Monday, January 30, 2020
Srila Visvanatha Cakravartri Thakura Tirobhava tithi- disappearance daySrila Pundariki Vidyanidhi appearance
Srila Prabhupada glorifies Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura
Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 7: Lectures : SB 7.12: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.12.6 — Bombay, April 17, 1976 : 760417SB.BOM :
faithful. Faithful to whom? To the spiritual master. Whatever he says, the brahmacārī
should take it: “Yes, it is my life and soul.” That is the explanation given by Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura. He is explaining with reference to the verse vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana
He very nicely explains. You have perhaps read it, Viśvanātha Cakravartī
Ṭhākura’s… Viśvanātha Cakravartī
Ṭhākura has taught very, very nicely about guru. Therefore he has written in Gurvaṣṭaka, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ
He is example, practical example of guru-bhakti,
Ṭhākura. He accepted his guru, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura. So he said that “I am not interested for my salvation or going back to Godhead. I am not interested.” Interested means it may come; it may not come. “That I don’t mind. But I am interested only with the words of my guru.” Viśvanātha Cakravartī
said. “That is my life. Whether I will be successful or not successful, it doesn’t matter. I must take the words of my Guru Mahārāja as my life and soul.”
Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 7: Lectures : SB 7.9: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.9.28 — Mayapur, March 6, 1976 : 760306SB.MAY :
We should not jump over. There are so many literatures. They place Rādhārāṇī as ordinary baladar
(?) woman because they do not understand. So therefore Sanātana Gosvāmī has forbidden strictly that avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūta-hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam:
“Don’t hear from the professional men who are not situated in the Vaiṣṇava behavior.” One must be…, behavior in Vaiṣṇava. Sadācāra-sampannaḥ.
Ṭhākura has warned that “Don’t mix it with Vaiṣṇava who is not well trained up, well behaved.” You can offer him respect. A Vaiṣṇava offers respect even to the ant. That is another thing. But he has warned, “Don’t mix with them, these professional, so-called Vaiṣṇava, sahajiyās.
” This is warned. Avaiṣṇava-mukhodgīrṇaṁ pūta-hari-kathāmṛtam, śravaṇaṁ na kartavyam:
“You should not hear.” “Eh? Huh? What is the wrong there? The Kṛṣṇa-kathā
is there.” No, Kṛṣṇa-kathā
is there just like milk is there, but if it is touched by the lips of a serpent, it is no more to be taken. It has become poison. Unless one is situated as pure Vaiṣṇava in his dealing, in his behavior, inside and outside, he should not become a preacher because it will not be effective, neither one should hear from such person. But people in general, they can not understand, but those who are preaching, they must be very sincere, the same way. Rūpa-raghunātha pade, haibe ākuti.
They should read the literatures, the instruction, just like Upadeśāmṛta, The Nectar of Instruction.
We should follow, strictly follow. Then pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt.
Then you’ll be able to preach and make disciples all over the world. This is the injunction. That is called gosvāmī.
Don’t be cheap preacher, cheap guru. No, no. That is not good. It is not possible
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB Introduction : SB Introduction :
Many devotees of Lord Caitanya like Śrīla Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrī Locana dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Śrī Kavikarṇapūra, Śrī Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī, Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, Śrī Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī and in this latter age within two hundred years, Śrī Viśvanāth
a Cakravartī, Śrī Baladeva Vidyābhūṣana, Śrī Śyāmānanda Gosvāmī, Śrī Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Śrī Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura and at last Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura (our spiritual master) and many other great and renowned scholars and devotees of the Lord have prepared voluminous books and literatures on the life and precepts of the Lord. Such literatures are all based on the śāstras
like the Vedas, Purāṇas, Upaniṣads, Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata
and other histories and authentic literatures approved by the recognized ācāryas.
They are unique in composition and unrivaled in presentation, and they are full of transcendental knowledge. Unfortunately the people of the world are still ignorant of them, but when these literatures, which are mostly in Sanskrit and Bengali, come to light the world and when they are presented before thinking people, then India’s glory and the message of love will overflood this morbid world, which is vainly searching after peace and prosperity by various illusory methods not approved by the ācāryas
in the chain of disciplic succession.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.1: Questions by the Sages : SB 1.1.1 : PURPORT :
Ṭhākura specifically deals with the original and pure sex psychology (ādi-rasa
), devoid of all mundane inebriety. The whole material creation is moving under the principle of sex life.
In modern civilization, sex life is the focal point for all activities. Wherever one turns his face, he sees sex life predominant. Therefore, sex life is not unreal. Its reality is experienced in the spiritual world. The material sex life is but a perverted reflection of the original fact. The original fact is in the Absolute Truth, and thus the Absolute Truth cannot be impersonal. It is not possible to be impersonal and contain pure sex life. Consequently, the impersonalist philosophers have given indirect impetus to the abominable mundane sex life because they have overstressed the impersonality of the ultimate truth. Consequently, man without information of the actual spiritual form of sex has accepted perverted material sex life as the all in all. There is a distinction between sex life in the diseased material condition and spiritual sex life.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.1: Questions by the Sages : SB 1.1.8 : PURPORT :
The secret of success in spiritual life is in satisfying the spiritual master and thereby getting his sincere blessings. Śrīla Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura has sung in his famous eight stanzas on the spiritual master as follows: “I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master. Only by his satisfaction can one please the Personality of Godhead, and when he is dissatisfied there is only havoc on the path of spiritual realization.” It is essential, therefore, that a disciple be very much obedient and submissive to the bona fide spiritual master. Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī fulfilled all these qualifications as a disciple, and therefore he was endowed with all favors by his learned and self-realized spiritual masters such as Śrīla Vyāsadeva and others. The sages of Naimiṣāraṇya were confident that Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī was bona fide. Therefore they were anxious to hear from him.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.5: Narada’s Instructions on Srimad-Bhagavatam for Vyasadeva : SB 1.5.38 : PURPORT :
In the Amarakośa
Sanskrit dictionary the word mūrti
carries import in twofold meanings, namely, form and difficulty. Therefore amūrtikam
is explained by Ācārya Śrī Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura as meaning “without difficulty.” The transcendental form of eternal bliss and knowledge can be experienced by our original spiritual senses, which can be revived by chanting of the holy mantras,
or transcendental sound representations. Such sound should be received from the transparent agency of the bona fide spiritual master, and the chanting may be practiced by the direction of the spiritual master. That will gradually lead us nearer to the Lord. This method of worship is recommended in the pāñcarātrika
system, which is both recognized and authorized. The pāñcarātrika
system has the most authorized codes for transcendental devotional service. Without the help of such codes, one cannot approach the Lord, certainly not by dry philosophical speculation. The pāñcarātrika
system is both practical and suitable for this age of quarrel. The Pañcarātra
is more important than the Vedānta
for this modern age.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.9: The Passing Away of Bhismadeva in the Presence of Lord Krsna : SB 1.9.34 : PURPORT :
Ṭhākura, a great ācārya
and devotee in the humor of conjugal love with the Lord, remarks very saliently in this regard. He says that the wounds created on the body of the Lord by the sharpened arrows of Bhīṣmadeva were as pleasing to the Lord as the biting of a fiancee who bites the body of the Lord directed by a strong sense of sex desire. Such biting by the opposite sex is never taken as a sign of enmity, even if there is a wound on the body. Therefore, the fighting as an exchange of transcendental pleasure between the Lord and His pure devotee, Śrī Bhīṣmadeva, was not at all mundane. Besides that, since the Lord’s body and the Lord are identical, there was no possibility of wounds in the absolute body. The apparent wounds caused by the sharpened arrows are misleading to the common man, but one who has a little absolute knowledge can understand the transcendental exchange in the chivalrous relation. The Lord was perfectly happy with the wounds caused by the sharpened arrows of Bhīṣmadeva. The word vibhidyamāna
is significant because the Lord’s skin is not different from the Lord. Because our skin is different from our soul, in our case the word vibhidyamāna,
or being bruised and cut, would have been quite suitable. Transcendental bliss is of different varieties, and the variety of activities in the mundane world is but a perverted reflection of transcendental bliss. Because everything in the mundane world is qualitatively mundane, it is full of inebrieties, whereas in the absolute realm, because everything is of the same absolute nature, there are varieties of enjoyment without inebriety. The Lord enjoyed the wounds created by His great devotee Bhīṣmadeva, and because Bhīṣmadeva is a devotee in the chivalrous relation, he fixes up his mind on Kṛṣṇa in that wounded condition.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.15: The Pandavas Retire Timely : SB 1.15.20 : PURPORT :
The important point in this verse is how it was possible that Arjuna could be defeated by a gang of ignoble cowherd men and how such mundane cowherd men could touch the bodies of the wives of Lord Kṛṣṇa, who were under the protection of Arjuna. Śrīla Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura has justified the contradiction by research in the Viṣṇu Purāṇa
and Brahma Purāṇa.
In these Purāṇas
it is said that once the fair denizens of heaven pleased Aṣṭāvakra Muni by their service and were blessed by the muni
to have the Supreme Lord as their husband. Aṣṭāvakra Muni was curved in eight joints of his body, and thus he used to move in a peculiar curved manner. The daughters of the demigods could not check their laughter upon seeing the movements of the muni,
and the muni,
being angry at them, cursed them that they would be kidnapped by rogues, even if they would get the Lord as their husband. Later on, the girls again satisfied the muni
by their prayers, and the muni
blessed them that they would regain their husband even after being robbed by the rogues. So, in order to keep the words of the great muni,
the Lord Himself kidnapped His wives from the protection of Arjuna, otherwise they would have at once vanished from the scene as soon as they were touched by the rogues. Besides that, some of the gopīs
who prayed to become wives of the Lord returned to their respective positions after their desire was fulfilled. After the departure of Lord Kṛṣṇa, He wanted all His entourage back to Godhead, and they were called back under different conditions only.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.15: The Pandavas Retire Timely : SB 1.15.46 : PURPORT :
In the Bhagavad-gītā
) the Lord says that only those who have done pious deeds in previous lives and have become freed from the results of all impious acts can concentrate upon the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The Pāṇḍavas, not only in this life but also in their previous lives, had always performed the supreme pious work, and thus they are ever free from all the reactions of impious work. It is quite reasonable, therefore, that they concentrated their minds upon the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. According to Śrī Viśvanāth
a Cakravartī, dharma, artha, kāma
principles are accepted by persons who are not free from the results of impious action. Such persons affected with the contaminations of the above four principles cannot at once accept the lotus feet of the Lord in the spiritual sky. The Vaikuṇṭha world is situated far beyond the material sky. The material sky is under the management of Durgā Devī, or the material energy of the Lord, but the Vaikuṇṭha world is managed by the personal energy of the Lord.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 1:”Creation” : SB 1.16: How Pariksit Received the Age of Kali : SB 1.16.23 : PURPORT :
The activities of the Lord include liberation, but they are more relishable than the pleasure derived from nirvāṇa, or liberation. According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura, the word used here is nirvāṇa-vilambitāni, that which minimizes the value of liberation. To attain nirvāṇa, liberation, one has to undergo a severe type of tapasya, austerity, but the Lord is so merciful that He incarnates to diminish the burden of the earth. Simply by remembering such activities, one can defy the pleasure derived from nirvāṇa and reach the transcendental abode of the Lord to associate with Him, eternally engaged in His blissful loving service.
Lectures : Arrival Addresses and Talks : Arrival Address — Denver, June 27, 1975 : 750627AR.DEN :
Prabhupāda: Yes. So Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura has also said, chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā, nistāra pāyeche kebā. Our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is for nistāra. Nistāra means to be liberated from the capture of māyā. That is called nistāra, release, release from the capture of māyā. So Vaiṣṇava… Chāḍiyā vaiṣṇava-sevā, nistāra pāyeche kebā. Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, another Vaiṣṇava… As it sung by Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, similarly, you know that Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, he also has sung many song, approved songs. Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura says that Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura’s songs are Vedic evidence. All Vaiṣṇavas, songs are like that, Vedic evidence. There is no mistake, cheating, imperfectness or illusion. Conditioned soul, they are manufacturing by mental concoction. That is another thing. They are full of imperfection, illusion, mistake and cheating. But when we hear songs by the Vaiṣṇava, that is for liberation.
Lectures : General Lectures : Lecture on Teachings of Lord Caitanya — Seattle, September 25, 1968 : 680925LE.SEA :
Here… Here is another point, that Sanātana Gosvāmī approached his spiritual master, Lord Caitanya, and he submitted himself in such a way that his spiritual master, Lord Caitanya, was very pleased. So that should be the point of disciples, how to please the spiritual master. And Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura, he has composed eight stanzas as prayers of spiritual master. And in the seventh stanza he says, yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ
If you can please your spiritual master, then you know that God, or Kṛṣṇa, is pleased. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādo yasyaprasādān na gatiḥ kuto ‘pi
And if you cannot please your spiritual master, then you must know that you do not know your whereabouts. You do not know where you are going. So Sanātana Gosvāmī was actually following the disciplic principles. He wanted to please Lord Caitanya submissively. To please the spiritual master means to approach him submissively, not in a challenging mood. The Bhagavad-gītā
also explains in this way
Lectures : Arrival Addresses and Talks : Arrival Address — Los Angeles, June 20, 1975 : 750620A2.LA :
We have no new discovery. We don’t manufacture. This is our process. We simply follow the predecessor’s instruction. That’s all. Our movement is very easy because we haven’t got to manufacture something. We simply repeat the words and the instruction given by the predecessor. Kṛṣṇa instructed Brahmā, Brahmā instructed Nārada, Nārada instructed Vyāsadeva, Vyāsadeva instructed Madhvācārya, and, in this way, then Mādhavendra Purī, Īśvara Purī, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then the Six Gosvāmīs, then the Śrīnivāsa Ācārya, Kavirāja Gosvāmī, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, Jagannātha dāsa Bābājī, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Gaurakiśora dāsa Bābājī, Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī, and then we are doing the same thing. There is no difference. That is the specific procedure of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You are singing daily, guru-mukha-padma-vākya, cittete koriyā aikya, ār nā koriho mane āśā
Very simple thing. We are receiving the transcendental knowledge through guru-paramparā
succession. So we have to simply take instruction from guru, and if we execute that to our heart and soul, that is success. That is practical.
Lectures : General Lectures : Lecture: What is a Guru? — London, August 22, 1973 : 730822LE.LON : [My dear Lord, and the spiritual energy of the Lord, kindly engage me in Your service. I am now embarrassed with this material s :
So guru is the representative of God. Therefore the śāstra
says, the authority says, sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair.
Guru is as good as God. Here, in this Vyāsa-pūjā
day, we are teaching or they are doing, offering respect to guru. That means they are learning how to offer respect to God. It is not personal affair; it is required. Because they are trying to be God conscious, they must learn how to offer respect to God or God’s representative. That is required. Sākṣād-dharitvena samasta-śāstrair.
In all the śāstra,
Vedic literature, guru is described as good as God. But guru will never say that “I am God.” The disciple’s duty is to offer respect to guru as he offers respect to God. But guru will never say that “I am… Because my disciples are offering me respect as God, therefore I have become God.” As soon as he thinks so, he becomes dog. He is no more God. Therefore Viśvanāth
says… Why guru is offered respect like God? Kintu prabhor yaḥ priya eva tasya.
Guru is offered the same respect as we offer respect to God. Just like in the morning. The other side, ārātrika
was going on, offering to Kṛṣṇa, and this side was ārātrika
was going on to offer respect to the spiritual master. The same respect. But guru will never say, and he’s not that. Guru will never say, “Now I have become God.” No. God does not become. God is always God. So God is God and guru is guru. But, as a matter of etiquette, God is the sevya
God, worshipable God, and guru is the worshiper God. Just try to understand. Worshipable God and worshiper God. This is. Sevya bhagavān-sevaka bhagavān.
Just like guru is addressed: “Prabhupāda.” Prabhu
means “the Lord” and pāda
means “the position.” “One who has taken the position of the Lord.” The same thing: sākṣād-dharitvena, prabhupāda.
These are the terms, one who is serious to study this science of God, they’ll learn all these things. So one who is very serious to understand the science of God, for him a guru is required. Don’t try to keep a guru as a matter of fashion, that it has become a fashion to accept somebody, some rascal as guru, and say that “I have got my guru.” What kind of guru you have got? You are talking nonsense. Ācāryavān puruṣa veda.
One who has accepted guru, he’ll talk sense, where there is meaning. He’ll never talk any nonsense. That is the sign that he has got guru. He has got the sacred thread. Yes, he’s accepted by bona fide guru. That is the sign, sacred thread. So you are offering good respect to your spiritual master. That is very nice. You are very thankful. But at the same time we should remember that how to carry out the orders of the guru so that people may not think that you are talking nonsense. You must be very careful.
Lectures : Festival Lectures : His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s Appearance Day, Lecture — Los Angeles, February 7, 1969 : 690207BA.LA :
So somehow or other, it has begun, the blessings of Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, as he wanted me, he desired me. So because he desired, my… I am not very expert or educated or nothing extraordinary, but only thing is that I believed in his word. That is… You can say that is my qualification. I believed cent percent in his word. So whatever success is there, it is just due to my firm faith in his instruction. So I am trying to follow. And by his grace, you are helping me. So actually, the responsibility will now depend on you. I am also old man. I may pass away at any moment. This movement should go on, you see, this movement started by Caitanya Mahāprabhu, then accelerated by Gosvāmīs, and then again Viśvanāth
a Cakravartī. And when… Just like whenever there is… Yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati
When there is some slowness, either Kṛṣṇa Himself or some representative comes to give it a push. So you should know it, that this movement should be pushed on. This should not be neglected. And I am glad that you are catching the ideas very nicely, and try… Simple thing: you chant sincerely and follow the rules and regulation. The rules and regulation are not very strict. They are very simple. But because you are trained in a different way… But I am so pleased and obliged to you that you have adopted. I never expected. When I came first in Boston, I was thinking, “Oh, who will accept these Vaiṣṇava rules and regulations? These people are after meat and wine and illicit sex, and how they will accept it?” I was hopeless: “How they will chant?” You see? So by the grace of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, at least, I am hopeful that this movement can be accepted by anyone. It is not so hopeless as I thought. But apart from my calculation, you are realizing. This movement should be pushed on. Just like great souls always think of the poor souls, similarly, you should also feel. That is the way. Lord Jesus Christ, he also prayed for the sinful persons. So this is very good. If we struggle hard to push this movement, then, even we, you don’t get any follower, Kṛṣṇa will be satisfied. And our business is to satisfy Kṛṣṇa. That is bhakti. Hṛṣīkena hṛṣīkeśa-sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
[Cc. Madhya 19.170
means one has to engage his all senses for the satisfaction. Material life means sense satisfaction for his self: “I like this. I like this. I want to do something. I want to sing something or chant something, eat something, or touch something, or taste something. This is something…” That means using the senses. That is the material life. “I want to touch such soft skin. I want to taste such, what is called, nice food. I want to smell like this. I want to walk like this.” The same thing—walking, tasting, touching, or anything—should be utilized for Kṛṣṇa. That’s all. Instead of touching something else, if we touch the sanctified lotus feet of a devotee, that touch will be utilized. Instead of eating nonsense, if we eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam,
it will be all right. Instead of smelling something else, if we smell the flowers offered to Kṛṣṇa… So nothing is stopped. If you want to use your sex life, yes, you can use for producing Kṛṣṇa conscious children. Nothing is stopped. Simply it is purified. That’s all. This is the whole program. There is no question of “Stop this.” Stop cannot be. How it can be stopped? Suppose I am a human being. If somebody says, “Oh, you cannot eat,” is it possible? I must eat. So there is no question of stopping. The question is purifying it. So… And the other philosophy is to, I mean to say, snub down forcibly, make it void, just like they say, “Just become desireless.” They advocate. So how can I be desireless? Desire must be there. But I shall desire for Kṛṣṇa.
Lectures : Festival Lectures : His Divine Grace Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada’s Disappearance Day, Lecture — Los Angeles, December 9, 196 : 681209DB.LA :
So in his life he was akhaṇḍa brahmacārī.
Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura had many other sons, and he was the fifth son. And some of his other brother also, they did not marry. And my Guru Mahārāja, he also did not marry. From the childhood he is strict brahmacārī,
Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Gosvāmī Mahārāja. And he underwent very severe penances for starting this movement, worldwide movement. That was his mission. Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wanted do this. He, 1896, Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura wanted to introduce this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement by sending this book, Shree Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, His Life and Precepts.
Fortunately, that year was my birth year, and by Kṛṣṇa’s arrangement, we came in contact. I was born in a different family, my Guru Mahārāja was born in a different family. Who knew that I will come to his protection? Who knew that I would come in America? Who knew that you American boys will come to me? These are all Kṛṣṇa’s arrangement. We cannot understand how things are taking place. In 1936… Today is ninth December, 1938(68). That means thirty-two years ago. In Bombay, I was then doing some business. All of a sudden, perhaps on this date, sometimes between 9 or 10 December. At that time, Guru Mahārāja was indisposed little, and he was staying at Jagannātha Purī, on the seashore. So I wrote him letter, “My dear master, your other disciples, brahmacārī, sannyāsī,
they are rendering you direct service. And I am a householder. I cannot live with you, I cannot serve you nicely. So I do not know. How can I serve you?” Simply an idea, I was thinking of serving him, “How can I serve him seriously?” So the reply was dated 13th December, 1936. In that letter he wrote, “My dear such and such, I am very glad to receive your letter. I think you should try to push our movement in English.” That was his writing. “And that will do good to you and to the people who will help you.” That was his instruction. And then in 1936, on the 31st December—that means just after writing this letter a fortnight before his departure—he passed away. But I took that order of my spiritual master very seriously, but I did not think that I’ll have to do such and such thing. I was at that time a householder. But this is the arrangement of Kṛṣṇa. If we strictly try to serve the spiritual master, his order, then Kṛṣṇa will give us all facilities. That is the secret. Although there was no possibility, I never thought, but I took it little seriously by studying a commentary by Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura on the Bhagavad-gītā.
In the Bhagavad-gītā
the verse vyavasāyātmikā-buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana
in connection with that verse, Viśvanātha Cakravartī
Ṭhākura gives his commentary that we should take up the words from the spiritual master as our life and soul. We should try to carry out the instruction, the specific instruction of the spiritual master, very rigidly, without caring for our personal benefit or loss.
Lectures : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta Lectures : Madhya-lila: Lectures : Madhya 20: Lectures : Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Madhya-lila 20.100-108 — New York, November 22, 1966 : 661122C2.NY :
So Sanātana Gosvāmī, he’s ācārya
in this disciplic succession from Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Lord Caitanya. He is the first disciple of Lord Caitanya, and from him, Sanātana Gosvāmī, six Gosvāmīs.
There were six among the first followers of Lord Caitanya. And then, from next step comes Raghunātha Gosvāmī and then this author of this book, Kṛṣṇa dāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, and from him, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura, and then from him, Viśvanātha Cakravartī, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa. In this way this disciplic succession is coming from Lord Caitanya. So as ācārya… Ācārya
means one who knows the principles of scripture, properly being initiated by authority who knows things as they are, and they apply those things in their own life. They are called ācārya. Acinoti śāstrāṇi:
he must know all the principles from authorities, and he should apply in his life those principles. Not that he knows but does not apply. He cannot be ācārya. Āpani ācari prabhu jīva disa
(?). Lord Caitanya, He, although He is accepted as the, I mean to say, the personal, He’s Kṛṣṇa Himself, still, He behaved in such a way that others can follow. He also accepted Īśvara Purī. Īśvara, Īśvara Purī was His spiritual master, Lord Caitanya’s. This is the disciplic succession.
Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures : Canto 1: Lectures : SB 1.2: Lectures : Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.11 — Vrndavana, October 22, 1972 : 721022SB.VRN :
Just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu said, āmāra ājñāya guru hañā
[Cc. Madhya 7.128
“You become a spiritual master under My order.” So if you carry out the order of Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Kṛṣṇa, then you become guru. Āmāra ājñāya guru hañā.
Unfortunately, we do not wish to carry out order of the ācāryas.
We manufacture our own ways. We have got practical experience how a great institution was lost by whimsical ways. Without carrying out the order of the spiritual master, they manufactured something and the whole thing was lost. Therefore Viśvanāth
Ṭhākura stresses very much on the words of the spiritual master. Vyavasāyātmikā buddhir ekeha kuru-nandana
If you stick to the order of spiritual master, then, without caring for your own convenience or inconvenience, then you become perfect
[The following article appeared in the monthly Bengali magazine “Gaudiya”, 18th volume, number 18, dated 8 Pausha, Bengali year 1329 (1922 A.D.). The magazine was founded and edited by His Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura.]
The names of all the Vrajvasi Goswamis who were living during the time of Sri Mahaprabhu are very well known. Later, after their disappearance, the flow of pure devotion for the Lord took shelter of the three famous Prabhus – Srinivasa Acarya, Thakura Narottama, and Syamananda Parbhu and surged on with full force. In the disciplic succession coming from Thakura Narottama, Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura appeared in the fourth position.
The story of Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti is more or less know only among the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. They speak of the outstanding excellence of achievement demonstrated by Srila Cakravarti Thakura in his examination of the Srimad Bhagavat and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as his complete understanding of the opinions expressed by the Goswamis in their own books. Our Thakura is the protector, guardian and acarya of the middle period of Gaudiya Vaisnava dharma’s historical developement.
Nowadays amongst the Vaisnavas, there is the following saying in relation to Cakravarti Thakura’s three most famous books: “kirana bindu kana, e tin niye vaisnava pana”
“These three books, Ujjvala-Nilamani-Kirana, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu, and Bhagavatamrta-kana, are taken and used by the Vaisnavas as their wealth.” In this connection, we also hear the following verse sung everywhere:
visvasya natha-ripo ‘sau
cakravarty akhyaya bhavat
“Because he has shown the visva-vasis (residents of the material universe) the path of bhakti, he is called ‘Visvanatha’; and because he is situated amongst the cakra (circle) of devotees, he is called ‘Cakravarti’.”
Srila Cakravarti Thakura Defends Sri Narottama’s True Position
Previously, Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya had achieved fame as Rasika-raja, or The King of those devotees who know how to relish the mellows of the topmost madhura-rasa. And he certainty is that. However, certain persons who are envious of Lord Hari who are loyal servants of that energy which completely surrounds the fallen souls with strict difficulties have dared to attempt to forcibly throw such a wonderful, true rasika as Narottama into their own well of material rasa. Needless to say, they have not been successful. Being unable to understand the purely spiritual activities of Sri Narottama Thakura, many prakrta-sahajiyas had given him the title “Sahajiya-kula-bhusana” (the ornament of the family of cheap imitators). Therefore, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura appeared in time to check the spread of this concocted sahajiya mentality, and to truly defend the factual spiritual rank of Srila Thakura Mahasaya.
Visvanatha’s Family Lineage, Birth & Studies
Srila Visvanatha took birth in a family of brahmanas found in the Radha-desa area of Nadia District, West Bengal (Radha-sreniya-vipra-kula). According to some, he also used the pen name ‘Hari-vallabha’. He had two older brothers named Ramabhadra and Raghunatha, and he stayed in Deva-grama during his childhood. Upon the completion of his studies in vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar), he moved to Saiyadabad-grama Murasidabad District, where he studied the bhakti-sastras (literature of devotion) in the home of his guru Sri Radha-ramana Cakravarti. This Radha-ramana was the disciple of Sri krishna-carana Cakravarti, who was in turn the disciple of Sri Ganga-narayana Cakravarti (one of the chief disciples of Thakura Narottama.) Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura later composed Sanskrit prayers describing this disciplic succession Sri Gurudevastika, Sri Parama-gurudevastika, Sri Pratapara-gurudevastika, and Sri Parama-parat-gurudevastika. All these stotrascan be found, along with many other compositions, in his book named Sri Stavamrta-lahari (Waves of Nectarean Prayers).
His Residence in Sri Vraja Mandal
By the mercy of his spiritual master, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarty Thakura lived in many different places within Vraja-dhama, and composed various transcendental literatures there. Most of these books are very difficult to find nowadays; however a few of them are well known, and are considered to be the supremely honorable wealth of the Gaudiya Vaisnavas.
Sometimes Srila Cakravarty Thakura lived at Sri Govardhana, sometimes on the bank of Sri Radha-kunda, sometimes at Sri Yavata and sometimes in Sri Vrindavana within the compound of Sri Gokulananda’s temple. His movements here and there are made very clear by the statements found at the end of his books.
The Date of His Birth
In Attempting to ascertain the time of Cakravarty Thakura, we see that he states at the end of Sri krishna-Bhavanamrta that this book was completed on the full moon day of the month of Phalguna, 1607 Saka (1685 A.D.). This was the day commemorating the auspicious appearance of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu on the full moon in February-March. Additionally, in his commentary of the Srimad Bhagavatam named saratha-darsini, we see that this tika was written during the month of Magha, 1626 Saka (1704 A.D.). Therefore, estimating that his time of birth was approximately 1560 Saka (1638 A.D.), and determining his time of death as 1630 Saka (1708 A.D.), we can calculate that he was present in this world for 70 years.
His Disciplic Succession
Sri Ganga-narayana Cakravarti was a disciple of Srila Narottama Thakura Mahasaya, and a resident of Balucara Gambila (the place of Narottama’s disappearance). By the Lords desire, he had no sons; however, he had one daughter named Visnu-priya. Srila Thakura Mahasaya also had a famous disciple known as Sri Rama-krishna Bhattacarya (a Barendra-sreniya-brahmana). The youngest son of this Bhattacarya was named Sri krishna-carana, who was accepted by Sri Ganga-narayana as his own son (since he had none of his own.) This krishna-carana is the parama-guru, or grand spiritual master of Srila Cakravarti Thakura. In Visvanatha’s Bhagavatam commentary named Sarartha-darsini, at the beginning of the famous Rasa-pancadhyayi (five chapters describing Lord Sri krishna’s rasa-lila dance), we find the following verse:
sri rama krishna ganga caran natva gurun uru premnah
srila narottama natha sri gauranga prabhum naumi
“Having bowed down while absorbed in the most exalted divine love at the feet of all my gurus in disciplic succession — Sri Radha-ramana Cakravarti, Sri krishna-carana Cakravarty, Sri Ganga-narayana Cakravarty, Sri Narottama Thakura and Sri Lokanath Goswami I now offer my respectful obeisances unto my Lord Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu.”
We understand from this sloka that Sri Radha-ramana’s abbreviated name is ‘Sri Rama’, and that Sri krishna-carans’s abbreviated name is ‘krishna’. The word ‘natha’ is understood to mean Sri Lokanatha Goswami.
Refuting the Faulty Conclusions of Rupa Kaviraja
Srinivasa Acarya’s famous daughter, Srimati Hamalata Thakurani, rejected an envious disciple named Sri Rupa Kaviraja from the Viasnava society. This Rupa Kaviraja is counted amongst the sub-branch of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya known as atibadi. He spread his own concocted philosophy (counter to the Gaudiya tradition) that only a person in the renounced order of life is capable of acting as acarya. He claimed that it was not possible for a householder to become a spiritual master. Fully disregarding the vidhi-marga, or path of devotional rules and regulations, he also tried to preach a philosophical path of raga-marga, or spontaneous devotion, which was completely unregulated and undisciplined. He also preached that smarana (remembrance) was possible without the help of sravana and kirtana (hearing and chanting.) Thus, this Rupa Kaviraja propogated a path which was unfavorable to the path shown by the Goswamis. Therefore, Srila Cakravarti Thakura has refuted all these false conclusions in his sarartha-darshini commentary on the 3rd canto of Srimad bhagavatam. Actually, this refutation is a rendering of the truths outlined in Srila Jiva Goswami’s Bhakti Sandarbha.
Refuting the Caste Goswamis
The later descendants of Sri Rupa Kaviraja, as well as the descendants of Sri Nityananda Prabhu’s son Sri Virabhadra and the descendants of Sri Advaita Acarya’s rejected sons all gave the title “Goswami” to their disciples, even if they are householders. In preaching his refutation of this bogus practice, Srila Cakravarti Thakura has stated, citing scriptural evidence, that such a title of “Goswami” is not at all improper for a befitting offspring of an acarya. However, it is highly improper to simply tack the word “Goswami” onto the ends of names of offspring who are born in unfit families, even though descendants of an acarya — especially when there is a motive of greed for increasing wealth and followers. For this reason, even one conducting the activities of an acarya should never use the title “Goswami”. Srila Cakravarti Thakura maintains that such foolish persons, who are bereft of proper behavior — are so ignorant that they are not even fit to be seen.
The Gaudiya Sampradaya’s Conquest at Jaipur
During the time of Srila Cakravarti Thakura, the offspring of acaryas were signing the title “Goswami” next to their own names, thereby displaying their foolish ignorance. Being envious of the Lord and averse to the scriptures, they were very proud to announce the name of their vamsa-parampara (family lineage). At that time, at Sri Govindadeva’s temple at Gulta-grama (just outside Jaipur), the acaryas of the Sri Ramanuja-sampradaya issued a challenge against the Gaudiya Vaisnavas. The King of Jaipur consequently invited the most prominent Gaudiya Vaisnavas of Sri Vrindavana to attend. Knowing them to be followers of Srila Rupa Goswami, he called them to council with the followers of Sri Ramanuja. This happened in 1628 Saka (1706 A.D.), when Srila Cakravarti Thakura was very old (about 68 years). So he consulted his foremost student, Gaudiya Vaishnava Vedantacarya Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit-kula-mukta Sripada Baladeva Vidys-bhusana. Thereafter, Sri Vidya-bhusana left vrindavana to join the assembly in Jaipur, accompanied by his own student (and disciple of Srila Cakravarti Thakura), Sri krishnadeva Sarvabhauma.
The caste Goswamis had completely forgotten their own loyalty to the Sri Madhva-sampradaya. Being ignorant of the true facts of the disciplic succession, and being disrespectful to Vaisnava Vedanta, they had fallen into such a degraded condition that Sri Blaldeva Vidya-bhusna was onliged to write a separate commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, according to the philosophy of the Gaudiya sampradaya. This was done just to refute their false conclusions. Srila Cakravarti Thakura gave his full sanction and approval to this task of counteracting the challenge, which simultaneously resulted in allowing the Gaudiya Vaisnava parampara to continue preaching freely.
This event marks the second illustration of Srila Cakravarty Thakura’s preaching of the Vaisnava dharma. Specifically, this is a brilliant example of his endeavor to reform the Vaisnava acaryas who happened to be born in impure brahmana families.
Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura wrote many, many books. The following is a list of as many books as is possible to locate:
THE GLORIOUS BOOKS
SRILA VISVANATHA CAKRAVARTIPADA
1. Sri krishna-bhavamrta :
(Nectar-meditations on Sri krishna’s Daily Sports) 1,347 Sanskrit verses in 20 chapters describing the eight periods of a day in the life of the Divine Couple and Their Friends.
2. Samkalpa Kalpa-druma :
(The Desire Tree of Resolute Determination) 104 Sanskrit verses of prayer to Sri Radhika for the attainment of specific services rendered to Her during the eight periods of the day in Goloka Vrindavana. Often published as a seperate book, this work is included in Sri Visvanatha’s collection of prayers called Stavamrta-lahari.
3. Camatkara-candrika :
(A Moonbeam of Sheer Astonishment) 226 Sanskrit verses in four chapters of short stories depicting Sri krishna’s mischievious pranks conducted in various disguises: 1) Meeting in the Box, 2) Meeting in the Disguise of Abhimanyu, 3) Meeting in the Disguise of a Female Doctor, 4) Meeting in the Disguise of a Female Singer.
4. Prema-samouta :
(The Jewel -box of Love) 141 Sanskrit verses narrating the story of krishna coming before Sri Radha in the disguise of a demigoddess, and Radhika’s confidential confessions of the innermost core of Her selfless love for Him.
5. Vraja-riti-cintamani :
(The Touchstone of Life in Vraja) 234 Sanskrit verses in three chapters describing the holy flora, fauna, hills, lakes, groves, temples, and towns of the eternal realm of Vraja.
6. Gauranga-lilamrta :
(The Nectar of Sri Gauranga’s Daily Pastimes) 11 Sanskrit verses depicting Sri Mahaprabhu’s daily pastimes conducted in eight periods of the day; the descriptions of the pastimes in each verse are expanded by the extensive Bengali verses composed by Sri Visvanatha’s direct disciple, the poet krishnadasa.
7. Caitanya-rasayana :
(The Necta-Tonic of Sri Caitanya) A work that was never finished; the story of it is mentioned in the 13th chapter of Sri Narottama Vilasa by Sri Narahari Cakravarti, the son of Visvanatha’s disciple Jagannatha Vipra.
8. Raga-vartma-candrika :
(A Moonbeam Revealing the Path of Spontaneous Devotion) 22 Sanskrit paragraphs in two chapters of prose and verse which elaborate on the proper behavior and attitudes of one following the path of spontaneous devotional servive.
(A Row of Clouds of Sweetness) 8 “showers of nectar” (chapters) of Sanskrit prose which scientifically analyzes the various stages of advancement that one ascends while on the devotional path.
10. Aisvarya-kadambini :
(A Row of Clouds of Majesty) A work mentioned by Visvanatha in the second chapter of his Madhurya-kadambibi. It is different from the work by Sri Baladeva Vidya-bhusana of the same name. The book by Visvanatha discusses the philosophy of “Dvaitadvaita-vada”; however no copy of this work has ever been found.
11. Ujjvala-nilamani-kirana :
(One Ray of Sri Rupa Goswami’s Book, Ujjvala-nilamani) 16 paragraphs of Sanskrit prose, composed as a condensed smmary study of Srila Rupa Goswami’s 1,453-verse work. It is an examination of the psychology of the Divine Couple’s relationship with other and with Their girlfriends.
12. Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu-bindhu :
(A Drop From the Nectar-Ocean of Devotion) 27 Sanskrit notes, composed as a summary of Srila Rupa Goswami’s book Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, which outlines the process of devotional service.
13. Bhagavatamrta-kana :
(A Speck of Sri Rupa Goswami’s Book, Laghu-bhagavatamrta) 15 Sanskrit notes that sum up the information presented in Sri Rupa’s book, which describes Sri krishna’s various incarnations and plenary portions.
14. Gaura-gana-svarupa-tattva-candrika :
(A Moonbeam Revealing the Truth of the Identity of Gaura’s Associates) A book which follows the earlier work of Sri Kavi Karnapura called Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika. It similarly reveals the Vraja-lila identity of various descendants of the Gaudiya-sampradaya), but is updated to include many other personalities that appeared in the sampradaya after Kavi Karnapura’s time.
15. Rupa-cintamani :
(The Touchstone of Gauranga’s Bodily Beauty) Sanskrit verses describing the exact locations of the sacred marks found on Lord Caitanya’s palms and soles, including those of Sri Nityananda and Sri Advaita. Visvanatha composed another work also called Rupa-cintamani that describes the head-to-toe beauty of Sri Sri Radha-krishna, as well as the marks on the soles of Their lotus feet; this work is included in his collection called Stavamrta-lahari.
16. Ksanada-gita-cintamani :
(The Touchstone of Songs to be Sung at Night) This is the first anthology of devotional songs written by Gaudiya Vaisnava poetsin the Bengali, Sanskrit and Braja-bhuli languages. Visvanatha compiled the writings of 45 authors totalling 309 songs, among which are 51 of his own songs, signed with his other pen name Hari-vallabha. The songs are divided up into groups that are to be sung each night of the month; thus there are 30 divisions — 15 for the dark fortnight and 15 for the light fortnight.
17. Mantrartha-dipika :
(A Torchlamp Illuminating the Kama-Gayatri Mantra) 18 Sanskrit notes in prose and verse which give detailed explanations of each and every syllable of kama-bija and kama-gayatri mantras. There is also a description of a doubt that Visvanatha had regarding the syllables of the mantra, and how Sri Radhika Herself appeared to him in a dream in order to solve the problem.
18. Stavamrta-lahari :
(Wave After Wave of Nectarean Prayers) A collection of 28 Sanskrit prayers, astakams, meditations and glorifications.
1. on Srimad-bhagavatam, named Sarartha-darsisn (She Who Reveals the Inner, Essential Purports)
2. on Bhagavad-gita, named Sarartha-varsini (She Who Showers Forth the Hidden Meanings)
3. on Sri Rupa’s Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, named Bhakti-sara-pradarsini (She Who Demonstrates the Cream-like Essence of Devotion)
4. on Sri Rupa’s Ujjvala-nilamani, named Ananda-candrika (Moonbeams of Pure Bliss)
5. on Sri Rupa’s Lalita-madhava-nataka
6. on Sri Rupa’s Vidagha-madhava-nataka
7. on Sri Rupa’s Dana-keli-kaumudi, named Mahati (She Who Is Glorious)
8. on Sri Rupa’s Hamsa-duta
9. on Kavikarnapura’s Alankara-kaustubha, named Subhodini (She Who Informs Very Nicely)
10. on Kavi Karnapura’s Ananda-vrindavana-campu, named Sukha-varttini (She Who Establishes One in Happiness)
11. on krishnadasa Kaviraja’s Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, which is said to be incomplete.
12. on Narottama dasa Thakur’s Prema-bhakti-candrika
13. on Sri Brahma-samhita
14. on Gopala-tapani-upanisad, named Bhakta-harsini (She Who Gives Great Joy to the Devotees)