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Re: "KEzhvAnam.."

From: Krishna Susarla (krishna_at_ticnet.com)
Date: Wed Dec 23 1998 - 08:52:47 PST

>2) chaitanya sampradaya people do not like to equate radha to lakshmi. In
>fact they believe that there are thousands of lakshmis and Radha is sort of
>the queen of all of them.

In Chaitanya sampradaaya, all Lakshmi-tattva are considered to be expansions
of Radha. They are the same hlaadini-shakti or pleasure potency, but just as
Krishna is considered to be the svayam bhagavaan from whom all other
Vishnu-tattva are expanded, so also Raadhaa is considered the original
hlaadini-shakti from whom all other Lakshmii-tattva are expanded. Or anyway
that is my understanding.

>3) In chaitanya charitamrita - there are references to Krishna as being the
>highest and even Narayana (garbodakashayi), VIshnu, as being lower.

Vishnu-tattva is not "lower" than Krishna. They are the same Supreme
Personality of Godhead. But it is true that Gaudiiya Vaishnavas regard
Krishna as svayam bhagavaan. This is based on numerous shaastric references,
some of which are given below:

they
>quote a work called "brahmasamhita" which is not really a part of
>pancharatra according to some Hare Krishna system experts such as "Gora
>Keshava Das" of Hawaii.  In fact according to him, bramhasamhita is a work
>honored only by the chaitanya sampradaya folks.  I am almost sure that
>there is no support for this view in any of the vedic, upanisadic ,
>pancharatra or puranic sources.

There are some references in the Bhaagavatam from which the idea of Krishna
as svayam bhagavaan is based.

ete chaa.mshakalaaH pu.msaH kR^iShNastu bhagavaan svayam |
indraarivyaakula.m loka.m mR^iDayanti yuge yuge || bhaa 1.3.28 ||

All of the above-mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or
portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Lord Shrii Krishna is the
original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever
there is a disturbance created by the atheists. The Lord incarnates to
protect the theists (bhaagavata puraaNa 1.3.28).

eSha vai bhagavaan saakShaadaadyo naaraayaNaH pumaan |
mohayanmaayayaa loka.m guuDhashcharati vR^iShNiShu || bhaa 1.9.18 ||

This Shrii Krishna is no other than the inconceivable, original Personality
of Godhead. He is the first Naaraayana, the supreme enjoyer. But He is
moving amongst the descendants of King Vrishni just like one of us, and He
is bewildering us with His self-created energy (bhaagavata puraaNa 1.9.18).

These are understood to mean that all other forms of Krishna, avataaras, etc
are expanded from Krishna. But it is not saying that some Vishnu-tattva are
"higher" and others are "lower." Such thinking is considered offensive in
the Gaudiiya Vaishnava sampradaaya.

As far as references from Brahma-samhitaa are concerned, I understand that
the Brahma-samhitaa is highly regarded because it summarizes some of the
points mentioned in the Bhaagavatam. Actually, what is today called as
Brahma-samhitaa by the Gaudiiya Vaishnavas is only the 5th chapter of that
work, the rest of which is no longer extant.

>4)  modern chaitanya sampradaya  folks believe in "principle of back to
>godhead" ie. that jivas were once with Krishna and by misusing their
>freedom they fell down from vaikunta/goloka and by bhakti they will have to
>get back to their original position.  This view as far as I know is not
>supported by any vedantic system.  As per our system, jivas are bound from
>BEGINNING LESS time.  this is the same view as that of madhva, shankara
>systems.

Although some ISKCON devotees take the position of the jiivas having fallen
from Vaikuntha, this is not necessarily the orthodox Gaudiiya Vaishnava
position. In fact, Gaudiiya Math sannyaasis predictably take the no-fall
position. Actually this issue is controversial and is far from settled. But
my understanding is that Baladeva Vidyabhuushana and Vishvanaatha
Chakravarti take the no-fall position in their Bhagavad-Giitaa bhaashyas,
and they state that the jiiva's bondage is beginningless.


adiyen Krishna Susarla