Eligibility for Gaudiya Texts, Role of Shad-darshana
Questions & Answers

Eligibility for Gaudiya Texts, Role of Shad-darshana

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Question: What is the adhikāra for Gauḍīya texts? Can one prove that the ācāryas intended for all Vaiṣṇavas, regardless of caste, to read their theological works?

Answer: I will give certain references for this: 

1. Tattva Sandarbha, 6th verse of Maṅgalācaraṇam. The author writes that the book should only be studied by one who is keen only on Kṛṣṇa-bhakti. He does not mention any other qualifications. Every human being has the adhikāra for bhakti according to SB 11.2.2. Also, see SB 1.1.3; anyone who is a rasika and bhāvuka has the adhikāri. There is no mention of dvija, etc. Sūta Gosvāmī, who spoke Bhāgavata, was not a brāhmaṇa. See his own statement in SB 1.18.18. Śaunaka was a brāhmaṇa (see 1.4.1) yet studied from Sūta. And Bhāgavata is equivalent to the Vedas (see SB 1.3.40, purāṇaṁ brahma-sammitam; SB 1.4.7 sātvatī śrutiḥ; and SB 10.90 the Prayers of the Vedas Personified.)

2. Hari-bhakti-vilāsa 1.1. The adhikāri for the book is that one be a Vaisnava. There is no mention of any other qualification. HBV includes Vedic mantras; see 19.616.

3. Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.1.6 for adhikāri. The adhikāri of bhakti is stated in 1.2.14. and 1.2.191. There is no mention of jāti or kula.

4. Harināmāmṛta-vyakāraṇa, Maṅgalācaraṇam, verse 2.

5. Brhad-bhagavatāmṛta, the first part of verse 1.12. He writes it for Vaiṣṇavas.

I think this should be enough to convince anyone. I can give more references from other works.

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Question: What is the role of the ṣaḍ-darśanas in the understanding of the Bhāgavata?

Answer: Knowledge of the ṣaḍ-darśanas helps one to understand the Bhāgavata better. Many philosophical parts in the Bhāgavata cannot be understood without the help of the ṣaḍ-darśanas. For example, the teachings of Kapila to Devahūti, of Jaḍa Bharata to King Rahūgaṇa, Brahmā’s prayers in the 14th chapter of the Tenth Canto, Śruti-stuti in the 87th chapter, teachings of Kṛṣṇa to Uddhava can be understood better with the background of the ṣaḍ-darśanas.

Question: Bhagavad Gītā says praṇipāta before paripraśna. Without paripraśnena, how can one do praṇipātena? Is it possible to do praṇipāta with a doubtful heart?

Answer: Yes, it is possible if you have śrāddhā. Otherwise, how will you remove your doubts? Moreover, if you have no doubts, then what would be the need for paripraśna? If śraddhā is missing, why would you do paripraśna? You approach someone to ask questions because you believe that the person is capable of answering you. If you do not have such a belief, then you will ask questions to argue and win over your opponent. That is called jalpa. Or you will ask questions just to refute. That is called vitaṇḍā.

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