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
What is the meaning of nirañjana-jñāna in the following verse of the Bhāgavata (SB 1.5.12)?
naiṣkarmyam apy acyuta-bhāva-varjitaṁ na śobhate jñānam alaṁ nirañjanam kutaḥ punaḥ śaśvad abhadram īśvare na cārpitaṁ karma yad apy akāraṇam
"Even knowledge that is pure and free from bondage to action is without beauty, if devoid of devotion to the infallible Lord. What, then, can be said of action, which is always inauspicious when not offered to the Lord, even if performed without any motive? (SB 1.5.12)"
Śrīdhara Svāmī comments: “The word niṣkarma (devoid of action or the consequences of action) means Brahman; and the jñāna that is characterized by freedom from bondage to karma, because it is of the same nature as Brahman, is known as naiṣkarmya (liberation). The word añjana (lit., tincture) is that by which one is colored or corrupted. It is used here in the sense of upādhi or an artificial designation of the self. The jñāna that eliminates all such artificial designations is known as nirañjana.
Even this type of jñāna is without beauty, if devoid of devotion to the infallible Lord. This means that it cannot give complete and direct apprehension of the Truth that lies beyond the purview of the senses.
Alternatively, nirañjana means “knowledge even without any upādhis.” As this verse is highly regarded, Śrī Sūta repeats it in the concluding section of the Twelfth Canto (SB 12.12.52)
2 / 10
What is the fundamental difference between the Gītā passages that treat the subject of the guṇas and the corresponding verses in the Bhāgavata?
In chapter 25 of the Eleventh Canto, there is a section of verses (23–29) that is similar to those found in Bhagavad Gītā, chapters 14, 17, and 18.
In all of these passages, there are detailed descriptions of the material guṇas and their influences on knowledge, action, and the performer. In particular, the following three verses from Chapter 18 describe action influenced by the three guṇas:
"That action which is enjoined by scripture, which is performed without attachment and free from attraction or repulsion, by a person not yearning for its fruit, is called sāttvika. That action, however, which is performed with great effort by a person hankering for enjoyment or out of egotism, is called rājasika. That action which is undertaken out of delusion, without considering its consequences, the detriment it may bring, the violence it may cause to oneself or to others, and whether one has the requisite power to perform it, is called tāmasika. (Gītā 18.23–25)"
The fundamental difference between the Gītā passages that treat the subject of the guṇas and the corresponding verses in the Bhāgavata is that the latter includes a description of the nirguṇa state as it applies to knowledge, action, and the performer.
3 / 10
What is Parokṣa-vāda?
Parokṣa-vāda is an indirect reference or instruction; when something is described differently to conceal the real meaning.
Scripture often makes use of this method to instruct those on varying levels of awareness. Only those on a higher stage of development can grasp the true intent, and it is rendered all the more relishable because of its mysterious nature. It is therefore said that the gods are fond of parokṣa-vāda.
4 / 10
Why does Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī state that, when the word Kṛṣṇa is uttered in a mantra, as in the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, this sound attracts the attention of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself the very moment the first syllable is vibrated?
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states that, when the word "Kṛṣṇa" is uttered in a mantra, as in the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, this sound attracts the attention of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself the very moment the first syllable is vibrated. This is so because the name “Kṛṣṇa” is identical with the person Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Person.
This is verified by the experience of many realized devotees who attained perfection by chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra.
The Viṣṇudūtas stated this to the Yamadūtas:
nāma-vyāharaṇaṁ viṣṇor yatas tad viṣayā matiḥ
When a person chants the name of Śrī Viṣṇu, the Lord’s attention is drawn toward the chanter. (SB 6.2.10)
5 / 10
According to Sanskrit grammarians, what are four types of results of action (kriyā-phala)?
All work involves action and the result for which it is performed. According to Sanskrit grammarians, there are four types of results: utpādya, creation; vikārya, transformation; saṁskārya, improvement; and prāpya, attainment.
The grammarian Bhartṛhari has summarized this in his Vākya-padīya:
6 / 10
What is tripāda-vibhūti?
Tripād vibhūti is another name for the spiritual realm. It refers to three qualities or dimensions of transcendental being, namely immortality (amṛtatva), fearlessness (abhaya), and auspiciousness (kṣema). These are three qualities woven into the fabric of transcendence.
The term Tripāda Vibhūti is commonly rendered as “the three-quarter manifestation of Reality” (i.e., the spiritual realm). In contrast. “the one-quarter manifestation of Reality” (i.e., the material realm) is commonly rendered as Ekapāda vibhūti.
7 / 10
Beyond the heavenly planets (Svarloka) are four planetary systems, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka. Which of these represents kṣema, or auspiciousness?
Śrīdhara Svāmī explains that although Maharloka is the place wherein gradual liberation (krama-mukti) is initiated, the happiness there is perishable, because at the end of Śrī Brahmā’s day, the residents feel the heat emanating from the mouth of Saṅkarṣaṇa, during the partial devastation.
The happiness of people in Janaloka, however, is indestructible. They do not have to leave their abode at the end of Brahmā’s day. Therefore, Janaloka represents amṛta, or immortality. The residents of Janaloka see people falling from Maharloka, and this brings them distress. However, that is the extent of their suffering.
The residents of Tapoloka, on the other hand, are completely aloof from suffering. So Tapoloka represents kṣema, or auspiciousness.
Satyaloka, however, is the place of abhaya, or fearlessness, because its residents achieve liberation along with Brahmā
8 / 10
In Vedāntic logic, an object is considered nondual if it is free of which kind of difference?
In Vedāntic logic, an object is considered nondual if it is free of three kinds of difference — that among objects of the same class, that among objects of different classes, and that between an object and its parts.
A difference between objects of the same class is called sajātīya-bheda. Even though two chairs may look the same, have the same function, and belong to the class called “chair,” they still differ as individual chairs. A change in one will not directly affect the other.
A difference between objects of different classes is called vijātīya-bheda. For example, a chair is different from a table in its appearance and function.
Finally, a difference between an object and its parts is called svagata-bheda. If all the parts of a chair are scattered, the chair no longer exists. For example, the various parts of a chair can be removed and replaced without changing the chair’s identity. Thus, the parts are independent from each other and fromthe object, the chair. In this way, it is evident that the chair is not self-existent.
9 / 10
Why does Śrīla Sūta Gosvāmī define the Absolute Reality (tattva) as nondual consciousness (jñānam advayam)?
In the first section of the Bhagavat Sandarbha, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī states that the one Absolute Reality manifests in three ways, as Brahman, Paramātmā and Bhagavān, according to the qualification of the worshiper.
He states that, if Bhagavān, being the more inclusive Reality, is understood, then Brahman is automatically revealed.This does not imply the converse, however, that Brahman-realization is the same as knowing Bhagavān. Both are distinct, and the difference is not in name alone, but in the way the Absolute appears to the worshiper.
Furthermore, it is not that the realization of one aspect is factual and the other imaginary. When the Kumāras saw the Supreme Lord in Vaikuṇṭha, they did not conclude that Brahman was unreal, but they understood that Brahman was of the nature of Bhagavān and that devotional service to Him resulted in a more complete realization of the Absolute.
It is also incorrect to think that one manifestation of the Absolute is a transformation or effect of one of the other manifestations.
In other words, it is not that Bhagavān transforms into Brahman or vice versa. Both are the One Absolute Reality and are not subject to change. The difference lies in the vision of the experiencer. When Reality manifests without attributes, it is called Brahman. One who realizes this aspect as the Ultimate Reality has incomplete realization.
When the Absolute manifests with attributes, He is called Bhagavān, and one who realizes Him in this way has complete realization.
10 / 10
Who is a Nirgranthāḥ?
Nirgrantha means, “a person who, having attained the goal of the scriptures, has transcended the binding injunctions (grantha) of scripture.”
Such a person no longer has any purpose to attain by following or flouting scriptural injunctions. Thus, they are called nirgranthā (free from granthas). Alternatively, granthi means “knot,” and thus nirgrantha also refers to one whose heart is free from the knot of ego, or in other words, a liberated being. Knots in the heart refer to the false identification of the self with the body-mind, and claiming the extensions of the body as one’s own.
The word “knot” may also refer to the knots in the sacred thread and in the kaupina (the loincloth). So in this case, nirgranthā could mean an avadhūta like Śukadeva, who did not bother to adorn himself even with a sacred thread or kaupina.
"The sages, though freed from the knot of ego, and though delighting in the Self alone, engage in causeless devotion to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the majestic player. Such are the entrancing qualities of Śrī Hari. (SB 1.7.10)"
Śrīdhara Svāmī comments: “Nirgranthāḥ means ‘beyond the rules and regulations of the scriptures,’ as stated in Gītā 2.52, ‘When your intelligence has passed beyond the impenetrable fortress of delusion, you shall become indifferent to all that has been heard and all that is to be heard.’ Alternatively, grantha means ‘the knots of attachment’ (granthi), and nirgrantha means ‘whose knots of attachment have been severed.’
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