This quiz is designed to motivate you to study the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava scriptures in specific, and the Sad Darshanas in general, which are necessary to understand Gauḍīya philosophy properly.
Jnana or knowledge related to bhakti is also part of bhakti. In fact, hearing, which includes studying shastra, is the first limb of bhakti. Learning, followed by consolidating and then testing our knowledge in the form of a quiz is a fun and effective way to help us retain information.
This quiz is in multiple-choice questions format. (MCQs). If you see the response that you anticipated simply click on it. The quiz will immediately show which answers are correct or incorrect so we can learn as we go.
1 / 10
Who, according to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, instructed the catuḥśloki Bhāgavata to Brahmā?
A common understanding is that Śrī Nārayāṇa, from whose navel Brahmā was born, spoke the catuḥśloki Bhāgavata to Brahmā. However, Śrī Jīva Goswami disagrees with this concept, and provides evidence that it was Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself who revealed the Bhāgavata to Brahmā.
In Anuccheda 10 of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, he cites Kṛṣṇa’s statement to Uddhava from the Third Canto as direct proof of this point:
purā mayā proktam ajāya nābhye padme niṣaṇṇāya mamādi-sargejñānaṁ paraṁ man-mahimāvabhāsaṁ yat sūrayo bhāgavataṁ vadanti
O Uddhava, in the days of yore, at the beginning of creation, while he sat on the lotus growing out of My navel, I spoke to Brahmā about supreme knowledge, which is My transcendental glory, which great sages call Śrīmad Bhāgavata. (SB 3.4.13)
Śrī Jīva cites two verses from Gopāla-Tāpanī Upaniṣad to prove that Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself instructed Śrīmad Bhāgavata to Brahmā:
yo brahmāṇaṁ vidadhāti pūrvaṁ yo vai vedāṁś ca prahiṇoti tasmai taṁ ha devam ātma-buddhi-prakāśaṁ mumukṣur vai śaraṇam ahaṁ prapadye
Anyone desirous of liberation must take shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who illumines everyone’s mind and intelligence. He created Brahmā at the dawn of creation and instructed him in transcendental knowledge. (GTU 1.22)
Brahmā himself subsequently adds in the same scripture:
tadu hovāca- brahmaṇoSsāvanavarataṁ me dhyātaḥ stutaḥ parārdhānte soSbudhyata gopaveśo me purastādāvirbabhūva
I incessantly mediated upon and eulogized Him; thus at the end of a parārdha [fifty years of Brahmā’s life], He became aware of my prayers and appeared to me in the form of a cowherd boy. (GTU 1.26)
While seated on the lotus, Śrī Brahmā was ordered to perform tapa (penance), which he did for a very long period of time. How did he perform this tapa? The Brahma saṁhitā explains that Brahmā received the Gopāla mantra from Him while seated on the lotus growing out of Śrī Nārayāṇa’s navel [Brahma saṁhitā (5.22-26)], and Brahmā performed penance by means of this mantra to please Gopāla i.e. Kṛṣṇa. This is the reason Śrī Brahmā prays to Kṛṣṇa and not Viṣṇu in the Brahma saṁhitā (govindaṁ ādi purusaṁ tamahaṁ bhajāmi).
In Anuccheda 96, Śrī Jīva again emphasizes this point. He notes that SB 2.9.9 mentions Bhagavān as the speaker of the catuḥśloki to Brahmā. Further, SB 2.9.14 mentions that Brahmā saw the Lord of all Sātvatas (sātvatāṁ patiṁ). This verse, consistent with the Gopāla-Tāpanī Upaniṣad, shows that the Bhagavān of verse 2.9.9 is Śrī Kṛṣṇa and not Nārayāṇa in the form of the puruṣāvatāra Garbhodakaśāyi Viṣṇu. This is because the term sātvatāṁ patiṁ is used exclusively for Kṛṣṇa.
Further, it is not that only the catuḥśloki was revealed by Śrī Kṛṣṇa to Brahmā, but the entire Bhāgavatam was revealed to him. This is seen from SB 12.13.10 which states:
idaṁ bhagavatā pūrvaṁ brahmaṇe nābhi-paṅkaje sthitāya bhava-bhītāya kāruṇyāt samprakāśitam
Bhagavān first revealed this Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in full, out of His grace to Brahmā, who, frightened by material existence, was situated on the lotus flower that had grown from the Lord’s navel.
To summarize, it was Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself who spoke the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam in four seed verses (as well as in its complete form) to Śrī Brahmā.
2 / 10
What are the three ways of teaching recognized in the Vedic tradition?
Vedic tradition recognizes three ways of teaching — like a ruler, like a friend, and like a lover.
The Vedas speak in the imperative voice, like an overlord: “Speak the truth and uphold dharma” (satyaṁ vada dharmaṁ cara, TU 1.11). The Vedas do not need to offer logical reasons for following their instructions. One is expected to obey without question. The Purāṇas instruct like a friend, narrating stories with moral conclusions and providing reasoned explanations when required. Kāvya, or poetic literature, offers counsel in the way of a lover, speaking sweetly but indirectly. Instructions are expressed in an aesthetically pleasing way to attract the reader or hearer.
Śrīmad Bhāgavata uses all three of these methods to convey its teachings.
3 / 10
What is śāstra-sangati (scriptural consistency)?
A śāstric verse can have various meanings, but we have to accept the interpretation that is consistent with the other parts of śāstra. Śāstra-sangati (scriptural consistency) is essential aspect of interpretation.
For example, the word mad-yājī in Gītā 18.65 can be translated “you drink liquor (madya) and eat goats (āji).” But such an interpretation is not consistent with other parts of Gītā.
4 / 10
What is the meaning of the word samanvaya?
The word ‘samanvaya’ literally means ‘that which is present appropriately in all sentences of scripture’.
To arrive at samanvaya, there are different methods available to the inquirer. Śrī Baladeva Vidyabhusana defines samanvaya as the ‘essence of scripture arrived at by proper deliberation through analysis of the six indicators beginning with upakrama and so on (ṣaḍ-liṅga)’. Another method to derive samanvaya is that of anvaya (affirmation or inclusion) and vyatireka (disaffarmation or exclusion).
Indeed, Śrī Jīva defines samanvaya as follows:
anvaya-vyatirekābhyām upapādanaṁ samanvayaḥ, tasmāt – To establish a conclusion by affirmation (anvaya) and disaffirmation (vyatireka) is called samanvaya, meaning synthesis or consistent reconciliation.
5 / 10
Why is it said that Śrīmad Bhāgavata is the supreme pramāṇa and self-authoritative?
Śrīmad Bhāgavata’s special greatness is due to its unparalleled author, its eminent speaker, and its elevated audience. No other scripture in recorded history has ever had such an audience, except perhaps when Grandfather Bhīṣma, after the Kurukṣetra War, instructed King Yudhiṣṭhira from his bed of arrows. Bhīṣma’s main purpose, however, was to convince Yudhiṣṭhira to begin managing his kingdom.
By contrast, Śrīmad Bhāgavata was spoken in just the opposite context: King Parīkṣit, having renounced his kingdom, simply wanted to hear kṛṣṇa-kathā and in this way discharge the only duty of a dying man. Śrī Śukadeva thus had no need to dilute his narration with talk of lower religious principles. Therefore, Śrīmad Bhāgavata is the most perfect and complete transcendental scripture. It does not even depend on the support of the Vedas.
Also since the sages accepted Śukadeva as guru, and it was Śrīmad Bhāgavata that he spoke in response to Parīkṣit Mahārāja’s questions, we should understand that the Śrīmad Bhāgavata’s philosophy was accepted by all the assembled sages, who included systematizers and adherents of various other philosophies. Just as Śrīla Śukadeva Gosvāmī is like an effulgent moon among the starlike sages, so is Śrīmad Bhāgavata among all other scriptures.
6 / 10
After analyzing Śrīmad Bhāgavata, what methodology has Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī used to arrive at his conclusions, throughout the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas?
In Anuccheda 27 of Śrī Tattva Sandarbha, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī explains his method of analyzing Śrīmad Bhāgavata. He follows a format similar to the one Śrīla Vyāsadeva uses in the Vedānta-sūtra.
The Vedānta-sūtra is divided into adhikaraṇas (topics). Each adhikaraṇa is based upon certain statements from the Upaniṣads. The Upaniṣadic statements are called viṣaya-vākya (the statements to be discussed). In the Sandarbhas, the introductory statements are like the sūtras in the Vedānta-sūtra, the statements of Śrīmad Bhāgavata constitute the subject to be analyzed, and Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s comments on Śrīmad Bhāgavata’s statements are like the commentary (bhāṣya) on the sūtras. Jīva Gosvāmī also indicates that his explanations are not his personal opinion or products of his imagination. He presented the principles of the Śrīmad Bhāgavata supported by the opinions of the previous Vaiṣṇava ācāryas, such as Rāmānujācārya and Śrīdhara Svāmī.
7 / 10
Which sources of evidence other than Śrīmad Bhāgavata does Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī cite in the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas?
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī says that in the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas he will cite sources he has read in his own library and elsewhere, and he will also borrow references from the writings of Śrī Madhvācārya, who lived a few centuries before him.
Madhvācārya often quoted from books that by Śrī Jīva’s time had already been lost. In Madhvācārya’s time (13th century CE ), there were no printing presses. He traveled the length and breadth of India collecting scriptures and philosophical books and copying them by hand at the various temples and libraries he visited. He was renowned for his photographic memory, so when he was not allowed to copy the books he found, he read them and later reproduced them from memory. In this way, he amassed an immense library at his headquarters in Udupi, in Karnataka. Some say that his library had no equal. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire, and many of the books he refers to in his writings were lost forever. In several places in the Sandarbhas, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has to make do with the references from lost works cited from the books of Madhvācārya.
Śrī Baladeva comments that Madhvācārya’s metaphysical view, known as Tattvavāda, is by definition the philosophy that “everything is real” (sarvaṁ vastu satyam iti tattva-vādaḥ). The radical monists say that only Brahman is real, while everything else is a manifestation of māyā. Both, in his writings and in public debates with the leading Advaitavādīs of his time, Madhvācārya soundly defeated the radical Advaitavāda philosophy with his Tattvavāda.
By relying on books by Śrīla Madhvācārya and his eminent followers as a principal source of evidence, Jīva Gosvāmī shows his indebtedness to them. Jīva Gosvāmī is, however, a follower of Śrī Caitanya, whose teachings differ from those of Madhvācārya on certain points. In his Sandarbhas, Śrī Jīva plans to draw from those ideas of Madhvācārya that agree with Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s philosophy of acintya-bheda-abheda (the translational coexistence of distinction that interpenetrates the integrated indivisible Whole). The essential point of difference between the two views is that Śrī Madhvācārya’s philosophy is devotional dualism, whereas Śrī Caitanya’s philosophy is devotional nondualism. These two overarching views lead to both differences and commonality on specific doctrinal details. A few points of variance are that Madhvācārya advocates that only brāhmaṇa devotees can attain mokṣa, the devas are held as the topmost devotees, only Brahmā can attain sayujya-mukti, and Lakṣmī is also placed in the category of a jīva.
The points of agreement are that Śrī Viṣṇu is supreme among the trinity of Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Śiva; He has various transcendental qualities; primordial nature (prakṛti) is eternal; the world is a transformation of prakṛti and thus real; and the jīva is an integrated part of Viṣṇu and distinct from Him.
8 / 10
Why does Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī quote from the Vedas, Purāṇas, and other such scriptures in his Ṣaṭ Sandarbha, if he considers Śrīmad Bhāgavata as the supreme pramāṇa?
In Śrī Tattva Sandarbha, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī establishes śabda-pramāṇa as the only independent means of valid knowing and establishes Śrīmad Bhāgavata as the topmost form of śabda-pramāṇa. In the Ṣaṭ Sandarbhas, he quotes from the Vedas, Purāṇas, and other such scriptures only to only to support his own explanations; not the statements of Śrīmad Bhāgavata.
9 / 10
What does Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī state as the means of actualizing Kṛṣṇa prema-bhakti?
In Anuccheda 9 of Tattva Sandarbha, with the phrase tad-bhajana-lakṣaṇa-vidheya, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states that the devotional turning of all faculties to Śrī Kṛṣṇa (bhajana), as explained in the Vedic scriptures, is the means for actualizing the final goal, prema-bhakti.
10 / 10
Who is a “pure” Vaishnava?
Learn more: On Vaishnava Culture and Customs
Your score is
Please click the stars to rate the quiz
Comments are closed.
For peaceful relation seek to understand every situation from other’s point of view.
email@example.com for inquiries about Jiva Institute and guesthouse bookings
For website question please use our contact-form»
Privacy Statement and Comment Guidelines
380 Sheetal Chaya
Raman Reti, Vrindavan
UP 281121, India
© 2017 JIVA.ORG. All rights reserved.