The Validity of the Gauḍiya Paramparā and It’s Link With MadhvācāryaThe Validity of the Gauḍiya Paramparā and It’s Link With Madhvācārya
The Ontological Position of the Vaiṣṇava over the BrāhmaṇaThe Ontological Position of the Vaiṣṇava over the Brāhmaṇa
By Published On: August 3, 2001Tags: 28.4 min read

Overview

In ‘The Divinity of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’, Swami B.V. Giri refutes claims by the Tattvavādīs concerning the divinity of Śrī Caitanyadeva, by quoting various śāstras. He also answers the argument that many of the śāstrika quotes by our ācāryas are of dubious origin.

OBJECTION 1

OBJECTION: Madhva has said in his commentary to the Kaṭhopaniṣad that there are nine types of offense to Lord Viṣṇu, such as ascribing divinity to an ordinary mortal. You are guilty of this because you claim that Caitanya is an incarnation of God. The result of this is that you will go to the darkest regions of hell.

REFUTATION: There are many evidences to prove the divinity of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. First, we will present those statements of śāstra which are from śruti, and then those from the Purāṇas and other Vedic literatures.

ito’haṁ kṛta-sannyāso’vatariṣyāmi saguṇo nirvedo niṣkāmo bhūgīrvāṇas
tīra-stho’lakanandāyaḥ kalau catuḥ-sahasrābdopari pancasahasrābhyantare
gaura-varṇo dīrghāṅgaḥ sarva-lakṣaṇa-yukta īśvaraprārthito
nija-rasāsvādo bhakta-rūpo miśrākhyo vidita-yogaḥ

I will descend on the earth after the passage of four thousand years in the Kali Age, and before the passage of five thousand years. I will come on the earth on the bank of the Ganges. I will be a tall and saintly brāhmaṇa devotee. I will have all the auspicious symptoms of an exalted person. I will exhibit renunciation. I will have all auspicious signs. I will be a devotee, practicing bhakti-yoga. I will taste the rasa of My own devotional service. (Atharva Veda)

saptame gaura-varṇa-viṣṇor ity anena sva-śaktyā
caikyam etya prānte prātar avatīrya saha svaiḥ svam-anuṁ śikṣyati.

In the seventh manvantara, in the beginning of the Kali-Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will, accompanied by His own associates, descend in a golden form to the earth. He will teach the chanting of His own names. (Atharva-Veda Puruṣa-Bodhini-Upaniṣad 8)

athā’haṁ kṛta-sannyaso bhū-gīrvāṇo’vatariṣye tīre’lakanandāyāḥ
punaḥ punar īśvara-prārthitaḥ sa-parivaro nirālambo nirdhūteḥ
kali-kalmaṣa-kavalita-janāvalambanāya

I shall come to the earth, accompanied by My associates, in a place by the bank of the Ganges. I will advent to save the people who are afflicted and devoured by the sins of the age of Kali. I will manifest as an avadhūta brāhmaṇa sannyāsī. (Sāma Veda)

vai mahān prabhur vai puruṣaḥsattvasyaiṣa pravartakaḥ
su-nirmalāṁ imāṁ prāptim īśāno jyotir avyayaḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is Mahāprabhu, who disseminates transcendental enlightenment. Just to be in touch with Him is to be in contact with the indestructible brahmajyoti. (Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad 3.12)

yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇaṁ
kartāram īśaṁ puruṣaṁ brahma-yonim

One who sees that golden-coloured Personality of Godhead, the Supreme Lord, the supreme actor, who is the source of the Supreme Brahman, is liberated. (Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 3.1.3)

āsan varṇās trayo hy asya gṛhṇato ‘nuyugaṁ tanūḥ
śuklo raktas tathā pīta idānīṁ kṛṣṇatāṁ gataḥ

This boy Kṛṣṇa, has three other colors: white, red and yellow as He appears in different ages. Now, in this Dvapara-yuga, He has appeared in a transcendental blackish colour. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.8.13)

dhyeyaṁ sadā paribhava-ghnam abhīṣṭa-dohaṁ
tīrthāspadaṁ śiva-viriñci-nutaṁ śaraṇyam
bhṛtyārti-haṁ praṇata-pāla bhavābdhi-potaṁ
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam

We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Him, the Lord, upon whom one should always meditate. He destroys insults to His devotees. He removes the distresses of His devotees and satisfies their desires. He, the abode of all holy places and the shelter of all sages, is worshipable by Lord Siva and Lord Brahma. He is the boat of the demigods for crossing the ocean of birth and death. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. 11.5.33)

tyaktvā su-dustyaja-surepsita-rājya-lakṣmīṁ
dharmiṣṭha ārya-vacasā yad agād araṇyam
māyā-mṛgaṁ dayitayepsitam anvadhāvad
vande mahā-puruṣa te caraṇāravindam

We offer our respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of the Lord, upon whom one should always meditate. He left His householder life, leaving aside His eternal consort, whom even the denizens of heaven adore. He went into the forest to deliver the fallen souls, who are put into illusion by material energy. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. 11.5.34)

kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ

In the age of Kali, Kṛṣṇa appears in a golden form, chanting the two syllables kṛṣ-ṇa. He descends along with His weapons, śaktis, limbs, and eternal confidential associates. Those with intelligence worship Him with the saṅkīrtana yajna. *(1) (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.5.32)

itthaṁ nṛ-tiryag-ṛṣi-deva-jhaṣāvatārair
lokān vibhāvayasi haṁsi jagat pratīpān
dharmaṁ mahā-puruṣa pāsi yugānuvṛttaṁ
channaḥ kalau yad abhavas tri-yugo ‘tha sa tvam

My Lord, You kill all the enemies of the world in Your multifarious incarnations in the families of men, animals, demigods, ṛṣis, aquatics and so on. Thus, You illuminate the worlds with transcendental knowledge. In the Age of Kali, O Mahā-puruṣa, You sometimes appear in a covered incarnation. Therefore You are known as Tri-yuga (one who appears in only three yugas). (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam. 7.9.38)

aham eva dvija-śreṣṭha nityaṁ pracchanna-vigrahaḥ
bhagavad-bhakta-rūpeṇa lokān rakṣāmi sarvadā

O best of the brāhmaṇas, My disguised form is eternal. In this way, with My own form hidden from ordinary sight I take the form of a devotee and appear among the people in general in order to establish and protect religious principles. (Ādi Purāṇa)

aham eva kvacid brahman sannyāsāśramam āśritaḥ
hari-bhaktiṁ grāhayāmi kalau pāpa-hatān narān

O brāhmaṇa, I occasionally take the sannyasa-āśrama in an attempt to bring the fallen people of Kali-yuga to take up the path of bhakti or devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa. (Upa Purāṇa)

kalina dahyamānaṁ uddhararāya tanu-bhṛtaṁ
janma prathama-sandhyāyam bhaviṣyati dvijālaye

The Supreme Person will appear in the first part of the age of Kali. He will appear in the home of a brāhmaṇa to save the embodied conditioned souls burning in the troubles of Kali-Yuga. (Kūrma Purāṇa)

kālinā dahyamānānām uddhārāya tanū-bhṛtam
janma prathama-sandhyāyāṁ bhaviśyati dvijālaye

ahaṁ pūrṇo bhaviṣyāmi yuga-sandhau viśeṣataḥ
gaṅgā-tīre navadvīpe vāram ekaṁ śacī-sutaḥ

kaleḥ prathama-sandhyāyāṁ lakṣmī-kānto bhaviṣyati
dārubrahma-samīpa-sthaḥ sannyāsa gaura-vigrahaḥ

In the first part of the age of Kali, I will come among the brāhmaṇas to save the fallen souls, who are being burned by the troubles of the age of Kali. I will take birth as the son of Śacī, in Navadvīpa-Māyāpura. I will come in my complete spiritual form in the first part of Kali-Yuga. In the first part of Kali-Yuga, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will come in a gold-like form. First, He will become the husband of Lakṣmī (Śrīmatī Lakṣmīpriyā Devi, Lord Caitanya’s first wife). Then He will become a sannyāsī, near Lord Jagannātha who will appear in a divine wooden form. (Garuḍa Purāṇa)

satye daitya-kulādhināśa-samaye siṁhordhva-martyākṛtis
tretāyāṁ daśakandharaṁ paribhavan rāmeti nāmākṛtiḥ
go-pālān paripālayan vraja-pure bhāraṁ haran dvāpare
gaurāṅgaḥ priya-kīrtanaḥ kaliyuge caitanya-nāmā prabhuḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead who in the Satya-yuga appeared as a half-man, half-lion to cure a terrible disease that had ravaged the Daityas, and who in the Treta-yuga appeared as a person named Rāma (Lord Rāmacandra), a person who defeated the ten- headed demon, Rāvaṇa, and who in the Dvāpara-yuga removed the earth’s burden, and protected the gopas (cowherd men) people of Vrajapura, will appear again in the Kali-yuga. His form will be golden, He will delight in chanting the Lord’s holy names, and His name will be Caitanya. (Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa)

yatra yogeśvaraḥ sākṣāt yogi-cintyo janārdanaḥ
caitanya-vapur āste vai sāndrānandātmakaḥ prabhuḥ

kaleḥ prathama-sandhyāyāṁ gauraṅgo’haṁ mahī-tale
bhātīrathī-taṭe ramie bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ

The Supreme Personality, Janārdana, who is the object of the yogīs’ meditation, who saves the devotees from various sufferings, and who is the master of all yogic practices, who is always full of divine transcendental ecstasy and bliss, will advent in His own divine form of Śrī Caitanya. I shall appear on this earth in the first part of Kali-yuga in a beautiful place on the bank of the Bhagīrathi. I shall have a golden form, and I shall take birth as the son of Śacī. (Padma Purāṇa)

aham eva kalau vipra nityaṁ pracchanna-vigrahaḥ
bhagavad-bhakti-rūpena lokān rakṣāmi sarvathā

ajayadhvam ajayadhvam ajayadhvaṁ na saṁśayaḥ
kalau saṅkīrtanarambhe bhaviṣyami śacī-sutaḥ

aham eva dvija-śreśtho nityaṁ prachanna-vigrahaḥ
bhagavad-bhakta-rūpeṇa lokaṁ rakṣāmi sarvadā

O Vipra, in the age of Kali, I will come disguised as a devotee and I will save all the worlds. please come and advent as devotees on this earth in the age of Kali-yuga. I will incarnate as the son of Śacī to inaugurate the congregational chanting of the name of Kṛṣṇa. I shall advent in the form of a brāhmaṇa devotee and I shall hide my factual identity. I shall deliver all the worlds. (Nārada Purāṇa)

kaleḥ prathama-sandhyāyāṁ gaurāṅgo’haṁ mahī-tale
bhāgīrathī-taṭe ramye bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ

I will reveal my eternal golden form in the first part of Kali-yuga. I will advent on the earth on the bank of the Bhagīrathi. (Brahma Purāṇa)

ānandaśru-kalā-romā-harṣa-pūrṇaṁ tapo-dhana
sarve mām eva drakṣyanti kalau sannyāsa-rūpinam

O austere sage, you should know that in the age of Kali, everyone will see my transcendental form as a sannyāsī. I will be exhibiting symptoms of ecstasy like shedding tears of bliss and hairs standing in ecstasy. (Bhaviṣya Purāṇa)

praśāntātmā lamba-kaṇṭhaś ca gaurāṅgaś ca surāvṛtaḥ

The Supreme Personality of Godhead will come in a golden form, full of peace, and a beautiful long neck. He will be surrounded by many saintly devotees. (Agni Purāṇa)

muṇḍo gauraḥ sudīrghāṅgas tri-srotas-tīra-sambhavaḥ
dayāluḥ kīrtana-grāhī bhaviṣyāmi kalau yuge

In the age of Kali, I shall advent where the three rivers meet. I shall have a shaven head. I shall have a golden complexion. I will be very kind and always chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa. (Matsya Purāṇa)

golokaṁ ca parityajya lokānāṁ trāṇa-kāraṇāt
kalau gauraṅga-rūpeṇa līlā-lāvaṇya-vigrahaḥ

In the Kali-yuga, I will leave Goloka and, to save the people of the world, I will become the handsome and playful Lord Gaurāṅga. (Mārkaṇḍeya-Purāṇa)

aham eva dvija-śreṣṭha nityaṁ pracchanna-vigrahaḥ
bhagavad-bhakta-rūpeṇa lokān rakṣāmi sarvadā

I shall come as the best of the brāhmaṇas. I will exhibit many pastimes in the form of a devotee. I shall deliver the people of the world. (Varāha Purāṇa)

kali-ghora-tamaś-channān sarvān ācāra-varjitān
śacī-garbhe ca saṁbhūya tārayiṣyāmi nārada

O Nārada, I will take birth in the womb of Śacī. I shall save the people, who will give up all proper good conduct, from the terrible darkness of the age of Kali-yuga. (Vāmana Purāṇa)

paurṇamāsyāṁ phālgunasya phalgunī ṛca-yogataḥ
bhaviṣye gaura-rūpeṇa śacī-garbhe purandarāt

svarṇādi-tīram āsthāya navadvīpe janāśraye
tatra dvija-kula-śreṣṭho bhaviṣyāmi dvijālaye

bhakti-yoga-pradānāya lokasyānugrahāya ca
sannyāsa-rūpam āsthāya kṛṣṇa-caitanya-nāma-dhṛk

yena lokasya nistāras tat kurudhvaṁ mamājnayā
dharitrī bhavitā cā’bhīr mayaiva dvija-dehinā

I shall advent in the month of Phalguna, when the star Phālguṇi is conjoined with the full moon. I shall incarnate in a golden complexion in the womb of Śacī and Purandara Miśra. I will be born in the city of Navadvīpa, on the Ganges’ shore, in a brāhmaṇa’s family. I shall take the renounced order of life (sannyāsa) and show kindness to the people in general and engage them in bhakti. I will be known as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya. All of you should follow My order and deliver the people of the world. I shall appear as a brāhmaṇa. I shall make this earth fearless. (Vayu Purāṇa)

śuddho gauraḥ sudīrghāṅgo gaṅgā-tīra-samudbhavaḥ
dayāluḥ kīrtana-grāhī bhaviṣyāmi kalau yuge

In the age of Kali-yuga, I shall come in a place on the bank of the Ganges. I will be very pure, have a fair complexion, and be very tall and chant the holy names of Kṛṣṇa.
(Vayu Purāṇa)

kalau saṅkīrtanarambhe bhavisyami śacī-sutaḥ

In the Age of Kali when the saṅkīrtana movement is inaugurated, I shall descend as the son of Śacī (Vayu Purāṇa).

suvarṇa-varṇo hemāṅgo varāṅgaś candanāṅgadī.

He appears in a golden form, His limbs are the complexion of molten gold. His body is extremely beautiful and decorated with sandalwood pulp. (Mahābhārata, Viṣṇu Sahasra-nāma)

sannyāsa-kṛc chamaḥ śānto niṣṭhā-śānti-parāyaṇaḥ

He accepts sannyāsa and shows equanimity. He is peaceful. His mind is always fixed and He performs chanting. (Mahābhārata, Viṣṇu Sahasra-nāma)

svarṇa-dī-tīram āśritya navadvīpe dvijālaye
sampradātuṁ bhakti-yogaṁ lokasyānugrahāya ca

ya eva bhagavān kṛṣṇo rādhikā-prāṇa-vallabhaḥ
sṛṣṭy ādau sa jagan-nātho gaura āsīn maheśvari

avatīrṇo bhaviṣyāmi kalau nija-janaiḥ saha
śacī-garbhe navadvīpe svardhunī-parivārite

aprakāśyam idaṁ guhyaṁ na prakāśyaṁ bahir-mukhe
bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ bhaktaṁ bhakti-pradaṁ svayam

man-māyā-mohitāḥ kecin na jnāsyanti bahir-mukhāḥ
jnāsyanti mad-bhakti-yuktāḥ sādhavo nyāsino’malāḥ

kṛṣṇāvatāra-kāle yāḥ striyo ye puruṣāḥ priyāḥ
kalau te’vatariṣyanti śrīdāma-subalādayaḥ

catuḥṣaṣṭir mahāntas te gopā dvādaśa bālakāḥ
dharma-saṁsthāpanārtthāya vihariṣyāmi tair aham

kale naśṭaṁ bhakti-pathaṁ sthāpayiśyāmy ahaṁ punaḥ
gacchantu bhuvi te putrāḥ jāyantāṁ bhakta-rūpiṇaḥ
dharma-saṁsthāpanaṁ kale kurvantu te mamājnayā

kṛṣṇaś caitanya-gauraṅgo gaura-candraḥ śacī-sutaḥ
prabhu-gauro gaura-harir nāmāni bhakti-dāni me

To show mercy to the people and give them devotional service, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will appear in a brāhmaṇa’s home in Navadvīpa by the Ganges’s shore. The Supreme Person, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, who is the life of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and is the Lord of the universe in creation, maintenance, and annihilation, appears as Gaura, O Maheśvarī. In Kali-yuga, I will descend to the earth with My associates. In Navadvīpa, which is surrounded by the Ganges, I will take birth in Śacī ‘s womb. They who are bewildered by My illusory potency will not understand the great secret of the appearance in this world of Me in My personal form, in My form as the incarnation of devotion, in My form as the incarnation of a devotee, in My form bearing the name of a devotee, in My form as a devotee, and in My form as the giver of devotional service. This secret is not to be revealed to them. Only the saintly, pure, renounced devotees, diligently engaged in My devotional service, will be able to understand Me in these five forms. My dear male and female associates, headed by Śrīdāmā and Subala, who came to this world at the time of My advent as Lord Kṛṣṇa, will come again during the Kali-yuga. The gopas will become the sixty-four mahantas and the twelve gopālas. To establish the truth of religion, I will enjoy many pastimes with them. In this way I will again reveal the path of devotional service, which has been destroyed in the course of time. My sons should also descend to the earth, assume the forms of devotees, and, by My order, also work to re-establish the principles of true religion. At this time My names will be: Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Gaurāṅga, Gauracandra, Śacī-suta, Mahāprabhu, Gaura and Gaurahari. Chanting these names will bring devotion to Me. (Ananta-Saṁhitā)

puṇya-kṣetre navadvīpe bhaviṣyāmi śacī-sutaḥ

I shall appear in the holy land of Navadvīpa as the son of Śacī. (Kṛṣṇa-yāmala Tantra)

atha vāhaṁ dharādhāme bhūtvā mad-bhakta-rūpa-dhṛk
māyāyāṁ ca bhaviṣyāmi kalau saṅkīrtanāgame

Sometimes I personally appear on the surface of the world in the garb of a devotee. Specifically, I appear as the son of Śacī in Kali-yuga to start the saṅkīrtana movement. (Brahma-yāmala Tantra)

******

The challenging party may question Mahāprabhu’s divinity, yet it behoves them to prove, through unbiased evidence, how they conclude that Śrī Jayatīrtha is the incarnation of Madhvācārya’s pack-bull, Śrī Rāghavendra is the incarnation of Prahlāda, Śrī Vādirāja is the incarnation of Rukmini’s brāhmaṇa messenger and Purandara Dāsa is the incarnation of Nārada.

OBJECTION 2

OBJECTION: Some of the scriptures that you quote have never been heard of.

REFUTATION: For ācāryas to quote from fictitious scriptures when living in an environment of highly learned paṇḍitas, seems both incredulous and highly improbable. Therefore, we may surmise from this that many of these unknown books were lost in time, including editions of purāṇas which are different to those we are familiar with today.

There are many instances where Ācārya Madhva quotes from sources that are unheard of. For example, Upagītā, Kamatha Śruti, Karma-viveka, Kalapa Śruti, Tantra-prakāśikā, Kapileya Saṁhitā, Kāraṇa-viveka, Kauśika Śruti, Gatisara, Adhara, Aruni Śruti, Upa-ṇāradīya, Ubhaya-nirukta, Indraduymna Śruti, Upāsana Lakṣaṇa, Jīva-tattva, Guṇa-parama, Gītā-sāra, Gītā-kalpa, Guru-viveka, Gautamākhila, Jyotiṣa Saṁhitā, Tattva-sāra, Tattvodyoga, Tantra Bhāgavata, Tantra Mālā, Tri-yoga, Nibandha, Prāṇa Saṁhitā, Mukti-tattva, Yādavādhyātama, Liṅga-nirṇaya, Mahodadhi, Vicāra, Vipārita Śruti, Viśvambhara Śruti, Vimala Saṁhitā, Vaibhāvya, Vaiśeṣya, Viśva Tantra, Loka-tattva, Vayu-prokta, Vāllabhya, Boddhāvya, Pravṛtta Saṁhitā, Pāvamānīya Vijaya, Pautrāyaṇa Śruti, Puruṣottama Tantra, Vimarda Śruti, Sumata, Sadguṇya, Pippalāda Śruti, Kaṭhaka Śruti, Paingiṇī Śruti, and Sauparṇa Śruti to name but a few. It may be argued that in the time of Madhva the sources of his scriptural references were never disputed by his opponents.

Similarly, we may use the same line of reasoning – that at the time when our ācāryas quoted such ‘spurious’ books and verses to establish Mahāprabhu’s divinity, no anti-party came forward to deny the authenticity of these quotes and their origin.

OBJECTION 3

OBJECTION: Many of your scriptural quotes are not to be found in the said books.

REFUTATION: Śrī Madhvācārya also quotes scriptural verses that cannot be found. Two instances of this are found in his Viṣṇu Tattva Vinirṇaya, wherein he quotes the following from Skanda Purāṇa —

ajñānaṁ jñānado viṣṇuḥ jñānināṁ mokṣadaś ca saḥ
ānandadaś ca muktānāṁ sa evaiko janārdanaḥ

The Supreme Lord Janārdana gives knowledge to the ignorant, liberation to the enlightened and bliss to the liberated.

And from the Padma Purāṇa —

nṛpādyāḥ śatadhṛtyantā muktigā uttarottaram
guṇaiḥ sarvaiḥ śata-guṇā modanta iti hi śrutiḥ

From the greatest of men up to Brahmā, all enjoy the bliss multiplied by hundred in an ascending order, thus the śruti declares.

Neither of these ślokas are to be found in the said books! The same peculiarity is found in other works of the ācārya such as his Gītā Bhāṣya, Mahābhārata Tātparya and Bhāgavata Tātparya. Should we then assume that Śrī Madhva has quoted fictitious verses?

OBJECTION 4

OBJECTION: Those quotes that you use which can be found are conveniently interpreted by you to promote the cause of your own sect.

REFUTATION: This is consistent within the sampradāyika tradition and those within that school are satisfied. However, those outside that fold may not accept such interpretations. For example, you accuse the Gauḍīyas of misinterpreting verses to suite their own purpose in establishing the divinity of Mahāprabhu, yet you have done exactly the same, quoting the Balitthā Sūkta *(2) as evidence to show your ācārya as the incarnation of Mukhya Prāṇa. So, with this line of reasoning, you discredit your own Madhva line.

OBJECTION 5

OBJECTION: But Madhva himself asserts his identity in many instances; one of them is in his Viṣṇu-tattva-vinirnaya:

yasya trīṇyuditāni veda-vacane rūpāṇi divyānyalaṁ
bat tad-darśatamittham eva nihitaṁ devasya bhargo mahat
vāyo ramavaconayaṁ prathamakaṁ pṛkṣyo dvitīyaṁ vapuḥ
madhvo yattu tṛtīyam etad amunā granthaḥ kṛtaḥ keśave

The Deity whose three divine forms are spoken of in the Vedas, as one whose nature is that of great wisdom and ability, is the support of the activity of the worlds, is very worshipful (of Viṣṇu), and who incarnates with his full potency (with no diminution); that Vāyu, in his first avatāra, carried the message of Rāma, destroyed a fearsome army in his second, and in the third, as Madhva, composed this work (the Viṣṇu-tattva-vinirṇaya) as a service to Keśava.

REFUTATION: This may well be, but how can we accept the writings of your ācārya and his followers to prove such a point? Where is the neutral evidence based on Vedic scriptures? Do you have direct proof from the Purāṇas, Āgamas, Upaniṣads or Vedas? All you can point at is one veiled statement, interpreted to promote the cause of your own sect.’

OBJECTION 6

OBJECTION: It is the opinion of learned scholars such as Trivikrama Paṇḍitācārya that Madhva was the incarnation of Mukhya Prāṇa (Vāyu).

REFUTATION: It is also the learned opinion of great scholars such as Vāsudeva Sārvabhauma, Keśava Bhaṭṭa, Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī, Advaita Ācārya, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita, Gopāla Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Rūpa Gosvāmī, Sanāntana Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, Raghunātha Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī, Rāya Rāmānanda, Nīlāmbara Cakravartī, and Gopīnātha Ācārya that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu was Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself. It was also the opinion of Rājarṣi Pratāparudra of Kalinga and his guru Kāśī Miśra.

OBJECTION 7

OBJECTION: In reference to Madhva’s being an incarnation of Vāyu, there is no opportunity for exaggeration in the Sumadhva Vijaya because the authentic history recorded in Madhva’s own lifetime has remained unchanged to this day. Although there are several different biographical texts of other sampradayika ācāryas, they tend to conflict with each other, or were written a long time after the incidents occurred. Therefore, there is either very little or no support from physical evidence. Sumadhva Vijaya was written by a contemporary of Madhvācārya and does not have to compete with any other text to assert its authority.

REFUTATION: Because there is no other record of Madhva’s life apart from Sumadhva Vijaya, what proof do we have that the writer did not exaggerate? When writing a kāvya, the poet is prone to use dramatic license (alaṅkāra) to enhance the qualities of the principal personality that he glorifies. How can we be so certain that your Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍitācārya did not follow this trait, while you at the same time are accusing us of such.

Many biographies such as Kavirāja Gosvāmī’s Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura’s Caitanya-bhāgavata, Locana Dāsa Ṭhākura’s Caitanya-maṅgala and Kavi Karṇapūra’s Caitanya-candrodaya were written about the life of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. While some accounts differ on some details of His līlās, on the point of His divinity they are all unanimous.

OBJECTION 8

OBJECTION: But Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍitācārya writes in his Bhāva-prakāśa ṭika (10-11) on Sumadhva Vijaya:

mayā dṛṣṭā dhruvamiti proktāḥ prāyeṇa puruṣaiḥ
dvayor vaktror virodhe’tra svīkṛta prabalasya gīḥ
tulyaṁ tu sukṣmaṁ dṛṣṭādau (tulye tat-sukṣma-dṛṣṭyādyau)
deve (daive) naiva parīkṣyate

The incidents reported are mostly from those who were actually present thus, ‘I have seen it with my own eyes.’ Where there are contradictory statements, the more forceful among the two has been accepted. When they are equally weighty, discretion is allowed to decide the matter.

kāvya-śriye vā guru-kīrtaye vā
proktaṁ svayaivāpi manīṣyeti
tasmānn śaṅkyeta mahājane’smin
puṁsā kuśāgrīyadhiyā’pyaśyam

Therefore people should not mistrust the material that has been presented, thinking that it is self-fabricated to exaggerate the glories of one’s guru, or to show off one’s talents in poetry.

REFUTATION: Similarly, the followers of Śrī Caitanya say that the facts presented by Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī in Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta are authentic because they are taken from the personal diaries of Śrī Murāri Gupta and Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī, two intimate associates of Mahāprabhu. The diaries are still available and it would be absurd to argue that someone would exaggerate or lie when writing a personal diary.

When Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura wrote his Caitanya-bhāgavata, many personal associates of Mahāprabhu were still physically present. The fact that Caitanya-bhāgavata was accepted as a genuine biography by all of these associates is proof that the events therein are not exaggerated or false.

In fact, the Gauḍīyas accept Madhvācārya as the incarnation of Vāyu and respect the exalted position of Nārāyaṇa Paṇḍitācārya and his biography of Madhva. However, as stated before, we are using such arguments to show that such logic can work both ways.

We may now present a question to our Tattvavādī friends — what is the yuga-dharma and who is the yugāvatāra?

The following quotes are presented thus:

kaliṁ sabhājayanty āryā guṇa jñāḥ sāra-bhāginaḥ
yatra saṅkīrtanenaiva sarva-svārtho ‘bhilabhyate

Those who are actually advanced in knowledge are able to appreciate the essential value of this age of Kali. Such enlightened persons worship Kali-yuga because in this fallen age all perfection of life can easily be achieved by the performance of saṅkīrtana. (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.5.36)

kaler doṣa-nidhe rājann asti hy eko mahān guṇaḥ
kīrtanād eva kṛṣṇasya mukta-saṅgaḥ paraṁ vrajet

kṛte yad dhyāyato viṣṇuṁ tretāyāṁ yajato makhaiḥ
dvāpare paricaryāyāṁ kalau tad dhari-kīrtanāt

“The most important factor in this Age of Kali, which is an ocean of faults, is that one can be free from all contamination and become eligible to enter the kingdom of God simply by chanting the holy names. The self-realisation that was achieved in the Satya millennium by meditation, in the Treta millennium by the performance of different sacrifices, and in the Dvāpara millennium by worship of Lord Kṛṣṇa can be achieved in the Age of Kali simply by chanting the holy names.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 12.3.51-2)

hyāyan kṛte yajan yajñais tretāyāṁ dvāpare ‘rcayan
yad āpnoti tad āpnoti kalau saṅkīrtya keśavam

The supreme goal which was attained in Satya-yuga by years of prolonged meditation; in Treta-yuga by performing extensive yajñas; in Dvāpara-yuga by opulent and scrupulous Deity worship; in Kali-yuga the same results are easily had simply by the chanting of the holy name. (Viṣṇu Purāṇa)

harer nāma harer nāma harer nāmaiva kevalam
kalau nāsty eva nāsty eva nāsty eva gatir anyathā

In this age of quarrel and hypocrisy the only means of deliverance is chanting of the holy name of the Lord. There is no other way. There is no other way. There is no other way. (Bṛhad Nāradīya Purāṇa)

hari-nāma-parā ye ca ghore kali-yuge narāḥ
ta eva kṛta-kṛtyāś ca na kalir bādhate hi tān
hare keśava govinda vāsudeva jagan-maya
itīrayanti te nityaṁ na hi tān bādhate kaliḥ

In this dark age of Kali-yuga, sincere devotees of the Supreme Lord should leave aside all other means for liberation and take full shelter of the holy name. This is their real responsibility and duty. There is unlimited bliss in chanting the different names of Kṛṣṇa: Hari, Keśava, Govinda, Vāsudeva and Jaganmaya. For one who chants constantly with unflinching faith, he remains unaffected by the reverses of Kali-yuga, because his heart has become purified by chanting.” (Bṛhad Nāradīya Purāṇa)

hari-nāma-parā ye ca hari-kīrtana tat parāḥ
hari-pūjā-parā ye ca te kṛtārthāḥ kalau-yuge

Those who engage in chanting the holy name of Lord Hari (japa), are addicted to congregational chanting (kīrtana) and engage in the worship of Lord Hari, have accomplished their desires in the age of Kali. (Bṛhad Nāradīya Purāṇa)

dhyāyan kṛte yajan yajñais tretāyāṁ dvāpare’rcayan
yad āpnoti tad āpnoti kalau saṅkīrtya keśavam

Whatever is achieved in Satya-yuga by meditation, in Treta by offering ritual sacrifices and in Dvāpara by temple worship is achieved in Kali-yuga by chanting the names of Lord Keśava congregationally. (Padma Purāṇa)

satyaṁ kaliyuga vipra śrī harer nāma maṅgalaṁ
paraṁ svastyayanaṁ nṛnāṁ nāsty-eva gatir anyathā

Oh brāhmaṇa, chanting of the holy name is the auspicious process in Kali-yuga. It is the highest auspiciousness for mankind. There is no other way. (Padma Purāṇa)

kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇeti kṛṣṇeti svapan jagrad vrajamstatha
yo jalpati kalau nityam kṛṣṇa-rupi bhaveddhi saḥ

Whoever continuously chants Lord Kṛṣṇa’s holy name, even in his sleep, can easily realise that the name is a direct manifestation of Kṛṣṇa Himself, in spite of the influences of Kali-yuga. This has been ordained by Lord Kṛṣṇa. (Varāha Purāṇa)

kali-kāla-kusarpasya tīkṣṇa-daṁṣṭrasya mā bhayam
govinda-nāma-dāvena dagdho yāsyati bhasmatām

I see that Kali-yuga is like a black, poisonous snake with a gaping mouth and fangs. But please be unperturbed dear devotees and listen with faith. Once the holy name of the Lord is being chanted, it is like igniting a forest fire which will burn to ashes the poisonous snakes within the forest. (Skanda Purāṇa)

mahā-bhāgavata nityam kalau kurvanti kīrtanam

The hallmark of a mahā-bhāgavata the most elevated devotee in Kali-yuga is that he chants the holy name of the Lord constantly. (Skanda Purāṇa)

vrajaṁs tiṣṭhan svapann aśnan śvasan vākya-prapūraṇe
nāma-saṅkīrtanaṁ viṣṇor helayā kali-mardanam
kṛtvā svarūpatāṁ yāti bhakti-yuktaṁ paraṁ vrajet

In our normal activities of eating, sleeping, sitting, dreaming, etc. to chant Kṛṣṇa’s names, while nullify the ill effects of Kali-yuga, is the perfection of speech. Even if a person chants Kṛṣṇa’s names indifferently, he will surely achieve his svarūpa, or original spiritual self and attain that state beyond all material fear and lamentation. He will reach Vaikuṇṭha, the supreme goal. (Liṅga Purāṇa)

hare kṛṣṇa hare kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa kṛṣṇa hare hare
hare rāma hare rāma rāma rāma hare hare
iti ṣoḍaśakaṁ nāmnāṁ kali-kalmaṣa-nāśanaṁ
nātaḥ parataropāyaḥ sarva-vedeṣu dṛśyate

After searching through all the Vedic literature, one cannot find a method of religion more sublime for this age than the chanting of Hare Kṛṣṇa. (Kali Santaraṇa Upaniṣad)

And finally, Madhva himself, quoting Nārāyaṇa Saṁhitā, in his Muṇḍakopaniṣad Bhāṣya says:

vāparīyair janair viṣṇuḥ pañcarātrais tu kevalaiḥ
kalau tu nāma-mātreṇa pūjyate bhagavān hariḥ

In the Dvāpara-yuga people should worship Lord Viṣṇu only by the regulative principles of the pañcarātra and other such authorised books. In the Age of Kali, however, people should only chant the holy names of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

CONCLUSION

Therefore, it is clear that the yuga-dharma in this age is hari-nāma-saṅkīrtana, as proclaimed in the above Vedic references. Furthermore, the above verses clearly describe that the advent and purpose of Śrī Caitanyadeva’s appearance is to propagate the yuga-dharma of hari-nāma saṅkīrtana. Further authentication is found in the recorded biographies of the intimate associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. *(3)

FOOTNOTES

(1) The words kṛṣṇa-varṇam mean two things – firstly they indicate that Śrī Caitanya is of the same category (varṇa) as Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Secondly, it also refers to one who constantly chants the name of Kṛṣṇa.

(2) The Balitthā Sūkta is from the Rg Veda 1.141.1-5.

(3) For further information readers are referred to Śrī Gaura Gayatri Vijaya by Śrīla B. G. Narasiṅgha Mahārāja.

The Validity of the Gauḍiya Paramparā and It’s Link With MadhvācāryaThe Validity of the Gauḍiya Paramparā and It’s Link With Madhvācārya
The Ontological Position of the Vaiṣṇava over the BrāhmaṇaThe Ontological Position of the Vaiṣṇava over the Brāhmaṇa

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About the Author: Swami B.V. Giri

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