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 śāstrīya-śraddhā?
Learn more: Two Types of Śraddhā – Laukīkī and Śāstrīya
2 / 10
What does it mean to say that śāstrīya-śraddhā is nirguṇā?
The word nirguṇā means that śāstrīya-śraddhā is not a product of the guṇas but independent of them. As there are broadly three types of śaktis in existence— māyā, the jīvas, and svarūpa śakti of Bhagavān Himself, it follows that śāstrīya-śraddhā is a transformation of Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti. This is only appropriate, given that bhakti itself is Bhagavān’s svarūpa śakti, as explained in Anuchheda 139 of the Bhakti Sandarbha.
As such, śāstrīya-śraddhā can only come from a genuine guru who has it. It is this śraddhā which is called the bhakti-latā bīja or seed of the devotional creeper in the scriptures.
3 / 10
What is the meaning of the word anartha?
The word anartha means anything that is not artha- or that which is not the goal. Anything which is undesirable for bhakti to Kṛṣṇa is anartha, even though it may fall under dharma, artha, kāma or mokṣa.
4 / 10
What are different types of anarthas according to the Yoga Sūtras?
There are five types of anarthas that progress from the first to the last as follows:
avidyā, asmitā, rāga, dveṣa, abhiniveśa.
While these are described in Patañjali’s yoga-sūtras, the Bhāgavata has a parallel description of these as shown in the table below.
The verse from the Bhāgavata is
“sasarja cchāyayāvidyāṁ pañca-parvāṇam agrataḥtāmisram andha-tāmisraṁ tamo moho mahā-tamaḥ
First Brahma created ignorance of five types from his shadow: tāmisra, andha-tāmisra, tamas, moha and mahā-moha (SB 3.20.18).”
5 / 10
On the path of bhakti, how can we remove anarthas?
Bhakti is the path where no separate endeavor is needed for removing anarthas. It's only on other paths, like jñāna and yoga, that you have to do pratyāhāra, practice to control your senses, or make endeavors for removing anarthas.
6 / 10
What is the meaning of the word vairāgya?
In his commentary on the Sāṅkhya-kārikā of Iśvara Kṛṣṇa, Vācaspati Miśra defines vairāgya as follows:
vairāgya = rāga-abhava, the absence of rāga, meaning freedom from attachment.
Here, the word rāga refers to impurities or kaśāyas. The word kaśāya means color (or in this context, stain) in the citta. In essence, these impurities are the two emotions of rāga and dveśa, and they impel the senses to seek out their corresponding sense objects.
7 / 10
What are the four types or stages of vairāgya?
In his commentary on the Sāṅkhya-kārikā of Iśvara Kṛṣṇa, Vācaspati Miśra divides vairāgya into four types or stages: yatamāna, vyatireka, ekendriya and vaśikāra.
Vācaspati Miśra’s commentary on these divisions is very useful as it can help a sādhaka analyze the level of their freedom from material desires. These stages correspond to the extent to which the kaśāyas are ‘cooked’ (paripācana) i.e. removed from the citta. His commentary is summarized below:
1. Yatamāna: Endeavor or practicing stage, where none of the kaśāyas have been removed, but where an effort has started to remove or cook them. Here, the effort involves restraining the senses from the sense objects. At this stage, the sadhaka has recognized that there are impurities in the heart and wishes to get rid of them.
2. Vyatireka: This is the stage where some kaśāyas have been cooked, while others have not. Vyatireka refers to discrimination between those kaśāyas that are under cooked or deactivated, and those that are not. For example, one’s sense of hearing may no longer be attracted to non-devotional music. But one’s tongue may still not be under control. When one knows this about oneself, then one is at the stage of vyatireka.
3. Ekendriya: the stage where all kaśāyas are cooked, but a curiosity for the sense objects remains. Here none of the senses are capable of running toward sense objects. However, there is still a curiosity (autsukya) or taste/longing in the citta.
4. Vaśikāra: Complete loss of any lingering taste. This is the stage of complete control over the senses.
8 / 10
What is the meaning of the word yukta-vairāgya?
yukta-vairāgya is a compound word containing two words, yukta and vairāgya. yukta means united and vairāgya means renunciation. So literally it means "united renunciation". In the context of bhakti it means renunciation that is based upon in relation to devotion to Kṛṣṇa.
In other words, vairāgya can be independent of bhakti or in relation to bhakti. The vairāgya practiced by jñānīs, yogīs etc. (those whose goal is not bhakti) is not yukta-vairāgya because it is not related bhakti. But a devotee renounces things that are not conducive to bhakti. Such vairāgya is called yukta-vairāgya.
For example, a devotee observes ekādaśī fast as a limb of bhakti. That is yukta-vairāgya. This also means that a devotee accepts things that are related to bhakti.
Learn more: Renunciation in Bhakti.
9 / 10
According to Bhāgavata Purāṇa what are the defining characteristics of māyā?
In Anuccheda 18 of Bhagavat Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Goswami quotes a verse from the famous catuḥ-ślokī spoken by Bhagavān from the Śrīmad Bhāgavata and goes on to draw out key features of māyā from it. The following verse is a definition of māyā:
ṛte ’rthaṁ yat pratīyeta na pratīyeta cātmanitad vidyād ātmano māyāṁ yathābhāso yathā tamaḥ
"That entity, which is perceived only when I am not perceived [because when I am perceived, it is not perceived], and which is not perceived in Me, know that to be My māyā, which manifests as reflection and as darkness."
Śrī Jīva concludes that ṛte ’rthaṁ yat pratīyeta implies that māyā is perceived as external to or outside Bhagavān, and the meaning of na pratīyeta cātmani is that it cannot exist or manifest independently without Bhagavān’s support. These, then, are the two defining characteristics of māyā:
a. It is perceived outside of Bhagavān.
b. It cannot be perceived/manifested/exist independently of Bhagavān.
10 / 10
What are the four topics of the Bhāgavata’s catuḥśloki?
The four topics of the Bhāgavata’s catuḥśloki are: 1) knowledge of Bhagavān, 2) direct realization of Him, 3) prema, and 4) sādhanā bhakti.
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