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 does the mark of Śrīvatsa on the right side of the Lord’s chest represent?
The mark of Śrīvatsa is a tuft of golden hair, having a clockwise turn, on the right side of the Lord’s chest. This mark represents the consort of the Lord, Śrī Lakṣmī Devī.
The Kaustubha gem around his neck represents the living beings (cf.SB 3.28.28).
2 / 10
According to Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, what was the conclusion of the Kumāras after they saw Bhagavān in Vaikuṇṭha?
When the Kumāras saw Bhagavān 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.
Learn more: Bhakti Prevails
3 / 10
In the Śrīmad Bhāgavata, why has Śrīla Vyāsa included the description of the Kumāras’ attempt to to enter Vaikuṇṭha?
The stories of the Śrīmad Bhāgavata Purāṇa are pregnant with pertinent philosophical conclusions. The description of the Kumāras’ attempt to enter Vaikuṇṭha is especially included by Śrīla Vyāsa to enable brahma-jñānīs to see beyond the a priori assumptions that limit the Absolute to Brahman, thus providing them with the possibility of further completion through devotion.
It is very interesting that Brahmā sent his own sons, the best of the jñānīs, to Vaikuṇṭha and made them experience the superiority of bhakti-ānanda over brahmānanda. The discerning jñānī should learn a lesson from this.
4 / 10
Why did Śrī Jīva not dedicate a separate Sandarbha to Brahman?
Śrī Jīva explains that when the Absolute is perceived as unqualified (i.e., as Brahman), it amounts to bare awareness of the substantive prior to the specification of its intrinsic nature. At this stage it is known as viśeṣya, or that which is yet to be defined. The energies that inhere in the Absolute are its qualifiers (viśeṣaṇa). When the same Absolute is perceived as inclusive of its intrinsic power (i.e.,as Bhagavān), it amounts to complete awareness of the substantive as a qualified entity (viśiṣṭa).
If one realizes Bhagavān, one will naturally understand Brahman, just as one who beholds a blue lotus automatically sees a lotus.
This is why Śrī Jīva did not dedicate a separate Sandarbha to Brahman. Whatever is essential to know about Brahman is contained within Bhagavat Sandarbha.
5 / 10
What is vidvat-sannyāsa?
In Anuccheda 84 of Śrī Bhagavat Sandarbha, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī refers to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s teachings to Uddhava, wherein He implies that devotional service is the subsequent and more comprehensive praxis, subsuming brahma-jñāna within its fold.
The Lord explains that jñānīs should leave aside their jñāna-sādhana, using it as a springboard, rather, into the total feeling and awareness of devotion. He says that jñāna is not the final destination, but only a means to become free from material attachment:
yo vidyā-śruta-sampanna ātma-vān nānumānikaḥmāyā-mātram idaṁ jñātvā jñānaṁ ca mayi sannyaset
"A person who has imbibed the truth of scripture, who has realized the self, and whose wisdom is not based merely upon inference, should offer that wisdom (jñāna) to Me, knowing well that this world is a manifestation of māyā." (SB 11.19.1)
Śrīdhara Svāmī comments that such relinquishment of jñāna is called vidvat-sannyāsa. The best examples of vidvat-sannyāsa are the Kumāra brothers and Śukadeva Gosvāmī. They set aside jñāna and took to devotion, being captivated by the Lord’s qualities.
Giving up jñāna means shifting the context of awareness from indeterminate Brahman to the distinct transconventional Entity, Bhagavān, equipped with infinite potency. The recommendation in this verse is specifically for those who follow the path of jñāna. As far as devotees are concerned, they take shelter of Śrī Kṛṣṇa from the very beginning.
6 / 10
What does "Become divine in order to worship the Divine" mean?
The general principle is nādevo devam arcayet —“One who is not of the Divine should not worship the Divine,” and, devaṁ bhūtvā yajeta devam —“Worship the Divine after becoming divine.”
Since all living beings in the material world have material bodies, it is necessary to first acquire divine qualities before performing deity service.
“Become divine in order to worship the Divine,” does not mean that one should meditate upon oneself as the Deity. Such meditation is called ahaṅgrahopāsanā and should be shunned by those who aspire to walk the path of devotion.
Nor should one meditate upon oneself directly as being one of the eternal associates of the Lord, such as Nanda Mahārāja or Yaśodā Rāṇī. This is also considered ahaṅgrahopāsanā. In his commentary on BRS 1.2.306, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī has forbidden such meditation.
The purport is that to serve the Lord one has to see beyond all ephemeral designations related to the material body, made of the pañca-bhūtas,and situate oneself in one’s eternal constitutional relation with the Lord. This is called bhūta-śuddhi, or becoming free from bodily designations. This is the true meaning of “becoming divine.”
Thinking oneself as a brāhmaṇa or a sannyāsī is material because these are material designations.
7 / 10
According to Śrī Jīva Gosvāmi how does niṣṭha in para-bramhaṇ manifest in a jñāni?
Learn more: No Jñāna Without Bhakti
8 / 10
Why did Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī abandon his impersonal meditation on Brahman and begin studying the Śrīmad Bhāgavata under his great father, Śrīla Vyāsadeva?
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī informs us that Śukadeva was self-realized even while in the womb. Indeed, he was so absorbed in the bliss of Brahman that he wanted to stay there to avoid being distracted by Māyā. He left the womb only when Śrī Kṛṣṇa personally came to him and assured him that Māyā would not capture him.
As soon as Śukadeva took birth, he left his father’s hermitage for the forest. Later, when he heard a few of Vyāsadeva’s disciples reciting selected Śrīmad Bhāgavata verses, his consciousness became so enthralled that he abandoned his impersonal meditation on Brahman and began studying the Śrīmad Bhāgavata under his great father.
This extraordinary event was not prompted by an initial shift in conceptual understanding, because Śukadeva was already beyond all reflective ideation. Rather, a new conceptual view ensued as a consequence of the direct transformation in consciousness that occurred through the self-revelation of Bhagavān in the form of Śrīmad Bhāgavata. This new disclosure from a deeper dimension of being was the awakening to the post-liberated status, beyond identity in Brahman.
Being established in this liberated state, one might well imagine that he had arrived at the final destination. Certainly, it was impossible for him to be drawn out of this state by any phenomenal experience. Nonetheless, the verse goes on to say that his essence (sāra) was irresistibly drawn by the beautiful pastimes of Śrī Ajita, Kṛṣṇa, as disclosed by Śrīmad Bhāgavata.
9 / 10
In the following verse from Śrīmad Bhāgavata Purāṇa SB 1.7.7, what does the verb utpadyate (is generated) mean?
yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyāṁ kṛṣṇe parama-pūruṣe bhaktir utpadyate puṁsaḥ śoka-moha-bhayāpahā
In the verse from Śrīmad Bhāgavata Purāṇa SB 1.7.7, the verb utpadyate (is generated) does not mean that love of God is created anew, but that it becomes manifest in the heart.
Because prema is an aspect of God’s intrinsic potency, it exists eternally in the heart of perfected devotees, siddha-bhaktas, and, hence, it is never created. This is confirmed in Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Madhya-līlā 22.107), “Kṛṣṇa-prema is eternally existent. It is never a generated event.”
For the same reason, prema does not stand in a causal relation with sādhana, meaning that sādhana does not produce prema. If sādhana were the cause of the appearance of prema, then prema would not be a prior existing, self-manifested condition.
Rather, being a conscious potency of Bhagavān, prema manifests of its own accord in the heart which is devotionally turned to Bhagavān through the medium of sādhana. Thus, sādhana is not the cause of prema; yet, it is normally the prior condition for prema’s own self manifestation.
10 / 10
What is sūcī-kaṭāha-nyāya?
The basis of this principle is that a task that takes less time to complete is taken up first to get it out of the way. A metal worker who is given the job to make a kettle and a needle works on the needle first.
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