Sri Sri Guru-Gaurangau Jayatah
Sri Krsna is the Supreme Lord. One of His plenary expansions is Sankarsana. One of Sankarsana’s plenary expansions is Karanodakasayi Mahavisnu. When Karanodakasayi Mahavisnu looks at the illusory energy, Maya, it causes the creation of the material world. Various types of jivas are present in the material world being bound by their previous actions. This state of the jiva being bound in illusion due to previous actions is known as being mayabaddha. How many states of existence exist for a mayabaddha jiva? We are informed of the answers to these questions by our most worshipful Sri Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura. A mayabaddha jiva has five states of consciousness. In other words, according to the jiva’s materially bound state, its consciousness is covered (acchadita-cetana), shrunken (sankocita-cetana), budding (mukulita-cetana), blooming (vikacita-cetana), or blossomed (purna-vikacita-cetana). Now let us discuss these five states of consciousness according to the classifications provided by Sri Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura:
Covered Consciousness (acchadita-cetana) – Trees, grass, stones, rocks and mountains are all living entities who possess completely covered over consciousness. Their understanding of dharma is practically nonexistent and is considered to be in a sleeping state. Having forgotten their constitutional existence of being the servants of Krsna, they are so deeply absorbed in the qualities of material nature that they have absolutely no cognizance of their eternal spiritual existence in the spiritual world. Through the six transformations of the body (sad-vikara), they possess a slight understanding of their true existence. This is the most fallen state of existence of the jiva. When one discusses the Puranic histories of Ahalya, Yamalarjuna trees, Saptatala and so on, it is seen that one attains this state of completely covered over consciousness due to committing an extremely heinous offence. One becomes delivered from such a state of existence by Krsna’s mercy.
Shrunken Consciousness (sankocita-cetana) – Animals, birds, reptiles, aquatics like fish, and insects all of a shrunken consciousness. Those with a covered consciousness have practically no realization of anything. In comparison, living entities with a shrunken consciousness have a somewhat higher level realization and understanding. They act according to their desires in regards to gathering food, sleeping and defending. They can dispute with others in order to maintain their own existence. They become angry upon seeing injustice. All of these qualities are seen in one with a shrunken consciousness. They do not have any knowledge of the spiritual world. Even a monkey possessing evil intelligence exhibits some sort of reasoning capability. They think about what will happen in the future if an action is performed now and so on. Signs of gratitude can be seen in their mindsets. The knowledge of food quality and value is also clearly seen in some of these creatures. Those with a shrunken consciousness do not try to find out the Supreme Lord. Thus, their understanding of dharma is narrow. Bhakta Bharata, despite receiving the body of a deer, possessed knowledge of the Supreme Lord and His name. This has been described in the scriptures but is a unique example; it is certainly not the norm. Due to his offence, Bharata had to take birth in the animal kingdom. By the mercy of the Supreme Lord, after committing an offence, Bharata was reestablished on the proper path towards attaining the Lord.
Budding, Blooming and Blossomed Consciousness (mukulita, vikacita and purna-vikacita-cetana): A bound soul (baddha-jiva) is seen to be in three states of existence, namely the budding state of consciousness (mukulita-avastha), the blooming state of consciousness (vikacita-avastha) and the blossomed state of consciousness (purna-vikacita-avastha). Humans can be classified into five categories. Those who follow no rules (niti-sunya), those who follow rules but do not believe in a supreme controller (nirisvara naitika), those who do follow rules and do believe in a supreme controller (sesvara naitika), those who perform devotional practices in a regulated manner (sadhana-bhakta) and those who are in the initial stages of loving devotion (bhava-bhakta). Humans who do not believe in a supreme controller due to ignorance or due to changes in knowledge are classified as either niti-sunya or nirisvara naitika. Those who follow rules and have some belief in a supreme controller are known as sesvara naitika. Those who engage in devotional practices according to the rules and regulations mentioned in the scriptures are known as sadhana-bhaktas. Those who have attained the initial stages of love in relation to the Supreme Lord are known as bhava-bhaktas. The niti-sunya and nirisvara naitika are in the budding stage (mukulita). The sesvara naitika and the sadhana-bhakta are in the blooming stage (vikacita). The bhava-bhakta is in the blossomed stage (purna-vikacita).
According to the abovementioned analysis of Sri Srimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya, the Supreme Lord, Sri Krsna, has sent the jiva embodied in a human body, which is the greatest body amongst the Lord’s creation, to the material world, totally equipped to attain a blossomed (purna-vikacita) state of consciousness. It is impossible for a jiva to attain this blossomed state of conscious through its individual effort. Therefore, a human must first take shelter of the lotus feet of a genuine spiritual master (sadguru-padasraya). The true meaning of taking the shelter of the lotus feet of a genuine spiritual master is as follows. Spiritual teachings come down through the generations from spiritual master to disciple through the guru parampara. When such teachings reach a living entity through the initiating spiritual master (diksa-guru) and instructing spiritual masters (siksa-guru), we must accept those teachings from the cores of our hearts and proceed accordingly on our spiritual paths. The initiating spiritual master (diksa-guru) is capable of doing the work of an instructing spiritual master (siksa-guru). In the absence of the initiating spiritual master (diksa-guru), in accordance with his instructions, one can accept one or greater than one instructing spiritual master(s) (siksa-guru(s)). The instructions from the initiating and instructing spiritual masters gradually cause an increase in our strength to perform our spiritual practice (sadhana-bala). This sadhana-bala is our assistant in achieving the state of a blossomed consciousness (purna-vikacita).
Although the scriptures inform us that the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna is the spiritual master of the entire universe (jagat-guru), the main object of worship in the Gaudiya Matha is Srimati Radharani. Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Krsna who has taken upon the mood and complexion of Srimati Radharani. The scriptures inform us that the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna appears in one day of Brahma during the Kali-yuga of the 28th catura-yuga in the seventh manvantara as Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Through His own behavior and activities, having taken upon the mood of Srimati Radharani, He gives us the teachings of serving Sri Krsna. At present, some people, without knowing the scriptural evidence, accept Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu (Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu) to be that same Sri Krsna who performs pastimes and wanders about in the supreme spiritual abode of Goloka Vrindavan. Below, I have provided some scriptural verses as evidence for such people regarding this topic:
ajāyadhavamajāyadhavamajāyamadhavaṁ na saṁśaya|
kalau saṁkīrtanārambhe bhaviṣyāmi śacīsutaḥ|| (bhaviṣyapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: In the age of Kali, I will appear as the son of Saci Devi to begin the samkirtana movement. There is no doubt of this.
kalighoratamasācchannān sarvānācāra varjitan|
śacīgarbhe ca sambhūya tāriyiṣyāmi nārada|| (vāmanapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: Oh, Narada! I will take birth from the womb of Saci Devi to deliver all the people who are bereft of proper conduct and who are overcome by the darkness of the horrible age of Kali.
kaleḥ prathamasandhyāyāṁ lakṣmīkāntobhaviṣyati|
brahmarūpaṁ samāśritya sambhavāmi yuge yuge|| (varāhapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: In the first portion of the age of Kali, I will appear as the beloved of Laksmi and subsequently, will take shelter of Jagannatha. Like this, I appear age after age.
golokanca parityaktvā lokānāṁ trāṇakāriṇām|
kalau gaurāṅga-rūpeṇa līlālāvaṇya vigrahaṁ|| (mārkaṇdeyapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: In order to deliver the people of the material world, I will give up My residence of Goloka and take on the form of Gauranga, in the age of Kali, performing beautiful pastimes in My enchanting form.
kaleḥ prathamasandhyāyāṁ gaurāṅgo’saumahītale|
bhāgīrathītaṭebhūmni bhaviṣyati sanātana|| (padmapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: The eternal Lord, Gauranga will appear in the first portion of the age of Kali on earth by the banks of the Ganges River.
bhaktiyoga pradānāya lokasyānugrahāya ca|
sannyāsirūpamāśritya kṛṣṇacaitanya nāmadhṛk|| (brhat-vāmanapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: The Supreme Lord will take sannyasa and will be known as Sri Krsna Caitanya; He will appear to distribute the yoga of devotion and to bless the people of the world.
gopālaṁ paripālayan vrajapure lokān vahan dvāpare|
gauraṅga-priyakīrtanaḥ kaliyuge caitanyanāmā hariḥ|| (nṛsiṁhapurāṇaḥ)
Meaning: The Supreme Lord, Gopala, who appeared in the age of Dvapara in Vraja to carry the burden of the earth appears in the age of Kali with the name of Caitanya in a golden form, lovely chanting the holy names of Hari.
After reading the above quotes, I hope that there are no doubts in the minds of the readers in regards to Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu being the Supreme Lord Sri Krsna, Himself.
Although Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu is Sri Krsna Himself, He became overwhelmed with the mood of Srimati Radharani and tried to find Sri Krsna. Since the very moment Sri Krsna left Vrindavan for Mathura, Srimati Radharani became filled with the intense pain of separation. Only the genuine spiritual masters (sadgurus) can realize the taste of the pain of separation felt by Srimati Radharani. One can realize the pain of separation solely through the genuine spiritual masters (sadgurus); they give us these teachings through their own practice and behavior. Therefore, the true guru of all Gaudiya Vaisnavas is Srimati Radharani; even then, according to the scriptures, Krsna is the spiritual master of the entire universe (jagatguru).
Now, let us discuss the true meaning of the word Radha in accordance with the words spoken by Sri Krsna in the Brahma-Vaivarta Purana –
rāṁ śabdaṁ kurvatastrasto dadāmi bhaktimuttamaṁ|
dhā śabdaṁ kurvataḥ paścād yāmi śravaṇa lobhataḥ|| 70
Meaning: Sri Krsna says, “I quickly bestow supreme devotion (uttama-bhakti) upon one who pronounces the first syllable of the word Radha, namely ‘ra.’ Then again, being greedy to hear the name of Radha, I walk behind such a person when he says the second syllable of the word Radha, namely ‘dha’.”
ye sevante ca dattā māmupacārāṁśca ṣoḍaśaḥ|
yāvajjīvana paryantaṁ nityaṁ bhaktyā susaṁyutāḥ|| 71
Meaning: When one says the name Radha, one gains more love than that which is gained by performing worship of Me with 16 articles (sodasa upacara) for their whole lives with fixedness.
yā prītirmama jāyate rādhāśabdāttato’dhikā|
priyā na me tathā rādhe rādhā vaktā tato’dhikā|| 72
Meaning: One who says the name Radha, who is more dear to Me than My very own life, becomes even more dear to Me.
For this reason, in order to attain love for Sri Krsna, the Gaudiya Vaisnavas place Sri Sri Radharani as their guru in the cores of their hearts. They understand the initiating spiritual master (diksa-guru) to be the representative of Srimati Radharani. Thus, with a blossomed consciousness of bhava-bhakti, they go on to achieve prema-bhakti.
‘Guru-krpahi-kevalam’ – In accordance with this statement of the scriptures, let us discuss the 12 names of the guru.
prathameśca gurudevaṁ dvitīye caitanyaprada|
tṛtīye jñāna dātā ca caturthe iṣta devatā||
pañcame śrī jñātinātha ṣaṣṭhe patitapāvana|
saptame śrī karṇadhāra, mantrācārya tathāṣtame||
navametu parabrahma daśame trāṇa kārana|
ekādaśedīnabandhu dvādaśe harirīśvara||
Meaning: The twelve names are as follows – 1. Gurudeva, the worshipful spiritual master, 2. Caitanya-prada, the giver of consciousness, 3. Jnana-data, the giver of knowledge, 4. Ista-devata, the worshipful desired master, 5. Jnatinatha, the very dear, intimate kinsmen, 6. Patitapavana, the deliverer of the fallen, 7. Karnadhara, the captain of the ship to cross over the ocean of birth and death, 8. Mantracarya, the spiritual master who teaches by example and bestows the divine mantra, 9. Parabrahma, the Supreme Lord, 10. Trana-karana, the cause of deliverance, 11. Dinabandhu, the friend of the fallen, 12. Haririsvara, the supreme controller, Sri Hari.
All of these auspicious qualities can be seen in a genuine spiritual master who has been appointed by the guru parampara who is following every single instruction provided to him by that guru parampara.
On this day, I offer my humble prayer to my most worshipful spiritual master mantradata gurudeva nitya-lila pravista Om Visnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Pramode Puri Goswami Thakur who is completely full in these 12 qualities of a guru, to my grand spiritual master parama-guru-pada-padma nitya-lila-pravista 108 Srila Prabhupada Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Thakura and to the lotus feet of all of the previous spiritual masters in our lineage. Please forgive this most fallen servant for all of his offenses committed knowingly or unknowingly through your quality of being one who sees no faults in others. Further, for as long as you will keep this servant in this body, keep this servant under the shade of your lotus feet. Please bless this servant that until his very last day of life, he follows and practices pure devotion, staying in the service of Sriman Mahaprabhu’s mission of spreading divine love.
Srila Bhakti Bibudha Bodhayan Maharaj