śrī śrī guru gaurāṅga jayataḥ!

Rays of The Harmonist On-Line Edition

Year 8, Issue 9
Posted: 2 October 2015

Dedicated to
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhakti Prajñāna Keśava Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Inspired by and under the guidance of
nitya-līlā praviṣṭa oṁ viṣṇupāda

Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja

Associates of Śrī Caitanya – Part One
Six Features of Godhead

by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda

(Portrait of Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Prabhupāda)

Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. The associates of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya are constituents of Him. It is our object in this short paper to study the implications of these doctrines.

Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s active existence involves the undivided operation of the following six divine entities: (1) gurus, (2) devotees, (3) avartāras (divine descents), (4) divine manifestations, (5) divine powers and (6) Godhead Himself. All these are jointly and severally Divine.

As Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is identical with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the active existence of Śrī Caitanya also implies the cooperation of the above six divine categories.

When Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya was pleased to manifest His appearance on this mundane plane, His six constituents also necessarily made their appearance as part and parcel of Him. In the marvellous work Gaura-ganoddeśa-dīpikā, we find several revelations about characters who are divinely associated with Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya’s performances and their corresponding identity in the dvāpara-līlā of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This correspondence is an essential part of the religion of pure devotion propounded by Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. In the opening verses of his great work Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī accordingly makes his obeisance to Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya in His above sixfold form.

The appearance of Godhead in this world implies the co-appearance of all His divine paraphernalia. Godhead must not be conceived as in any way separable from His entourage. Godhead shorn of any of His paraphernalia is a delusion. In the same way, the appearance of divine paraphernalia involves the appearance of the Divinity. The two are distinct yet inseparable forms of the one Supreme.

Śrī Caitanya is the divine personality Himself. His associates share His divine nature. Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya is a subject who extends to his six divine forms, and all six divine forms have to be worshipped if it is one’s intention to worship Śrī Caitanya.

* * *

The guru is one of His constituents. It is necessary to receive initiation from him. It is also necessary to be instructed by him. As teacher, the guru has two forms. He guides from within, and he also appears as a guide and instructor existing outside his disciple. Initiation is received from one person only. Instructions may be had from many gurus. Śrī Kavirāja Gosvāmī himself was instructed by the famous six Gosvāmīs.

When the Divinity manifests to the pure receptive spiritual essence of the disciple, it is embodied as the guru. The guru is the real and original recipient of the Truth. He communicates his knowledge to the disciple who is too small a particle to receive the whole Truth himself. The disciple is thus enabled to receive the Truth through the power of the guru. The guru, as it were, takes the disciple by the hand and guides his every step on the plane of the Absolute. It is perpetual tutelage on the part of the disciple.

This fact may be expressed in another way. The cognitive faculty of the individual soul has no ground to stand upon unless the Divinity Himself condescends to be the legs as well as the ground on which he is to stand or have any capacity at all. This function of the Divinity is performed by the guru. As a matter of fact, the Divinity actually only reveals Himself to Himself. The individual soul is a separable constituent of the guru. It is only when the soul happens to be associated with the guru, by his own free will and in a completely dependent manner, that he can be on the plane of the guru’s service to the Divinity. The soul may or may not choose to be so associated. The guru may or may not choose to admit the soul into association with him. When there is active, willing and mutual assent to such association it is possible for the individual soul to attain service to the Divinity in the soul’s fully conscious form.

Adapted from The Gaudiya, Volume 49, Number 7
by the Rays of The Harmonist team

Rays of The Harmonist On-line, Year 8, Issue 9, "Associates of Śrī Caitanya – Part One; Six Features of Godhead" by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License to ensure that it is always freely available. You may redistribute this article if you include this license and attribute it to Rays of The Harmonist. Please ask for permission before using the Rays of The Harmonist banner-logo.