This quiz is designed to motivate you to study the Gaudiya Vaishnava scriptures in specific, and the Sad Darshanas in general, which are necessary to understand Gaudiya 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 Tantra in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism?
Tantra is of three types – Śaiva, Śakta and Vaiṣṇava. They are not all the same.
Tantra in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism is called Satvata-tantra. It does not deal with the process of awakening Kundalini. It informs about the process of worship, mantra chanting, details about temple construction, etc.
Learn more: Spiritual Traditions in Gaudiya Vaishnavism
2 / 10
In the Gauḍīya sampradāya, which of the following is true about Śiva tattva?
As per the Gauḍīya sampradāya, Śiva is a devotee of Kṛṣṇa. He is also an expansion of Kṛṣṇa. He is neither jīva-tattva nor viṣṇu-tattva. Rather he is in his own category.
Learn more: Position of Lord Śiva
3 / 10
When it is said that it is an offense to distinguish between the name of Śiva and Viṣṇu, what does it mean?
When it is said that it is an offense to distinguish between the name of Śiva and Viṣṇu, the meaning is that one should not think that the name of Śiva is independently powerful. Rather, one should know that the name of Śiva has power that is dependent on the name of Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa is the only independent reality.
The meaning of the word "difference" here is independent.
Learn more: Spiritual Names and Their Powers
4 / 10
Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu is the Paramātmā for?
There are three Paramātmās, namely Kāraṇodakśayī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakśāyī Viṣṇu, and Kṣīrodakśayī Viṣṇu.
Kāraṇodakśayī Viṣṇu is the Paramātmā for the aggregate material nature (samaṣṭi prakṛti) and the aggregate, or samaṣṭi, jīvas. Garbhodakśāyī Viṣṇu is the Paramātmā for the individual universe, and Kṣīrodakśayī Viṣṇu is the Paramātmā for the vyaṣṭi, or individual, jīvas.
Learn more: Origin of the Jiva and Beginningless Karma.
5 / 10
Which Paramātmā is the source of all the avatāras?
Bhagavān does not play a direct role in the creation, sustenance, and dissolution of the cosmic world. Rather, for this purpose, Bhagavān manifests a specific form, called the first Puruṣa, or Paramātmā.
He is also known as Mahā-viṣṇu or Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and is the source and support of the totality of material energy, called prakṛti. It is from the pores of His body that unlimited cosmic worlds manifest. This first Puruṣa has two further expansions.
The first one is called Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, also called the second Puruṣa, and enters into each of the cosmic worlds. This second Puruṣa further expands as the third Puruṣa, or Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and enters into every living being as a companion of the individual self.
It is the second Puruṣa, who is the source of all the avatāras, called avatārī, in a particular cosmic world.
Learn more: The Source of All Sources: Śrī Kṛṣṇa as Svayaṁ Bhagavān – I
6 / 10
What is the purpose of the law of kārma?
Learn more: The Purpose of the Law of Karma.
7 / 10
What are Kṛṣṇa’s sakhās (friends) in Goloka called?
Jīva is taṭastha śakti, both nitya-mukta as well as nitya-baddha. Kṛṣṇa’s friends in Goloka are not nitya-mukta-jīvas. They are nitya-mukta parṣadas.
Learn more: Mukta-jīvas, Paramātmā-Aspect.
8 / 10
What does “sac-cid-ānanda” mean when it is applied to jīva?
In Paramātma Sandarbha (28), Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī explicitly says that the self is devoid of knowledge, although conscious by nature, and it lacks bliss although free of any material misery. In other words, it has the potential (svarūpa yogyatā) to get knowledge and bliss but not yet the functionality (phalopadhayi yogyatā).
To give an example, a child has the potential to be an athlete or a graduate, but that potential is not realized unless he practices on the track or goes to college and studies.
Learn more: Are Bliss and Knowledge Inherent?
9 / 10
If the punishment inflicted on the jīvas is for their ultimate good, why are they allowed to enjoy in this world and not just suffer constantly so that they would have no choice but to surrender?
Learn more: Bhagavān’s Paradoxical Potency, Māyā
10 / 10
According to Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, what is the very first step in bhakti?
Bhakti is not a material process and without training, nobody in this world is familiar with it. One has to learn it from a qualified teacher. This is why there is so much stress on having a teacher.
Indeed, according to Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, the very first step in bhakti is accepting a teacher, and then the second step is to formalize the relation and study from him—guru-pādāśrayastasmāt kṛṣṇa-dīkṣādi-śikṣaṇam (BRS 1.2.74).
Studying under a guru means acquiring knowledge. Kṛṣṇa also advises Arjuna to study from a teacher. He has given similar instruction to Uddhava a few times.
Learn more: Studying Śastra: Jñāna or Bhakti?
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I have two questions, please.
1) Is Kundalini a valid part of shakta-tantra?
2) When sat-cit-ānanda is explained as “not inert and not truly troubled” it seems this accounts only for cit and ānanda. What is the meaning of sat? “not unreal”?
If this is the meaning, why are the words direct and not indirect. The English translations are indirect (maybe “negations” is the more correct word for it “NOT inert”, “NOT miserable”). The sanskrit words do not seem to be anācit-annirānand (or something, I am just guessing at actual Sanskrit).
Dear Vic DiCara ji,
1) Yes. Please see https://www.jiva.org/questions-on-gaudiya-vaishnavism/
2) The meaning of sat is that the atma is a real existent. cit means that it is conscious, which is expressed here as not inert. ananda means that there is an absence of misery in the jiva. Please see Paramatma Sandarbha for more details. Or please read: https://www.jiva.org/are-the-vedas-inherent-in-the-heart-2/
2. Brahman is nirguna, qualityless. Therefore, no words with direct meaning (mukhyartha) can be used to describe it because a word cannot describe something qualityless. Therefore, negationn is used to describe Brahman. Any positive statement will entail quality or action.
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