Category Archives: Bhakti vs other philosophies

Acintya Bhedabheda Tattva (Achintya Bheda Abheda) | Teachings of Lord Chaitanya

Acintya Bheda abheda Achintya

Hareh sakteh sarvam cid-acid-akhilam syat parinatir
Vivartam no satyam sruti mata viruddham kali malam
Harer bhedabhedau sruti vihita tattvam suvimalam
Tatah premnah siddhir bhavati nitya visaye

In their entirety, the material and spiritual worlds are the transformations of the energies of Sri Krishna, the Supreme Lord. Vivarta-vada, the impersonal theory of illusory transformation of Brahman, is false. It is venomous contamination in this age of Kali and is contradictory to the conclusions of the Vedas. The philosophy of Acintya Bhedabheda tattva (Achintya-Bheda-Abheda), the doctrine of inconceivable oneness and difference simultaneously, is the only true essence of the Vedas. The practice of this philosophy promotes a person to the perfectional stage of developing divine transcendental love for Sri Krishna, the absolute eternal Truth.
(Dasa Mula Tattva)

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Lord Chaitanya’s message of divine Love | Shanta, Dasya, Sakhya, Vatsalya and Madhurya Rasa

divine love rasa mellow

#1 ‘Prema’ and ‘Kama’ –  Transcendental Love vs Mundane lust

In our vocabulary, we come across two concepts – ‘Prema’ and ‘Kama’. The English equivalents for these two words are ‘transcendental love’ (divine love) and ‘mundane lust’ respectively. There is a general tendency to confuse ‘Prema’ with ‘Kama’ and vice-versa. Considering the apparent similarities between their external characteristics, such confusion is inevitable. But a little reflection will reveal the stark distinctions between the two – ‘Prema’ is divine while ‘Kama’ is hellish. Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu distinguishes between these two with a beautiful explanation –

atmendriya-priti-vancha – tare bali ‘kama’
krishnendriyo-priti-iccha dhare ‘prema’ nama
(Chaitanya Charitamrita, 4.165)

The desire to gratify one’s own senses is lust, but the desire to please the senses of Lord Krishna is love.

So wherever the desire to gratify our senses exists there is lust and wherever the desire to gratify the senses of Krishna (Supreme Lord) exists, there is love. Preachers of Divine Love have appeared at different times on this planet. The comparative study of their teachings of Divine Love reveals the differences between them. This difference is primarily due to the diverse spiritual evolution of different people. A careful comparative study of all these messages of Divine Love will establish the superiority of Lord Chaitanya above all others. Lord Chaitanya’s gift in this regard shall be determined to be the highest.

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Why do Hindus worship idols/Deities? | Gaudiya Vaishnavism

#1 Does deity worship degrade and confine the Supreme Lord to a small material form? In that case is it not a sin to worship an idol (But-Parasti) of the Supreme Lord ?

In Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), ‘deity worship’ is the practice of worshiping the eternal, completely spiritual, and fully conscious form of Bhagavan (Supreme Lord). Therefore deity worship of the Supreme Lord, as practiced in Sanatan Dharma, is not a kind of material idol worship. Furthermore, the worship also depends upon the intensity of faith and devotion of the worshiper. The more one is aloof from material contamination, the purer and more transcendental his deity worship shall become. The worshiper’s fondness towards material sense enjoyment reflects in his/her standards of worship and meditation. Hence only those qualified people who have won over the illusory influence of matter, are transcendentally situated, and are capable of conceptualizing the pure spiritual form of the Lord should engage in deity worship. Sanatan Dharma upholds the worship of pure and transcendental deity form of the Supreme Lord.

worship idol deity

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5 facts about devi Durga (Mahamaya) | Gaudiya Vaishnavism

maa durga mahamaya

#1 Do Vaishnavas worship goddess Durga ?

Many people believe that Vaishnavas do not worship or acknowledge Maa Durga (Mahamaya shakti), but this is a completely mistaken notion. It is true however that how the dry philosophers and the impersonalists worship Mahamaya devi is contrary to how the Vaishnavas do the same. The Vaishnavas hold that devi Durga is a devotee of the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. It is recorded in scriptures like Srimad Bhagavatam, Vishnu Purana, etc how on being instructed by the Supreme Lord, she appeared from the womb of mother Yashoda who was imprisoned by Kamsa and apprised Kamsa of his imminent death at the hands of Gokulananda Krishna. Kali, Durga, Chandi, Annapurna, Katyayani, etc are different names by which Mahamaya devi is often called upon. She is responsible for executing the will of the Supreme Lord and is deemed worshipable by the Vaishnavas.

mayadhyaksena prakritih
suyate sa-characaram
hetunanena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate
(Bhagavad Gita 9.10)

O son of Kunti, this material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My command thereby producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule, this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.

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What is Sanatan Dharma ? | Meaning of Sanatan Dharma

devotee of krishna association chaitanya sanatan dharma

Dharma is often interpreted as “duty,” “religion” or “religious duty” and yet its definition is more profound, defying the concise English translation. The word ‘Dharma’ originates from the Sanskrit root “dhri,” which means “to sustain.” Another correlated meaning of ‘Dharma’ is ‘that which is indispensable and fundamental to something’. The word ‘Sanatan’ translates to ‘eternal’ and the phrase ‘Sanatan Dharma’ alludes to that which is eternally integral to a living entity. That which is ‘Sanatan’ does not have either a beginning or an end. Likewise, ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is timeless, non-sectarian and not limited by any boundaries. Religion conveys the idea of faith, and faith of a person may change. But ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is that which cannot be changed. For instance liquidity cannot be taken away from water, nor can heat be taken away from fire.

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Shiva Ashtakam : Prayers to Lord Shiva – by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

shiva ashtakam prayers

‘Sri Krishna Chaitanya Carita Maha Kavya’ written by Murari Gupta cites the below captivating Shiva Ashtakam (prayers offered unto Lord Shiva) composed by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and recited at a place called Ekamraka (situated near Bhubaneswar). Murari Gupta describes that Lord Gauranga walking like a ferocious lion eventually reached the village of Ekamraka. Gaura’s heart ran wild to meet with Shiva (the great Vaishnava). Great longings filled His heart. He became wild with ecstatic loving emotions. Seeing the flag fluttering on top of the temple, Lord Gaurahari offered His obeisances. He got up and continued walking until he was able to enter the temple of Shiva. Being overwhelmed with ecstasy, Mahaprabhu recited the below prayers again and again.

(1)
namo namas te tri-dasesvaraya
bhutadi nathaya mrdaya nityam

ganga tarangotthita bala chandra
cudaya gauri nayanotsavaya

(2)
su-tapta camikara chandra nila padma
pravalambuda kanti vastraih

su-ntya rangeta vara pradaya
kaivalya nathaya va dhvajaya

(3)
sudhasu suryagni vilocanena
tamo bhide te jagatah sivaya

sahasra subhrasu sahasra rasmi
sahasra sanjittvara tejase ‘stu

(4)
nagesa ratnojjvala vigrahaya
sarddula carmasukha divya tejase

sahasra patropari samsthitaya
varangadamukta bhuja dvayaya

(5)
su nupuraranjita pada padma
karat sudha bhtya sukha pradaya

vicitra ratnaugha vibhuitaya
premanam evadya harau vidhehi

(6)
sri rama govinda mukunda saure
sri krsna narayana vasudeva

ity adi namamta pana matta
bhngadhipayakhila duhkha hantre

(7)
sri naradadyaih satata sugopya
jijnasitayasu vara pradaya

tebhyo harer bhakti sukha pradaya
sivaya sarvva gurave namah

(8)
sri gauri-netrotsava mangalaya
tat prana nathaya rasa pradaya

sada samutkantha govinda lila
gana pravinaya namo stu tubhyam

Translation

(1)
I forever offer my obesisances unto you, the controller of the thirty primal demigods; unto you, who is the original father of created beings and who is gracious, and from whose head, which is crested by the sickle moon, arises the waves of Ganga. I offer my obeisances unto you, who is a festival for the eyes of Gauri, the fair goddess.

(2)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who resembles a moon of molten gold hue, who is dressed in garments glowing like fresh blue lotuses or like radiant rainclouds; (I offer my obeisances) unto you who bestows the most desirable boons upon your devotees through your delightful dancing; (I offer my obeisances) unto you who are the Lord of the impersonalists and whose flag bears the image of the bull.

(3)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who dispels darkness with your three eyes – the moon, the sun, and the fire; (I offer my obeisances) unto you, who generates auspiciousness for all the living entities of the universe and you, whose potency easily defeats that of thousands of moons and suns.

chaitanya mahaprabhu Lakshmipriya vishnupriya shiva

(4)
I offer my obeisances unto you, whose form is brilliantly illuminated by the jewels of Ananta Deva, the king of snakes. I offer my obeisances unto you, who possesses divine potencies and are clothed in a tiger skin, who sits upon a lotus of thousand petals, and whose two arms are adorned by radiant bangles.

(5)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who carries happiness unto your servitors as you pour on them the liquid nectar flowing from your reddish lotus-feet, that rings with charming ankle bells. Obeisances unto you, who are embellished with an abundance of gems. Please endow me today with pure love for Sri Hari!

(6)
O, Sri Rama! O, Govinda! O Mukunda! O Sauri! O, Sri Krishna! O Narayana! O Vasudeva! I offer my obeisances unto you, Sri Shiva, who is the monarch of intoxicated bee-like devotees, who are mad to drink the nectar of these and other innumerable Holy Names of Lord Hari. Obeisances unto you, who destroys all grief.

(7)
I offer my respectful obeisances again and again unto you, who are forever inquired confidentially by Sri Narada and other sages. You also grant favors upon them very quickly. (I offer my respectful obeisances) unto you, who bestows the happiness of Hari bhakti (devotion unto Lord Hari) unto those who seek boons from you and thereby creating auspiciousness. You are thus the Guru (spiritual master) of everyone.

(8)
I offer my obeisances unto you, who is a festival of auspiciousness for the eyes of goddess Gauri (Durga). You are the monarch of her life-air. (I offer my obeisances) unto you who bestows rasa and are expert in eagerly singing songs praising the pastimes of Govinda.

Benefits of hearing this Shiva Ashtakam prayers with love and rapt attention :

etat sivasyatakam adbhuta mahat
srnvan hari-prema labheta sighram
jnanam ca vijnanam apurva vaibhavam
yo bhava purnah paramam samadaram

A person who lovingly hears with rapt attention to these eight-fold prayers to Shiva can quickly gain devotion unto Lord Hari as well as transcendental knowledge, the realization of that knowledge, and unprecedented devotional potency.


Unending glories of a Vaishnava | Gaudiya Vaishnavism

vaishnava vaishnavism krishna

The following article explores the unending glories of a Vaishnava, his devotion, intense mood, and why he is worshipable for all. Similarly, Vaishnavism, the path of practicing loving devotion (Krishna Consciousness) towards the supreme Lord Krishna, is the most exalted and glorious of all the other means of self-realization.

  • #1 Vaishnavas, the devotees of the Supreme Lord Sri Hari, are not subjected to the fruits of Karma. They are highly respected by the demigods including Yamaraja and are not subjected to their punishment. The following verse from Srimad Bhagavatam confirms this statement.

te deva siddha-parigita-pavitra-gatha
ye sadhavah samadriso bhagavat prapannah
tan nopasidata harer gadayabhiguptan
naisam vayam na ca vayah prabhavama dande

(Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.27)

Yamaraja instructs Yamadutas, “My dear servants, please do not approach such devotees (vaishnava), for they have fully surrendered to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are equal to everyone, and their narrations are recited by the demigods and even the inhabitants of Siddhaloka. Please do not go near them. They are always protected by the club of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and therefore Lord Brahma, I, and even the time factor are not qualified to chastise them”.

The Skanda Purana states –

Na brahma na sivagnindra naham nanye divaukasah
Saktas tu nigraham kartum vaishnavanam mahatmanam

Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Agni, Indra and myself (Yamaraja) and other demigods are unable to chastise the broad-minded Vaishnavas.

 

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Sanatan Dharma – How old is the Indian civilization?

how old is the indian civilization sanatan

How old is the Indian civilization and its Sanatan Dharma?

In his Discourse on Sanskrit and Its Literature, given at the College of France, Professor Bournouf addresses this question as to how old is the Indian civilization and its Sanatan Dharma? He says, “We will study India with its philosophy and its myths, its literature, its laws and its language. Nay it is more than India, it is a page of the origin of the world that we will attempt to decipher.”

Max Mueller observed in history of Sanskrit Literature, “In the Rig-veda we shall have before us more real antiquity than in all the inscriptions of Egypt or Ninevah…the Veda is the oldest book in existence..”

The famous German thinker, Schopenhaur, remarked in the introduction to his book, ‘The Upanishads’, “In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life (and) it will be the solace of my death.”

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Adi Shankaracharya & Advaita Vedanta | Mayavada Khandana (Refuting Mayavada)

adi shankaracharya advaita vedanta mayavada

Adi Shankaracharya (Adi Shankara) was none other than the incarnation of Lord Shiva. He was born about twelve hundred years ago at a place called Kalady, situated on the banks of river Purna in Kerala. He was born to a brahmin couple – Shivaguru and Aryamba in answer to their prayers unto Sri Vadakkunnathan, a form of Lord Shiva. At the tender age of eight, Shankaracharya left his home in search of his Guru. Walking about two thousand Kilometers, he reached central India where he surrendered unto Guru Govindapada. He stayed under his tutelage for four years and attained mastery over various Vedic scriptures. From the age of twelve to sixteen Shankaracharya, on being instructed by his Guru, wrote commentaries elucidating the meanings of various scriptures (in accordance with the philosophy of Mayavada). From the age of sixteen until he passed away at thirty-two, Shankaracharya traveled across the length and breadth of India preaching the message of the Vedas.

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