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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gaur Līlā Eternal

I found this exchange on Vilāsa Kunja:

QUOTE(Madhavananda Das @ Nov 17 2006, 02:57 AM)
I do not know why you bring in the topic of non-eternity of Gaura-lila in this context; while the topic has only recently surfaced on the internet, the issue itself is old. The first related documented controversies in the samaja date approximately one and a half centuries back. The Gaura-lila issue has only been brought up by Advaitadas, who follows the views of his guru and param-guru on this topic.

Gaurasundar: Speaking of which, I was under the impression that Advaitaji's views were based on his sampradaya's unilateral focus on Radha-Krishna (with it's accompanying disapproval/de-emphasising of Gaura-smaran/puja). I had no idea that the "No eternal-Gauralila" was an active feature of his sampradaya too, is this what you are saying?

I would like to offer the following comments: 'Sampradāya' means the tradition on the whole, which means the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya, whose authorised theologists are the Six Gosvāmīs. Through these authorised theologists the Sampradāya has emphasised the worship of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and also acknowledged that this is the great gift of Śrīman Mahāprabhu. The shift to a bigger role of Śrīman Mahāprabhu in one's worship has been introduced by various personalities in the not so distant past, namely the 19th and even 20th century (as mentioned above). As for there being 'no eternal Gaura līlā', I do not know why such ideas are being ascribed to me and my Guru paramparā, I have never said anything of the kind. When I asked my Gurudeva about the sthiti of Gaura he said it is eternal, but not present in the spiritual sky, rather it is rotating like a firebrand throughout the mundane universes, each of which have a planet earth, each of which have a town of Navadvīpa. As Śrīman Mahāprabhu is svayam Bhagavān, naturally His attributes, pastimes and form are eternal, that goes without saying. Except for one or two poetic eulogies in Bengali song or prose booklets, indeed no major Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava śāstra describes a planet of Śrīman Mahāprabhu in the spiritual sky. Holding on to paramparā-given practises is not a question of 'de-emphasising', as we are not obliged to go along with practises that have been introduced by others at a later stage.


  1. I have a question:

    What is the faith of a bhakta who follows Chaitanya's Teachings, but cannot accept Him as being God, maybe a "bhakta-avatar" at best. Does it make a substantial difference to ones devotional practice and result. Mahaprabhu did not reveal His Godhood to each and everyone and He even denied it sometimes. The suggestion Him being God also angered Him at least once.

    I had a frank discussion with a few devotees where some confidentialy admitted they have great difficulty accepting His Godhood. Yet they stay in "our" sampradaya, because they do want to have what He has to offer..........Prema. So there is some faith. I have the feeling they are not the only ones. Most of course do not openly express their doubts.

    But how important is it for a beginning bhakta ? We of course have accepted Him as God, because our Gurus say He is. But I am interested in the faith of one who cannot accept it, yet follows by Chaitanya's rules of life with faith.

    I personally have the feeling His message is more essential, but I cannot get this confirmed by scriptures and have not asked it to any senior devotees. Maybe out of fear being 'smashed' as an infidel/heretic.

    Jesus never said he was God, yet his followers fought great wars to prove he was/is. His essential message though is long forgotten.

    By the way..........
    No hard feelings ?

  2. Mahaprabhu Himself says (CC Adi 8.10-11):

    more nā mānile sab loka hobe nāsa; ithe lāgi krpārdra prabhu korilo sannyāsa
    sannyāsī buddhye more koribe namaskāra; tathāpi khandibe duhka, pāibe nistāra

    The Lord thought: 'If people do not accept me they will perish", so, melting with compassion, He took sannyāsa. "They will offer obeisances unto Me, thinking me to be a sannyāsī. Despite that their misery will be destroyed and they will be redeemed."

    So that seems to be OK. Otherwise, for those who do not respect|accept|worship Mahāprabhu
    at all, the next verse says:

    heno krpāmoy caitanya na bhaje ye jan; sarvottama hoile-o tāte asura ganana

    'Whoever does not worship this compassionate Caitanya is to be counted among the godless,
    even though he|she may be (materially) the most elevated person."

  3. heno krpāmoy caitanya na bhaje ye jan; sarvottama hoile-o tāte asura ganana

    'Whoever does not worship this compassionate Caitanya is to be counted among the godless,
    even though he|she may be (materially) the most elevated person."

    How fanatical...

  4. I meant to use the word 'parivara' instead of sampradaya, but at the time of writing I momentarily forgot it. Sorry about that.

  5. In CC Kaviraj Gosani speaks of his vision of Nityananda Swarupa, who he saw having a blackish body - not white, as in the case of Balarama. He elaborately describes Nityananda and his associates. And in calling him Nityānanda Svarūpa he clearly means to say that Nityānanda Svarūpa is eternally present in his own lila. Now tell, me if Nitai is playing in his transcendental realm, will he never have the darshan of Gaura?

    What is the mood of Nitai? It is not like the mood of Sarvabhauma:
    sri-krsna-caitanya saci-suta guna-dhama
    ei dhyana, ei japa, laya ei nama
    CC, 2.6.258

  6. Anon, I cant find heads or tails in this comment of yours. The purpose of this blog was to establish just that - the eternality of Gaura. What to speak of Nitai getting the darshan of Gaura, Nitai and Gaura are inseparable. And what is the purpose of quoting the Sarvabhauma-chant in connection with Nityananda? We have already discussed this before.

  7. "'Whoever does not worship this compassionate Caitanya is to be counted among the godless,
    even though he|she may be (materially) the most elevated person."

    How fanatical... "

    I consider this an aparadha to Srila Krishnadas Kaviraja Gosvamipad, who clearly wrote this out of great love for Sriman Mahaprabhu.