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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Solitude, chanting for fame and Sannyāsī-Gaura arcana


In his commentary on Manaḥ Śikṣā, verse 5, Banga Bihari Vidyālankara (unknown to me who that is, but his opinion is shared among Vaishnavas generally) writes: vāse bahūnāṁ kalaha ityādinā sat sango'pi kartum anucitaḥ syād iti satyaṁ tat tulya jnānināṁ niyata dhyāna parānāṁ viṣaya eva na tv asmādṛśānāṁ etc "Jnanis simply meditate (in solitude), saying vāse bahūnāṁ kalaha, where many people live together there is quarrel. Hence any sanga, also sat sanga, is not proper. But this does not go for us (Vaiṣṇavas)."
I must say though, that wherever I found large communities of any type of persons, there was indeed quarrel and that includes large communities of Vaiṣṇavas, regardless whether these are dormitory-missions or independently living devotees. And what is wrong with meditation in solitude? It seems the life that the Six Goswamis, and many great Gaudiya Vaiṣṇavas, were living, too. This does not altogether exclude sat sanga. It should surely be had, especially as Manah Siksa 5 says, to counteract vices as lust and so. But sat sanga can also be had in moderate amounts, not necessarily 24/7 boarding and dormitory sanga."


Bhakta: Is there any information on how many rounds Advaita Prabhu chanted?

Advaitadas: No. Raghunath  Dās Goswami is said to have done 1 lakh: loy lākho nāma (CC ādi 10,99). However, Sādhu Bābā said chanting so many lakhs is usually a waste of time; it just inflates the ego. Better to do humble seva in the Guru's ashram - sadā tvam sevasva prabhu dayita sāmantam atulam: Dās Goswami taught this is the cure against the disease of pratistha (Manah Siksa - 7). So many chant for show: money and fame.

Bhakta: That everybody can see how many.. oh, he is such a saint."

Advaitadas: Even sex: it impresses women devotees. yaśo'rthe dharma sevanam - (S.B. 12.2.6) - "In Kali yuga religion is performed for fame only."


Bhakta: "Is it allright for a woman devotee to worship deities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu as a sannyasi?"

Advaitadas: There is a broader issue here: the issue of gaura arcana. Though Narottam Das Thakur did it, and  Viṣṇupriyā-devi, none of the six Goswamis did: they all worshiped Radha-Krṣṇa deities - and they are the Gaudiya Vaiṣṇava role-models. Worshippng Bhagavan who keeps the maryada as a sannyasi and
shunned women. Then he becomes a deity. Better to worship the Vraja-lampat, hahaha: good for girls and boys. Deities should not take sannyas. But seriously: The deity of Gaura is never sannyasi - if worshipped at all as deity, Gaura is always Nadiya Bihari. Generally though, one should worship Radha-Krṣṇa. ārādhyo bhagavān vrajesha tanaya. Gaura was worshipped first as a deity by Viṣṇupriyā-devi after the Lord took sannyasa, but then she was His own widow. It was not meant for the sampradaya to take over. Exceptions are not the rule.


  1. Prabhuji pranam, you speak almost like my gurudeb. Is it because of vamsa parampara? Jay Radhe

  2. Partha - Yes. Surely there is one spirit in the Family.