Ekādaśī, Caitanya, Gosvāmīs, Ātmā

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Question: As Vaiṣṇavas, we don’t follow Ekādaśī with a material motive and to attain a certain result, but we do because it enhances and facilitates our devotional service and pleases Kṛṣṇa. However, we take care to break our fast at the proper time in order to get the ‘result’ afterwards.  How should we understand this situation?

Answer: We don’t follow Ekādaśī for a material result. We follow Ekādaśī as an act of devotion, which means it is done for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. That is the result we want. What is the result of chanting?  You want pure love.  If you chant in a displeasing way, that is nāma aparādha.  In the same way if you do Ekādaśī properly, you get the result, and if you don’t do it properly, that is displeasing. Following the vrata of Ekādaśī does not mean just fasting. It also includes the proper time for breaking the fast, pāraṇa.

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Question: Mahaprabhu is in the mood of Rādhārāṇī, when He chanted the mahamantra, He was calling for Kṛṣṇa, but before He took sannyāsa, he chanted, ‘gopī, gopī’.  Why did he do that if He is in the mood of Rādhārāṇī?

Answer: He did not manifest the mood of Rādhārāṇī at that time.  He was experiencing the the gopīs’ great love towards Kṛṣṇa. And even if you say that He has manifested the mood of Rādhārāṇi, He can still call for her dear friends, the gopīs. There is nothing contradictory in it.

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Question: Rūpa-mañjarī is antaraṅga-śakti, what about Rūpa Gosvāmī and the other Gosvamis? 

Answer: They are all antaraṅga śakti.

Question: Where is the line, where does taṭastha-śakti start in Lord Caitanya’s line? If all the Six Gosvāmīs are antaraṅga śakti, then probably so is Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākur and Narottama dāsa Ṭhākur. Do we know where antaraṅga ends and taṭastha begins?

Answer: It is difficult to know that, it must stop somewhere, but we cannot really say where exactly. Maybe after one or two generations they are no more antaraṇgā-śakti. They become siddha by sādhana-bhakti, although their followers would like to think of them as nitya-siddhas.

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Question: When ātmā leaves the physical body after death, does it identify with the subtle body? Or perhaps, this identification is not possible due to the need for a gross body, with sense organs, with which to identify?

Answer: Ātmā identifies with the subtle body, but without the gross body it is not able to express itself. 

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