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Discussions specifically related with the various aspects of practice of bhakti-sadhana in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Panca-samskara - Implementation in Gaudiya Vaishnavism

Gaurasundara - Sun, 18 Jan 2004 05:54:12 +0530
Following Madhavaji's advice in the Gaudiyas & Madhva-Sampradaya thread, I'd like to discuss the implementation and roots of the panca-samskara in Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Previously I thought that it was restricted to Sri Vaishnavism, and I have now learnt that there is mention of it in the Samskara-dipika of Narayana Bhatta Gosvami. I have also just looked it up and found that Baladeva Vidyabhusana discusses the subject briefly in his Prameya Ratnavali (8.6 a-f) with a Gaudiya twist.
However, I still see no reason why this is not to be almost completely considered a Sri Vaishnava crutch since the samskara has such a strong emphasis in their philosophy. I am also intrigued by it's origins and roots in Gaudiya Vaishnavism and would like to know more about this.

Perhaps Brighumuni and other learned persons can contribute their thoughts on the matter?
Gaurasundara - Mon, 19 Jan 2004 07:32:33 +0530
For reference, sadhaka108 has posted Bhaktivinoda's article on panca-samskara.
Bhrigu - Wed, 11 Feb 2004 00:27:08 +0530
Dear Gaurasundara,

as far as I know, panca-samskara is very much a South Indian Pancaratric practice. It even entered into Vaikhanasa Vaishnavism in some ways. Both Gopala Bhatta (who writes quite a bit on taapa-samskara in his Haribhaktivilasa) and Narayana Bhatta were southeners. I do not know whether the Goswamins in Narayana Bhatta's line practice any kind of pancasamskara, but at least at the Radha Ramana temple there is no taapa. Neither is it found in the Syamananda Parivara where Baladeva Vidyabhusana was active. So these persons do not seem to have been able to transplant this practice into the GV sampradaya.

As far as Bhaktivinoda and Pancasamskara is concerned, the article seems to me to be a part of his attempts to "sanskritice" GV, especially the jativaishnavas, whom he and many others at the time considered degenerate and immoral because of their lack of elaborate rites of passage. Still, there is little evidence of his trying to institutionalise this practice.

Anyway, perhaps others will have more to say. Anantadasa Babaji Mahasaya and many other vairagis consider at least taapa to be pratikula for raganuga sadhana.

Your servant,