jueves, 12 de enero de 2012

Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta - First Chapter Second Shower

Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta - First Chapter Second Shower

Second Shower

The system to worship Śrī Caitanyadeva

The motive of Śrī Caitanya Śikṣāmṛta

In order for us to understand the Śikṣā-praṇālī or the system of instruction used by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, it is necessary to study Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Apart from the eight verses named Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka, no other treatise composed by Śrīman Mahāprabhu is available. Only in Śrī Padyāvalī (an anthology of poems), composed by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, can we find one or two other verses composed by Mahāprabhu. Apart from these few verses, there were one or two small books (manifested by some broad-minded souls) that were said to have been personally written by Mahāprabhu, but after deep and careful deliberation, we are not able to establish that these were completely bona fide. The Gosvāmīs, under the guidance of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, composed many, many books, in which one can find all the teachings of Mahāprabhu.

However, it is not mentioned anywhere that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wrote His own book. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta, composed by Śrī Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī, is a genuine and authoritative book in which there is a concise and appealing description of the character and teachings of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Not only that, but all the descriptions presented there of the teachings and siddhāntas (philosophical conclusions) of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, are established as authentic, having been corroborated by the writings of the other Gosvāmīs. Because of this Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta is greatly respected. Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja appeared some years after the disappearance of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, but many of Mahāprabhu’s direct disciples, such as Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, offered assistance to Śrī Kavirāja Gosvāmī in writing this book. Previously Śrīla Kavi-Karṇapūra had written Śrī Caitanya-candrodaya-nāṭaka and Śrī Vṛndāvana dāsa Ṭhākura had composed Śrī Caitanya-bhāgavata, both of which helped Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmī in the many different subject matters of his composition. It is for these reasons that after reviewing these books from all perspectives, I was obliged to refer to the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu remained in religious household life until He was twenty-four. He spoke to all on the glories of Hari-nāma: in the courtyard of Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura’s house, as well as by the bank of the River Ganges, at His school and even door-to-door. He taught the necessity of the jīvas to congregationally chant the name of Śrī Hari.

After twenty four years, Śrī Mahāprabhu accepted the renounced order of life (Sannyāsa). He gave instructions to Śrī Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya and others in Śrī Jagannātha Purī, to Śrī Rāmānanda Rāya in Vidyānagara, to Veṅkaṭa and Gopāla Bhaṭṭa in South India, to Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrī Raghupati Upādhyāya and Śrī Vallabhācārya at Prāyaga and to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī and Śrī Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī at Vārāṇasī. From these personalities one can understand the sum and substance of all the instructions of Śrī Mahāprabhu; I have compiled His method of instruction on the basis of all of these teachings.         

Preaching the holy name

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu taught the pure Dharma of the intrinsic nature of the soul, pure Vaiṣṇava Dharma. Sometimes He taught this Himself, and sometimes He sent His associates. He empowered them with unlimited potency, sending them to the North and South of India, as well as other countries to teach. His associates went, without any desire to earn a salary or reward, but were bound by the loving thread of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s Prema. They taught freely according to their wishes. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s character was exceedingly radiant and His conduct was perfect. If the character of a preacher is other than this, then it is not possible to teach pure transcendental Dharma. Indeed, these days we see that salaried people are preaching; however, the fruit of their preaching will never achieve the desired standard.

Regarding this, the following verses are written in the Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta:

ei pañca-tattva-rūpe śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya
kṛṣṇa-nāma-prema diyā viśva kailā dhanya

mathurāte pāṭhāila rūpa-sanātana
dui senā-pati kaila bhakti pracāraṇa

nityānanda-gosāñe pāṭhāilā gauḍa-deśe
teṅho bhakti pracārilā aśeṣa-viśeṣe

āpane dakṣiṇa deśa karilā gamana
grāme grāme kailā kṛṣṇa-nāma pracāraṇa

setubandha paryanta kailā bhaktira pracāra
kṛṣṇa-prema diyā kailā sabāra nistāra
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi-līlā 7.163 – 167)

“The original Supreme Person, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu, appeared in the following five features known as the Pañca-tattva. He distributed the wealth of Kṛṣṇa’s name and Kṛṣṇa-prema; Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu made the entire universe fortunate. In order to distribute the Holy name and Prema everywhere, He sent Rūpa Gosvāmī and Sanātana Gosvāmī as His two commanders-in-chief to Vṛndāvana and sent Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu to Bengal. These personalities preached extensively the science of pure devotion in their assigned fields. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally toured South India and in every town and village, He preached the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In this way He preached all the way to the southernmost tip of India, known as Cape Comorin. He delivered everyone by giving the wealth of love of Kṛṣṇa.”

The essence of Gaura’s teachings

The foundation of all of Gaurāṅga Mahāprabhu’s teachings is that Kṛṣṇa-prema is the only eternal Dharma or function of the jīvas. The jīva can never be separated from this eternal function. However, due to forgetting Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the jīva is bewildered by Māyā and is attracted to objects other than Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Because of this, the jīva’s Nitya-dharma (eternal function), Kṛṣṇa-prema, is concealed in his innermost being and is defeated by the many types of sufferings present within material existence. If by some good fortune, the jīva can understand that: “I am the eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa,” that Dharma is then reawakened.

Faith in this truthful declaration is the root of complete auspiciousness. This faith has two causes of awakening. When a person becomes free from the bondage of material existence, that faith becomes self-manifest due to the fruit of sukṛti or pious activities accumulated in many, many births.

kona bhāgye kona jīvera 'śraddhā' yadi haya
tabe sei jīva 'sādhu-saṅga' ye karaya
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 23.9)

“If, by some good fortune, a living entity develops faith in Kṛṣṇa, he can begin to associate with devotees.”

The sequence of Bhajana

 Another name for faith is Śraddhā.

‘śraddhā’-śabde—viśvāsa kahe sudṛḍha niścaya
kṛṣṇe bhakti kaile sarva-karma kṛta haya
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 22.62)

“By rendering transcendental loving service to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, one performs all other activities. This firm unflinching faith is called Śraddhā.”

yathā taror mūla-niṣecanena
tṛpyanti tat-skandha-bhujopaśākhāḥ
prāṇopahārāc ca yathendriyāṇāṁ
tathaiva sarvārhaṇam acyutejyā
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.31.14)

“Just as by pouring water exclusively on the root of a tree nourishes the branches, twigs and leaves of the tree and as supplying food to the stomach satisfies all of the senses of the entire body, similarly by the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa then all of the demigods are automatically worshipped and there is no necessity of worshipping them separately. More than this, such separate worship is also useless.”

 Accumulated good fortune (Sukṛti) cleanses the jīva, and due to this, self-accomplished faith (Śraddhā) arises from the eternal function (Dharma) of that jīva. If one in whose heart this Śraddhā awakens, follows the process received in the above-mentioned association of devotees or Sādhu-saṅga, his unwanted desires (Anarthas) are dispelled and from that stage of Śraddhā, he gradually attains the stages of steadiness (Niṣṭhā), taste (Ruci), attachment (Āsakti) and finally arrives at the first stage of Prema, namely Bhāva.

yadṛcchayā mat-kathādau
jāta-śraddhas tu yaḥ pumān
na nirviṇṇo nāti-sakto
bhakti-yogo ’sya siddhi-daḥ
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.20.8)

“If the result of some pious activities performed in this or any previous life results in an awakening of faith in hearing narrations of topics concerning Me and if they remain free from dry renunciation and simultaneously are not too much attached to material objects, then for such a person Bhakti-Yoga is achievable. The meaning of the word ‘anirviṇṇa-citta’ is that there must be no inclination towards inappropriate or useless renunciation; rather he engages everything in Kṛṣṇa’s service, while remaining unattached to matter and using it in an appropriate manner to maintain his life. This is the very root of faith or Śraddhā.”

If this self-manifesting Śraddhā awakens very powerfully in the heart of a fortunate jīva, then he begins traveling on the path of spontaneous devotional service (Rāga-mārga).

tāvat karmāṇi kurvīta
na nirvidyeta yāvatā
mat-kathā-śravaṇādau vā
śraddhā yāvan na jāyate
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 11.20.9)

 “As long as renunciation has not awoken in a person situated in the path of Jñāna and as long as the follower of the path of Bhakti has not awakened his taste for devotional service by performing the nine-fold limbs of such as, śravaṇaṁ and kīrtana, then one must follow the regulative principles of the Vedas (Karma). Only upon renunciation awakening in the Jñānī does he become qualified for renouncing Karma, while the devotee attains the same qualification by attaining faith in hearing topics related to Śrī Hari. The devotee follows Varṇāśrama only as long as it remains favourable to Bhakti.”

In such a condition, the devotee’s intelligence does not depend upon the reinforcing instructions of the scriptures to impel his performance of devotional service to Kṛṣṇa; rather, he fearlessly travels on the road of Bhāva or deep love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa and becomes qualified for full perfection. If however, his Śraddhā is not so strong, rather it is in the beginning stages, by taking shelter of the lotus feet of a bona-fide spiritual master and being inspired and controlled by his instructions, then by the gradual performance of Bhajana, his Śraddhā will be transformed. It will become the unflinching type mentioned above and he will attain the stage of Bhāva.

As long as his Śraddhā is characterised by faith in the words of the spiritual master and the scriptures, then it is absolutely necessary to follow the scriptures in a regular manner.

The following incident took place when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu went to Vārāṇasī. The vastly learned Guru of the Advaita-vāda (non-dualistic) philosophy, Śrī Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, was very influential and respected in Vārāṇasī. Śrīman Mahāprabhu met with Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī at a great religious assembly and Prakāśānanda spoke with Mahāprabhu.

Prakāśānanda said:

“You are a Sannyāsī. You should study the Vedānta, shunning all singing and dancing, You should meditate upon Brahman (the impersonal all-pervasive spirit). However, You are not doing any of this; indeed, You are doing exactly the opposite.

Why is this?

It is completely improper for a Sannyāsī to constantly dance and sing like a maddened sentimentalist.”

With great humility, Śrīman Mahāprabhu replied:

prabhu kahe—“śuna, śrīpāda, ihāra kāraṇa
guru more mūrkha dekhi' karila śāsana

‘mūrkha tumi, tomāra nāhika vedāntādhikāra
'kṛṣṇa-mantra' japa sadā,—ei mantra-sāra

kṛṣṇa-mantra haite habe saṁsāra-mocana
kṛṣṇa-nāma haite pābe kṛṣṇera caraṇa

nāma vinu kali-kāle nāhi āra dharma
sarva-mantra-sāra nāma, ei śāstra-marma

eta bali' eka śloka śikhāila more
kaṇṭhe kari' ei śloka kariha vicāre
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta: Ādi-līlā 7.71-75)

“O Sir, please listen to the reason for this. When I approached My spiritual master, he told me:

‘You are a fool; You are not qualified to study the Vedānta philosophy. Therefore, You must always chant the holy name of Kṛṣṇa, the Hare-Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra, which is the essence of all Vedic mantras. By the chanting of Kṛṣṇa-mantra, one becomes liberated from material existence and by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra one will obtain the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In this Age of Kali, there is no religious principle other than the chanting of the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra is the essence of all mantras and the conclusion of all the Vedic scriptures’.

Saying this, My spiritual master ordered Me to constantly chant Hari-nāma and he taught Me this verse from the scriptures (Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa):

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

‘For spiritual progress in this Age of Kali, there is no alternative, there is no alternative, there is no alternative to chanting the holy name, the holy name, the holy name of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.’

ei ājñā pāñā nāma la-i anukṣaṇa
nāma laite laite mora bhrānta haila mana

dhairya dharite nāri, hailāma unmatta
hāsi, kāndi, nāci, gāi, yaiche madamatta

tabe dhairya dhari' mane kariluṅ vicāra
kṛṣṇa-nāme jñānācchanna ha-ila āmāra

pāgala ha-ilāṅ āmi, dhairya nāhi mane
eta cinti' nivedilāma gurura caraṇe

‘kibā mantra dilā, gosāñi, kibā tāra bala
japite japite mantra karila pāgala

hāsāya, nācāya, more karāya krandana
eta śuni' guru hāsi balilā vacana

‘kṛṣṇa-nāma-mahā-mantrera ei ta' svabhāva
yei jape, tāra kṛṣṇe upajaye bhāva

kṛṣṇa-viṣayaka premā—parama puruṣārtha
yāra āge tṛṇa-tulya, cāri puruṣārtha
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi-līlā 7.77 – 84)

“Since I received this order from My spiritual master, I chant Hari-nāma every moment. However, by constantly chanting, I have become bewildered so that I completely forget my bodily identity. I turn into a madman and try though I may; I am unable to control Myself. Indeed, I become so maddened that at times I laugh, sometimes I weep loudly and sometimes I dance. Observing this I somehow gathered My self-control and began to consider that chanting the holy name had covered My knowledge. I approached the lotus feet of My spiritual master and prayed:

‘O Gurudeva! What type of mantra have you given Me?

I don’t know what power it has that when I chant Kṛṣṇa’s name it forces Me to laugh, cry, dance and sing.’“

Hearing this, My spiritual master became very pleased and said:

“My son, this is a matter of great joy. It is the nature of the Hare Kṛṣṇa Mahā-mantra that anyone who chants it immediately develops Prema for the lotus feet of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. That Kṛṣṇa-prema is the topmost spiritual attainment. Ordinarily the four goals of life are accepted as religiosity (dharma), economic development (artha), sense gratification (Karma) and liberation (mokṣa). However, unlimitedly superior to these, known as the fifth and highest goal of life, is Kṛṣṇa-prema, or pure love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In front of this Prema, these four goals appear extremely insignificant and contemptible.”

Śraddhā is faith in the scriptures

kaṇṭhe kari ei śloka karaha vicāra

“Always keep this verse on the tip of your tongue and consider its meaning.”

By this statement from the afore-mentioned verses of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, it is clear that study of the scriptures nourishes Śraddhā and one can reach a higher goal. According to the conception of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, Veda-śāstra or Vedic scripture is truly the only bona fide Pramāṇa or evidence. Argumentative scriptures are not authoritative. Regarding this, there is a statement in the Śrī (Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi-līlā 7.132):

svataḥ-pramāṇa veda—pramāṇa-śiromaṇi

“The self-evident Vedic scriptures are the highest evidence of all.”

Furthermore, in the instructions Śrīman Mahāprabhu gave to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, it is stated:

māyā-mugdha jīvera nāhi kṛṣṇa-smṛti-jñāna
jīvere kṛpāya kailā kṛṣṇa veda-purāṇa
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 20.122)

“When a living entity is enchanted by the external energy, he cannot revive his original Kṛṣṇa consciousness on his own. Thus, Kṛṣṇa has kindly given us the Vedic literatures, such as the four Vedas and eighteen Purāṇas.”

Soft and unflinching faith (Śraddhā)

From this, it is clear that there are two types of Śraddhā. These are soft or pliant faith (komala-śraddhā) and unflinching faith (Dṛḍha-śraddhā). The second type of faith, namely Dṛḍha-śraddhā, is the cause of the awakening of Bhakti, it is extremely strong and a naturally occurring sentiment. Regarding this, we can find the complete form of these instructions of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu in the Śrī Śikṣāṣṭaka.

The sequence of pliant Śraddhā attaining completion

Regarding the subject matter of Komala-śraddhā, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu gave these following instructions to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī:

kona bhāgye kona jīvera 'śraddhā' yadi haya
tabe sei jīva 'sādhu-saṅga' ye karaya

sādhu-saṅga haite haya 'śravaṇa-kīrtana'
sādhana-bhaktye haya 'sarvānartha-nivartana'

anartha-nivṛtti haile bhakti 'niṣṭhā' haya
niṣṭhā haite śravaṇādye 'ruci' upajaya

ruci haite bhaktye haya 'āsakti' pracura
āsakti haite citte janme kṛṣṇe prīty-aṅkura

sei 'rati' gāḍha haile dhare 'prema'-nāma
sei premā— 'prayojana' sarvānanda-dhāma
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 23.9 – 13)

“If by some good fortune the jīva develops faith, he then takes the association of devotees. In that association, he engages in the practices of hearing and chanting and thus begins the practices of Sādhana-bhakti. By the power of Sādhana-bhakti, he becomes free from all unwanted contamination and then his Śraddhā matures into Niṣṭhā, or fixed determination. By continued hearing and chanting, this Niṣṭhā transforms into Ruci, or taste. After the awakening of Ruci, a deep attachment (Āsakti) arises and from that attachment, the sprout of love for Kṛṣṇa (Bhāva or Rati) is born within the heart. That Bhāva, when completely mature, takes the form of pure love, or Prema. This Prema is the ultimate perfection for all the jīvas and the abode of complete ecstasy.”

The duty of those possessed of pliant faith

Very strong faith (Dṛḍha-śraddhā) is not dependent on the arguments of scripture. However, for the Sādhakas of this pliant, soft type of Śraddhā, there is no means of progress apart from association of the devotees and the scriptures. It is essential for those having soft faith to take initiation (Dīkṣā). One should hear the conclusions of the scriptures (Siddhānta) and take Dīkṣā from Śrī Gurudeva. After this, one should cultivate Bhajana, that is, the collective nine limbs of devotional service, according to the instructions one has received from Śrīla Gurudeva. Only by doing this, will one go through the different stages up to perfection. For such a Sādhaka, there is the Daśa-mūla-tattva. In this there are daśa (ten) Mūla-tattvas (fundamental teachings). The first fundamental teaching is Pramāṇa-tattva (proof or authoritative source of true knowledge) and by this, there are nine Prameyas (objects of proof) or the subjects that are established (proven) by the bona fide system of Pramāṇa.

Unflinching faith

Due to the devotees having this self-manifest, unflinching Śraddhā within them, by performing only the Sādhana of the chanting of the holy name, all these nine types of Prameyas will awaken automatically within them by the mercy of the holy name.  Strongly faithful Sādhakas do not depend on any type of Pramāṇa.

For the devotees with soft faith, the Vedas and other scriptures in the Vedic line are the only means of Pramāṇa

It is vital for the Sādhakas possessed of soft, pliant faith to follow and understand the system of Pramāṇa or proper authority, in order to come to the correct conclusion. In the absence of Pramāṇa, the devotee will very quickly accept bad association and finally will fall away from the path of devotion. For them, the Vedas, which illuminate the glories of Brahma (the Absolute Truth), are the bona fide Pramāṇa. The Vedas, however, are greatly voluminous, containing many different instructions for those of many different qualifications, such as the Karmīs (fruitive workers) and the Jñānīs (dry mental speculators). Therefore, it is not at all easy to collect from them the instructions concerned only with Śuddha-bhakti (pure devotion). The examination of the sāttvika Purāṇas (scriptures in the mode of goodness) reveal the root intention of the Vedas. Of all the sāttvika Purāṇas, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the best. In the Garuḍa Purāṇa, it is stated:

artho 'yaṁ brahma-sūtrāṇāṁ
gāyatrī-bhāṣya-rūpo 'sau

grantho ’ṣṭādaśa-sāhasrah

“The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam contains the real meaning of the Vedānta-sūtra, the real conclusion of the Mahābhārata as well as the explanation of the Brahma-gāyatrī. It expands the conclusion of the entire Vedic knowledge and consists of eighteen thousand verses.”

sāraṁ sāraṁ samuddhṛtam
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.3.41)

“This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the very essence of all Vedic literatures and historical accounts.”

sarva-vedānta-sāraṁ hi
śrī-bhāgavatam iṣyate
nānyatra syād ratiḥ kvacit
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 12.13.15)

“This Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the very essence of all Vedanta. One who has tasted its nectar will never be attracted to any other literature.”

 In this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the very essence of the Vedas, there is an extensive explanation in the mode of goodness (sāttvika). It is for this reason that the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and other scriptures such as the Pañcarātra which follow in the same line of understanding are also included in the scope of bona fide scriptures or Pramāṇa.

Śrīman Mahāprabhu, in His instructions to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, has said that, in the Vedas there is a direct explanation of three subject matters:  Sambandha (relationship), Abhidheya (activities within that relationship) and Prayojana (final attainment). From this statement of Śrīman Mahāprabhu, we can understand that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Sambandha, Bhakti is the Abhidheya (the process to attain Śrī Kṛṣṇa) and kṛṣṇa-prema is the Prayojana (ultimate goal) and that Prema is the crest jewel of spiritual attainment and the only true wealth.   

veda-śāstra kahe—'sambandha', 'abhidheya', 'prayojana'
kṛṣṇa'—prāpya sambandha, 'bhakti'—prāpyera sādhana

abhidheya-nāma 'bhakti', 'prema'—prayojana
puruṣārtha-śiromaṇi— prema mahā-dhana
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 20.124 – 125)

“The Vedic scriptures give instruction about three subject matters. The first is the jīva's eternal relationship with Kṛṣṇa, which is called Sambandha. Abhidheya is the living entity's activities within this relationship and Kṛṣṇa-prema is the ultimate goal of life (Prayojana). Devotional service, Bhakti, is called Abhidheya because it can bestow Prema upon the jīva, which is the ultimate goal of life. This Prema is the jīva's highest benefit and greatest wealth.”

Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the only relationship

Sambandha is the mutual relationship that exists between conscious jīvas (Cit), matter (Acit) and God (Īśvara). Factually, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the only real Vastu (object or substance). The energies or Śakti of this object are the jīvas and Acit (inert matter). From the transformation of the Acit-śakti, or the material potency, comes the material creation and by the transformation of the Jīva-śakti, come the jīvas. According to the conception of Sambandha, when a jīva re-establishes his nature of being a servant of Kṛṣṇa, it is called establishing one’s Sambandha. We find it written in the teachings of Mahāprabhu to Śrī Sārvabhauma Bhaṭṭācārya:

svarūpa-aiśvarye tāṅra nāhi māyā-gandha
sakala vedera haya bhagavān se 'sambandha'
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi-līlā 7.139)

“The Supreme Person is full of all transcendental opulences, which are free from any touch of the contamination of the material world. All the Vedic literatures state that everything is related only to Him, as He is the ultimate goal.”

Again, in Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s instructions to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī:

'kṛṣṇa'--prāpya sambandha, 'bhakti'--prāptyera sādhana
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 20.124)

“One’s relationship to Kṛṣṇa should be attained and Bhakti is the process to awaken that relationship.”

Included within the subject matter of Sambandha-tattva, there are seven considered here.

They are:

1. Kṛṣṇa-tattva – knowledge concerning Kṛṣṇa Himself.

2. Kṛṣṇa-śakti – knowledge concerning the various energies of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

3. Rasa-tattva – knowledge concerning the various mellows in relationship to the service of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

4. Jīva-tattva – knowledge concerning the individual living entities.

5. The jīvas’ stay in the material world.

6. The deliverance of the jīva from Māyā.

7. Acintya-bheda-abheda-tattva – inconceivable oneness and difference between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His various potencies.

By separately considering all of these Prameyas, one achieves Sambandha-jñāna (knowledge of one’s original relationship with Śrī Kṛṣṇa).

Bhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Abhidheya (process)

Abhidheya – That Śakti by which we can obtain the direct meaning or connotation of a word is Abhidhā-śakti. For example, ‘ten horses,’ from this we know that there are ten horses. This simple meaning is Abhidheya. There is another way by which we take the meaning of a word and that is by Lakṣaṇā-śakti (indirect connotation). An example of this is ‘the city of Vārāṇasī is on the water.’ A city is never on or above the water, so by Lakṣaṇā-śakti we can get the meaning that the city of Vārāṇasī is on the bank of the River Ganges. Here, we cannot utilise the first type of process known as Abhidhā-śakti, as the proper meaning is obscure, so it is necessary to use Lakṣaṇā-śakti. Therefore, Abhidhā is the process of taking the natural and direct meaning of a word.

In the study of the Vedas, one should only take the direct meaning by utilising this Abhidhā system. The genuine meaning of the Vedic scriptures alone presents their real function and it is our duty to understand this true meaning. Upon complete study of the Vedas, we can see that Bhagavat-bhakti is really the Abhidheya of the Vedas. Karma, Yoga, Tapa and Jñāna all have an indirect relationship with Bhakti; there is no mutual, direct, primary relationship between them. Therefore, the main method to obtain Bhagavān, as described in the scriptures, is Sādhana-bhakti. This is the first Prameya (that which Pramāṇa proves).

Kṛṣṇa-prema is the Prayojana or the ultimate goal of life

Prayojana is the goal reached by the adoption of a particular process. For the jīvas, Kṛṣṇa-prema is the ultimate Prayojana. This Prema, in its perfected form, is also a prameya. Adding together all the afore-mentioned Prameyas, we find a total of nine. According to this process, Śrīman Caitanya Mahāprabhu has taught the jīvas about Jaiva-Dharma (the Dharma of the jīvas).

Additionally, in the teachings given to Śrī Sanātana Gosvāmī, Mahāprabhu has said:

eita kahiluṅ sambandha-tattvera vicāra
veda-śāstre upadeśe, kṛṣṇa—eka sāra

ebe kahi, śuna, abhidheya-lakṣaṇa
yāhā haite pāi—kṛṣṇa, kṛṣṇa-prema-dhana
(Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya-līlā 22.3 – 4)

“I have described the topic of Sambandha-jñāna (one's relation with Śrī Kṛṣṇa) in various ways. This is the subject matter of all the Vedas. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the very essence of everything. Now I shall speak about the characteristics of devotional service, which is the Abhidheya.”

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