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Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

Sri Chaitanya as yuga-avatar - But what of the others? - Nityananda, Advaita and others as Vishnu



Madhava - Sun, 25 Sep 2005 20:42:21 +0530
In responding to the concept that an avatAra must be predicted in the scripture, the Gaudiyas have explained a number of texts as indicating Sri Chaitanya's divine status. One may then ask, "But what of the others, like Nityananda and Advaita?" Nityananda, as we know, is understood as Balarama, and also as Shesha (GGD 63-64), and Advaita as Maha-Vishnu (CC 1.6.4), and also as Sada-Shiva (GGD 76).

There are others, too, whom we would consider in the realm of Vishnu-tattva, such as Nityananda's son, Virabhadra, who was thought to be an avatAra of Payobdhishayi (Kshirodakashayi) Vishnu, a vyUha of Sankarshan (GGD 67). He is said to also have entered the beings of many of his companions, such as Nisatha, Ulmuka and Minaketana Ramadas, who were thereby also thought of as vyUhas of Sankarshan. (GGD 68) Of the rest of the catur-vyUha, Pradyumna appeared as Raghunandan Thakur, (GGD 70) and Aniruddha as Vakreshvar Pandit (GGD 71).

Where, then, are all of these enumerated in the scripture?

The Bhagavata-text the Gaudiyas take as indicating Sri Chaitanya as a yuga-avatAra, kRSNa-varNAM tviSAkRSNam (BhP 11.5.32), goes on to say, sAGgopAGgAstra-pArSadam, noting that this yuga-avatAra is accompanied by his aGgas, upAGgas and pArSadas. The word aGga is commonly used interchangeably with aMza, as in the ete cAMza kalA puMsaH kRSNas tu bhagavAn svayam stanza (BhP 1.3.27); the aGga and upAGga corresponding to aMza and kalA. Therefore, if the verse is interpreted as referring to Sri Chaitanya as the yuga-avatAra, it follows from that he is accompanied by other manifestations of Vishnu.
dasanudas - Sun, 25 Sep 2005 21:01:57 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Sep 25 2005, 10:12 AM)
In responding to the concept that an avatAra must be predicted in the scripture, the Gaudiyas have explained a number of texts as indicating Sri Chaitanya's divine status. One may then ask, "But what of the others, like Nityananda and Advaita?" Nityananda, as we know, is understood as Balarama, and also as Shesha (GGD 63-64), and Advaita as Maha-Vishnu (CC 1.6.4), and also as Sada-Shiva (GGD 76).

There are others, too, whom we would consider in the realm of Vishnu-tattva, such as Nityananda's son, Virabhadra, who was thought to be an avatAra of Payobdhishayi (Kshirodakashayi) Vishnu, a vyUha of Sankarshan (GGD 67). He is said to also have entered the beings of many of his companions, such as Nisatha, Ulmuka and Minaketana Ramadas, who were thereby also thought of as vyUhas of Sankarshan. (GGD 68) Of the rest of the catur-vyUha, Pradyumna appeared as Raghunandan Thakur, (GGD 70) and Aniruddha as Vakreshvar Pandit (GGD 71).

Where, then, are all of these enumerated in the scripture?

he Bhagavata-text the Gaudiyas take as indicating Sri Chaitanya as a yuga-avatAra, kRSNa-varNAM tviSAkRSNam (BhP 11.5.32), goes on to say, sAGgopAGgAstra-pArSadam, noting that this yuga-avatAra is accompanied by his aGgas, upAGgas and pArSadas. The word aGga is commonly used interchangeably with aMza, as in the ete cAMza kalA puMsaH kRSNas tu bhagavAn svayam stanza (BhP 1.3.27); the aGga and upAGga corresponding to aMza and kalA. Therefore, if the verse is interpreted as referring to Sri Chaitanya as the yuga-avatAra, it follows from that he is accompanied by other manifestations of Vishnu.




To my understanding Mahaprabhu is not yuga Avatara. He is sawam Bhagavan. Can you clarify your thought about the particular verse, how you are interpreting?
Madhava - Sun, 25 Sep 2005 21:16:42 +0530
The said verse is given in the Bhagavata in the context of describing the worship during the age of Kali, amidst which the four yuga-avatAras are illustrated.

Of course we do understand that Mahaprabhu is Svayam Bhagavan, but he also incidentally fulfilled the task of the yuga-avatAra. He is therefore also sometimes referred to as yuga-avatAra.

The logic is as follows: When a smaller is included in a greater as an aspect, when drawing attention to the function of the smaller, the entirety may also be referred to according to the smaller when necessary.
Gaurasundara - Mon, 26 Sep 2005 04:57:40 +0530
Thumbs-up, Madhavaji, great topic! biggrin.gif

As well as using that Bhagavata verse to explain the Vishnu-tattva identities of Mahaprabhu's companions, how can we view the other types of associates as mention in GGD? For example, Rupa Ma˝jari is Rupa Gosvami; are the gopis and ma˝jaris Vishnu-tattva also?
Madhava - Mon, 26 Sep 2005 05:12:56 +0530
Is there a reason why we should assume the manjaris are Vishnu-tattva?
Gaurasundara - Mon, 26 Sep 2005 05:25:34 +0530
I'm afraid I'm exposing my stupidity again. blush.gif I'm trying to follow on from your presentation of how certain associates of Mahaprabhu such as Virabhadra Prabhu and Raghunandan Thakur were Kshirodakasayi Vishnu and Pradyumna respectively, etc. I was wondering how the gopis and ma˝jaris factor in?

I get the impression that it was not "important enough" to mention about these types of companions in scripture? Or am I expecting far too much? ermm.gif
Madhava - Mon, 26 Sep 2005 06:02:03 +0530
QUOTE
I'm trying to follow on from your presentation of how certain associates of Mahaprabhu such as Virabhadra Prabhu and Raghunandan Thakur were Kshirodakasayi Vishnu and Pradyumna respectively, etc. I was wondering how the gopis and ma˝jaris factor in?

The gopis and manjaris are manifestations of Radha, kAya-vyUha-rUpa.


QUOTE
I get the impression that it was not "important enough" to mention about these types of companions in scripture? Or am I expecting far too much?

It is mentioned that they come along. Much of the scenario of Vraja has only come clear to us after the writings of the Goswamis glossing the identities of the people of Gokula. I don't think it is then reasonable to expect that someone like Rupa Goswami would have been mentioned in ancient texts as one of the companions of Sri Chaitanya, especially since even the texts surrounding Sri Chaitanya are ambiguous enough to cause disagreements over their interpretation.