Madhya 22.62 Faith means that by worshipping Krsna, all the living entity's duties are accomplished.1 After performance of sukrtis, the soul becomes satisfied, and from the eternal function of the soul this natural sraddha appears.2 The person who has developed faith, by practicing devotional activities in the association of devotees, destroys his material attachments and gradually progresses through the stages of steadiness, taste, attachment, bhava and prema. If the natural, intrinsic faith appears in an intense way, the devotee practices raga marga.3 Not considering so much the rules of scripture, he can fearlessly progress in his practice on the path of intense attraction to Krsna. However if the faith which has developed is weak, then the devotee must progress by taking the help of good advice from the authorized guru. As this faith usually starts from faith the scripture and the instruction of the guru, normally the guidance of scripture is very essential. My dear sir, kindly hear the reason. My spiritual master considered Me a fool, and therefore he chastised Me. "You are a fool," he said. "You are not qualified to study Vedanta philosophy, and therefore You must always chant the holy name of Krsna. This is the essence of all mantras or Vedic hymns. Simply by chanting the holy name of Krsna one can obtain freedom from material existence. Indeed, simply by chanting the Hare Krsna mantra one will be able to see the lotus feet of the Lord. In this age of Kali there is no other religious principle than the chanting of the holy name, which is the essence of all Vedic hymns. This is the purport of all scriptures. After describing the potency of the Hare Krsna mahamantra, My spiritual master taught Me another verse, advising me to always keep the name within My throat. " In this age of Kali there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative for spiritual progress than the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of the Lord." Since I received this order from My spiritual master, I always chant the holy name, but I think that by chanting and chanting the holy name I have been bewildered. While chanting the holy name of the Lord in pure ecstasy, I lose myself, and thus I laugh, cry, dance and sing just like a madman. Collecting My patience, therefore, I began to consider that chanting the holy name of Krsna had covered all My spiritual knowledge. I saw that I had become mad by chanting the holy name, and I immediately submitted this at the lotus feet of my spiritual master. "My dear lord, what kind of mantra have you given Me? I have become mad simply by chanting this mahamantra! Chanting the holy name in ecstasy causes one to dance, laugh and cry." When My spiritual master heard all this, he smiled and then began to speak. "It is the nature of the Hare Krsna maha mantra that anyone who chants it immediately develops his loving ecstasy for Krsna. Religiosity, economic development, sense gratification and liberation are known as the four goals of life, but before love of Godhead, the fifth and highest goal, these appear as insignificant as straw in the street." C.C.Madhya 7.71-85 From the words, "consider this verse and keep it around your neck," we can understand that faith is nourished and grows by following scripture. According to Mahaprabhu, scripture or Vedic scripture is the only authoritative proof. Rules of logic and argument are no proof. The self-evident Vedic literatures are the highest evidence of all. CC. Adi 7, 132 The conditioned soul cannot revive his Krsna consciousness by his own effort. But out of causeless mercy, Lord Krsna compiled the Vedic literature and its supplements, the Puranas. C.C.Madhya 20,122 It is clear that there are two types of faith, komala sraddha (weak faith) and drdha sraddha (firm faith). Bhakti that arises from firm faith is very strong and naturally intense. Mahaprabhu's views about this are expressed perfectly in the Sistastaka. Concerning komala sraddha, Mahaprabhu said to Sanatana Goswami: If, by good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Krsna, he begins to associate with devotees. When one is encouraged in devotional service by the association of devotees, one becomes free from all unwanted contamination by following the regulative principles and chanting and hearing. When one is freed from all unwanted contamination, he advances with firm faith. When firm faith in devotional service awakens, a taste for hearing and chanting also awakens. After taste is awakened, a deep attachment arises, and from that attachment the seed of love of Krsna grows in the heart. When that ecstatic emotional stage intensifies, it is called love of Godhead. Such love is life's ultimate goal and the reservoir of all pleasure. C.C.Madhya 23.9-13 For a person with strong faith, the scriptural statements have no function, but for a person of weak faith, there is not alternative but the scripture and association of devotees. For this class of faithful person initiation is necessary. From the authorized guru a devotee receives the conclusions of the scriptures and the mantra, and practices deity worship according the instructions of the guru. In this way he progresses. For this type of person the dasa mula siksa (Ten Essential Teachings) is important. One essential teaching is the authority or source of knowledge, i.e. scripture. The other nine essentials are the conclusions stated by the authority of scripture. The devotee with firm faith, by chanting the Holy Name with intrinsic faith, realizes spontaneously the nine essentials stated by the scriptures, by the mercy of the Holy Name. It is not necessary for him to digest the philosophical points raised in the scriptures. But those who have weak faith quickly fall from the devotional platform by bad association, if they do not have the backing of scriptural authority. The Vedas, which discuss brahman, are their source of knowledge. As the Vedas, being vast in scope, have many prescriptions for those interested in fruitive action and impersonal realization, instructions for the devotee is not easy to extract. In order to clearly show the real meaning which is revealed here and there in the Vedas, the sattvika puranas have been given. Among the sattvika puranas, the Srimad Bhagavatam is the best, most explicitly explaining the highest import of the Vedas.4 Thus the Bhagavatam and the Pancaratra scriptures, which confirm the same conclusions, are counted as authoritative knowledge. The Vedic literatures give information about the living entity's eternal relationship with Krsna, which is called sambandha. The living entity's understanding of this relationship and acting accordingly is called abhidheya. Returning home, back to Godhead, is the ultimate goal of life and is called prayojana. Devotional service, or sense activity for the satisfaction of the Lord, is called abhidheya because it can develop one's original love of Godhead, which is the goal of life. This goal is the living entity's topmost interest and greatest wealth. Thus one attains the platform of transcendental loving service unto the Lord. C.C. Madhya 20, 124-125 The relationship between the jiva, material nature and God is called 'sambandha'. Actually Krsna is one, but he has two energies-material nature and the jiva. By a transformation of the material energy the material world exists, and by transformation of the jiva sakti, the jivas exist. To again establish ones position as the servant of Krsna is called fixing ones relationship. In His original form the Supreme Personality of Godhead is full of transcendental opulences which are free from the contamination of the material world. It is to be understood that in all Vedic literature the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the ultimate goal. C.C.Adi 7.139 The Vedic literatures give information about the living entity's eternal relationship with Krsna, which is called sambandha. C.C. Madhya 20.124 In considering the relationship there are seven topics: 1. Krsna 2. Krsna's energies 3. rasa 4. jiva 5. jiva in the material realm 6. jiva in the liberated state 7. acintya bhedabheda By thoroughly understanding these seven topics of scriptures, a person obtains sambandha jnana. By arrangement of sound is created a composition. The potency by which the meaning of sound is grasped is called the abhidha potency of the sound or the connotative power of the sound. By using the word "ten" with "elephants" we can understand a certain number of elephants. This direct meaning is called abhidheya. There is another potency of words called "laksana". In the phrase "cowherds on the Ganga," since cowherds cannot stand on the surface of the Ganga's water, by the laksana sakti we understand that the cowherds are on the bank of the Ganga. Where it is necessary to use the laksana sakti, the abhidha sakti does not operate. Where the direct meaning can be used, only the abhidha sakti functions. In the Vedic literatures, the meaning taken by abhidha, direct connotation, should be accepted. The direct meaning of the Vedas is called abhidheya, that which should be known. Going through all the Vedas, the abhidheya--the direct import--of the Vedas is devotion to the Supreme Lord. Karma, jnana, and yoga have only an indirect relation to the main purport of the Vedas. Therefore the main method indicated in the scriptures for attaining the Lord is sadhana bhakti. This is the eighth topic. The means is directed towards a certain goal. This goal is called the prayojana. Krsna prema, the perfection of the jiva, is the goal of bhakti and the ninth topic discussed in the Vedas. In teaching Sanatana, Mahaprabhu said, I have described one's relation with Krsna in various ways. This is the subject matter of all the Vedas. Krsna is the center of all activities. Now I shall speak about the characteristics of devotional service, by which one can attain the shelter of Krsna and His loving transcendental service. C.C.Madhya 22.3-4 In this way, Mahaprabhu taught jaiva dharma, the constitutional nature of the soul, composed of sambandha, abhidheya , and prayojana. 1 As pouring water on the root of a tree energizes the trunk, branches, twigs and everything else, and as supplying food to the stomach enlivens the sense and limbs of the body, simply worshipping the Supreme Personality of Godhead through devotional service automatically satisfies the demigods, who are parts of that Supreme Personality. S.B. 4.31.14 2 If somehow or other by good fortune one develops faith in hearing and chanting My glories, such a person, being neither very disgusted with nor attached to material life, should achieve perfection through the path of loving devotion to Me. S.B.11.20.8 3 As long as one is not satiated by fruitive activity and has not awakened his taste for devotional service by sravanam kirtanam visnoh, one has to act according to the regulative principles of the Vedic injunctions. S.B.11.20.9 4 atho'yam brahma sutranam bharatartha vinirnayah gayatri bhasyarupo'sau vedartha paribrmhitah gratho'sthadasa sahasrahah srimad bhagavatabhidhah sarvavedetihasaham saram saram samuddrtam sarvavedanta saram hi sri bhagavatam isyate tad rasamrta trptasya nanyatra syad ratih kvacit The Bhagavatam explains the meaning of Mahabharata and the brahma sutras. It is the natural commentary on the gayatri mantra and full of the import of the Vedas. It composed of eighteen thousand verses. It is the essence of all the Vedas, histories and the Vedanta. Satisfied with the nectarean taste of this work, one will have no attraction for anything else. Garuda Purana


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