Sri Caitanya’s Initiation
Question: I had a question regarding Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s initiation. Some friends and I were talking about His pastimes and wondering why Mahaprabhu took sannyasa initiation from Keshava Bharati, even though he was against Mayavadi philosophy? If you could please clarify.
Answer: If you have read Caitanya Caritamrita then you may remember that Sri Caitanya took sannyasa because the residents of Navadvipa were insulting Him. This was a gross offense on their part. Thus Sri Caitanya thought that if he takes sannyasa, then the same people will give Him respect and thus be freed of their offense.
In those days, Advaitavada sannyasa was very much respected in the society. So Caitanya took sannyasa from Keshava Bharati. This was one of the reasons.
Sannyasa in Vaishnava sampradayas, which were primarily the Sri and Madhva sampradayas, was not as popularly known as in the Advaita sampradaya, where the renunciates were called Dasanami sannyasis.
Identity of Sri Caitanya’s Associates
Question: Rupa manjari is antaranga-shakti, what about Rupa Goswami and the other Gosvamis?
Answer: They are all antaranga shakti.
Question: Where is the line, where does tatastha-shakti start in Lord Caitanya’s line? If all the Six Gosvamis are antaranga shakti, then probably so is Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakur and Narottama Das Thakur. Do we know where antaranga ends and tatastha begins?
Answer: It is difficult to know that, it must stop somewhere, but we cannot really say where exactly.
Bhava of Sri Caitanya’s Associates
Question: What is the reason that devotees like Anupama or Murari Gupta couldn’t be
deterred from their devotion to Lord Rama even though intellectually they understood that krsna-bhakti is the highest? Ultimately Sri Caitanya was even pleased with their determination. Can nitya-baddhas have a similar experience even though they never had a relationship with any form of Bhagavan?
Answer: Anyone who has sthayi-bhava can have this experience. The meaning of sthayi-bhava is that one cannot not be deterred from this or waver in one’s determination.
Sri Caitanya’s Mood
Question: Mahaprabhu is in the mood of Radharani. When He chanted the mahamantra, He was calling for Krishna, but before He took sannyasa he chanted, ‘gopi, gopi’. Why did he do that if He is in the mood of Radharani?
Answer: He did not manifest the mood of Radharani at that time. He was experiencing the gopis’ great love towards Krishna.
Sri Chaitanya in the Spiritual World
Question: Is Lord Chaitanya present in the spiritual world as well?
Answer: Certainly He is, because we only worship eternal persons, otherwise our worship would make no sense. In fact, He is present only in spiritual world.
Question: What does this mean in terms of the guru? We also worship the guru, even though he is tatastha-shakti and in the spiritual world he has a different form.
Answer: Guru is a manifestation of Krsna Himself to give grace to a jiva in this world. Guru-tattva is worshiped as an associate of Krsna on the Yoga-peetha. He is present to His left side.
Guru is also present in the spiritual world. After leaving the present body, he attains an eternal spiritual body.
Practice chanting with the aim of focusing your mind. The goal which you want to attain has to be practiced. If you want to attain bhava, then you have to practice it with interest, knowing that this is what you want, and nothing else.
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