Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.
Practical applications of traditional siddhanta - what does it look like on the outside?
Madan Gopal - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 06:47:36 +0530
I have been wondering if some of you could differentiate some of the external features of the traditional Gaudiya's from the ISKCON/GM. Here are some basics questions, but maybe others can add some. This is just a fact finding mission, no emotional outbursts for or against anything. I just want info.
1. Do any of the traditional Gaudiya's give non brahmin caste disciples the brahmin thread like GM/ISKCON does?
2. In ISKCON/GM the kama gayatri and the gopala mantra are given at the time of diksa. Do the traditional gaudiya's (is there some other way to refer to them?) chant these same mantras? In what fashion, how, three times a day like ISKCON/GM or what?
3. Is there a certain daily sadhana that is prescribed in the different lineages, like ISKCON has 16 rounds of harinama japa, some do daily archana, 3 gayatri's etc. How is Raganuga sadhana executed, daily as a meditation?, during archana?
Thanks for any input.
Madhava - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 07:04:29 +0530
1. No, not really. I've heard that there are some isolated groups that have some practice of that sort, that some in Orissa give brahmin threads to those who take babaji-vesh or something of the sort, but it definitely isn't a mainstream practice.
2. Yes, krishna-mantra and kama-gayatri are more or less universal in our sampradaya, everyone chants them. The nitty-gritty of how it's done varies from tradition to tradition, but generally it is not chanted thrice a day at the sandyas like in ISKCON/GM. They do that because the brahma-gayatri is a solar mantra and thus linked with the three sandhyas. For example, we chant them once a day on mala, and 108 times each.
3. All of this varies greatly from one tradition to another. Most do some sort of arcana in the morning time after bathing, followed by mantra-smarana (reciting the diksha-mantras). At this time, many engage in yogapitha-smarana, which may take an hour or two. Some do that thrice a day, they also meditate on the afternoon yogapitha-meeting and the meeting at maha-yogapitha at Govinda-sthali at midnight. However, this is a bit out of our league.
Then, everyone chants whatever is their daily quota of harinam throughout the day. Those who can, ie. those to whom it comes, engage in astakaliya-lila-smarana during harinama-japa, or at any other time they so feel inclined, or as their routine is.
Some focus more on japa, some on arcana, some on hearing bhagavata. Some, when staying in Vraja, are fond of parikrama, and some even circumambulate Govardhan thrice every day. Some are more bent on arcana and offer a great many aratis every day and so forth. Some wish to go to a temple / temples for darshana early in the morning and attend the arati-cemony there. Some engage in loud nama-kirtan, either sitting down or parading through the streets. Each according to his taste and inclination.
And all of this we adjust to our circumstances, we do as our capacity allows. There is really no single patented method out there.
Keshava - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 09:56:24 +0530
|Yes, krishna-mantra and kama-gayatri are more or less universal in our sampradaya, everyone chants them. ..... For example, we chant them once a day on mala, and 108 times each.|
1. Are there many Gaudiya who perform this mantra japa with the japAngas like, acamana, pranayama, sankalpa, dhyana mantra, kara and anga nyasas, etc?
2. Also it there an elaborate bhuta suddhi performance?
3. If so is this only done before arcana or before other practices?
braja - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 11:26:48 +0530
An interesting book that I'll be stocking is Haridas Sastri-ji's Message to Disciples. It is written primarily for his Western disciples and covers the daily practices he requires/expects, along with discussions on guru-tattva and an interesting Q&A section. In regard to mantras, he specifies that diksha mantras must be chanted at least 10 times a day and the maha-mantra at least one round otherwise the mantras lose power. (That's a paraphrase and I'll edit it in a few days if needed). As an example of an introductory text (and standard!) for Westerners, the book is unique: short, sweet, clear.
Madhava - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 17:41:31 +0530
|QUOTE (Keshava @ Aug 17 2004, 06:26 AM)|
| 1. Are there many Gaudiya who perform this mantra japa with the japAngas like, acamana, pranayama, sankalpa, dhyana mantra, kara and anga nyasas, etc? |
Some brAhmaNas might do all that. Acamana is common. DhyAna-mantras are not really standardized, and are I believe optional. NyAsas, probably not, some nyasas are even recommended against by Visvanatha. PrANAyama is not a standard either, though I find it helpful myself. As a matter of fact, I tend to do long, deep and concentrated breathing a good deal throughout the day to keep the mind focused and at the same time relaxed.
|2. Also it there an elaborate bhuta suddhi performance?|
No. The bhUta-zuddhi is your svarUpAveza. Again, some might be into ritual bhUta-zuddhi, but it is not common.
|3. If so is this only done before arcana or before other practices?|
A common morning routine would begin with Acamana, followed by arcana, then mantra-smaraNa and yogapItha-sevA-dhyAna. If you read Sanskrit, you can get a fairly good idea of a more elaborate system of worship from Siddha Krishnadasa's Sadhanamrita-candrika
suryaz - Tue, 17 Aug 2004 20:54:25 +0530
What about the developments in history.
What about the Vrindavana goswamis - Did they do all this?
It appears to me that Nityananda did not show much interest in this - After the festival in the 1570’s Jahnava accepted some things on behalf of Nityananda’s following. However her sister’s son Virabhadra focused more on rituals and established them in his lineage.
But that is all I know about this - I guess it just expanded from there
Does anybody know more?