Thus the author addresses the guru in the plural to show the highest respect for all his predecessor spiritual masters

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"Thus the author addresses the guru in the plural to show the highest respect for all his predecessor spiritual masters"

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta

CC Preface and Introduction

Thus the author addresses the guru in the plural to show the highest respect for all his predecessor spiritual masters. After offering obeisances to the disciplic succession, the author pays obeisances to all other devotees, to the Lord Himself, to His incarnations, to the expansions of Godhead and to the manifestation of Kṛṣṇa’s internal energy.

The Caitanya-caritāmṛta teaches that the spirit soul is immortal and that our activities in the spiritual world are also immortal. The Māyāvādīs, who hold the view that the Absolute is impersonal and formless, contend that a realized soul has no need to talk. But the Vaiṣṇavas, devotees of Kṛṣṇa, contend that when one reaches the stage of realization, he really begins to talk. “Previously we only talked of nonsense,” the Vaiṣṇava says. “Now let us begin our real talks, talks of Kṛṣṇa.” In support of their view that the self-realized remain silent, the Māyāvādīs are fond of using the example of the water pot, maintaining that when a pot is not filled with water it makes a sound, but that when it is filled it makes no sound. But are we waterpots? How can we be compared to them? A good analogy utilizes as many similarities between two objects as possible. A waterpot is not an active living force, but we are. Ever-silent meditation may be adequate for a waterpot, but not for us. Indeed, when a devotee realizes how much he has to say about Kṛṣṇa, twenty-four hours in a day are not sufficient. It is the fool who is celebrated as long as he does not speak, for when he breaks his silence his lack of knowledge is exposed. The Caitanya-caritāmṛta shows that there are many wonderful things to discover by glorifying the Supreme.

In the beginning of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī writes, “I offer my respects to my spiritual masters.” He uses the plural here to indicate the disciplic succession. He offers obeisances not to his spiritual master alone but to the whole paramparā, the chain of disciplic succession beginning with Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself. Thus the author addresses the guru in the plural to show the highest respect for all his predecessor spiritual masters. After offering obeisances to the disciplic succession, the author pays obeisances to all other devotees, to the Lord Himself, to His incarnations, to the expansions of Godhead and to the manifestation of Kṛṣṇa’s internal energy. Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu (sometimes called Kṛṣṇa Caitanya) is the embodiment of all of these: He is God, guru, devotee, incarnation, internal energy and expansion of God. As His associate Nityānanda, He is the first expansion of God; as Advaita, He is an incarnation; as Gadādhara, He is the internal potency; and as Śrīvāsa, He is the marginal living entity in the role of a devotee. Thus Kṛṣṇa should not be thought of as being alone but should be considered as eternally existing with all His manifestations, as described by Rāmānujācārya. In the Viśiṣṭādvaita philosophy, God’s energies, expansions and incarnations are considered to be oneness in diversity. In other words, God is not separate from all of these: everything together is God.

Actually, the Caitanya-caritāmṛta is not intended for the novice, for it is the postgraduate study of spiritual knowledge. Ideally, one begins with the Bhagavad-gītā and advances through Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Although all these great scriptures are on the same absolute level, for the sake of comparative study the Caitanya-caritāmṛta is considered to be on the highest platform. Every verse in it is perfectly composed.

In the second verse of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, the author offers his obeisances to Lord Caitanya and Lord Nityānanda. He compares Them to the sun and the moon because They dissipate the darkness of the material world. In this instance the sun and the moon have risen together.