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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.

Mahaprabhu's descent -

Gaurasundara - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 07:08:33 +0530
QUOTE(Radhapada @ Sep 7 2003, 07:01 PM)
Krsna das Kaviraja describe that the propagation of the Holy Names of Krsna was a secondary reason for His descent. Mahaprabhu who is Sri Krsna Himself, did not have to descend to spread the chanting of the holy names of God. He could have done it through an part of his expansion. The highest thing he gave to the world was the mellow of manjari bhava, after tasting it Himself. This mellow of devotion love in conjugal affection is not brought about by aimless chanting of the holy names, but through a spiritual practice that was unfolded through the followers of Mahaprabhu, and passed down in disciplic tradition.

I'm intrigued by this comment of yours, Radhapadaji. Perhaps it may call for a new thread to separate it from this conflicting one.

How is it that Mahaprabhu Himself had to descend to teach manjari-bhava? Why couldn't He have given that through an expansion, or whatever?
How is it that chanting the name (kirtana) is seen as a secondary reason, and why couldn't that also have been given by Him personally? After all, it is the yuga-dharma?
Madhava - Mon, 08 Sep 2003 07:22:26 +0530
I split this off into a new thread.
Radhapada - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 00:14:06 +0530
In Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, Sri Krsnadas Kaviraja writes about the truths regarding Mahaprabhu's identity as the self same Sri Krsna in the Adi lila portion. Within the 3rd chapter he elaborates how the Lord appeared to spread the yuga dharma, the chanting of the names of Sri Krsna.

The fourth chapter is a description of the primary reason for His descent. He first describes why Sri Krsna appeared some thousands of years earlier in his Vrndavan, Mathura, Dwaraka lila. Sri Krsna also had primary and secondary reasons for His descent on earth. The secondary reason was to rid the earth of the evil kings who were creating a burden for Mother Bhumi. The primary reason was to relish the Vraja rasa and propagate the path of raganuga bhakti. Sri Krsna's descent on earth coincided with the descent of an avatar who would rid the world of these evil kings. Sri Krsna Himself decided to descend in order to bless the world with His original form and pastimes of the Vraja dhama. And so he did.

Mahaprabhu's descend has a similar parallel. There arose a need for the scheduled descent of an avatar who would propagate the yuga dharma. However, Sri Krsna had unfinished business from His previous descent on earth and that was: to experience the bliss of Radha's love for Krsna, to understand how She is relishes His sweetness, and to know of the limits of Her love (I think I got those three right). Therefore Sri Krsna decided to come down personally Himself. Mahaprabhu's lila is sometimes regarded as the conclusion of Sri Krsna's pastimes. Mahaprabhu propagates the path of raganuga bhakti by His own example. In Jagannath Puri after travelling throughout the whole of South India and spreading sankirtan He requests His devotees to provide for Him a peaceful kutir, the Gambira room, wherein He can remember the pastimes of Sri Krsna. There He would feel the feelings of Radha for Krsna. After He relished those extraordinary feelings of divine madanaikya mahabhava, He took the relishing of conjugal affection to yet another stage, that was the love of Sri Radha's maidservants have towards towards Sri Radha-Krsna. It was in this mood that that the incredible sattvika bhavas appeared on his body such as his joints becoming elongated, ect. described towards the end of the Antya lila portion of the CC.

The Vraja gopi's love for Krsna was distributed by Sri Krsna Himself in His descent as His munificient devotee, Sriman Mahaprabhu. Mahaprabhu also gave the world His own holy names. It is said that he garlanded the world with a wreath of prema nama sankirtan. That is why the primary bhajan for the Gaudiya Vaisnavas is nama sankirtan. The holy names that Mahaprabhu brought down are the very forms of Radha and Krsna in syllables. That is why Vallabha Acarya in the Antya lila section glorifies Mahaprabhu saying that only Krsna can give prema bhakti towards Him, no other Avatar. He says therefore, that Mahaprabhu must be invested with Krsna shakti. Hence the verse, 'unless empowered by Krsna, one cannot spread the sankirtan movement. But what kind of sankirtan? Vallabha Acarya says, 'prema sankirtan'.
Madhava - Wed, 10 Sep 2003 02:44:53 +0530
QUOTE(Vaishnava-das @ Sep 8 2003, 01:38 AM)
How is it that Mahaprabhu Himself had to descend to teach manjari-bhava? Why couldn't He have given that through an expansion, or whatever?

Say, there is a delicious cake you can joyfully devour, the most delicious cake in the world. Why should you delegate the responsibility to someone else, even if you could?

How is it that chanting the name (kirtana) is seen as a secondary reason, and why couldn't that also have been given by Him personally? After all, it is the yuga-dharma?

In fact, establishing the yuga-dharma is not a secondary reason, according to Krishnadas Kaviraja it is incidental. Here are his exact words (Caitanya Caritamrita, 1.4.36-37):

ei vAJchA yaiche kRSNa-prAkaTya-kAraNa |
asura-saMhAra AnuSaGga prayojana ||
ei mata caitanya-kRSNa pUrNa bhagavAn |
yuga-dharma-pravartana nahe tAGra kAma ||
kona kAraNe yabe haila avatAre mana |
yuga-dharma-kAla haila se kAle milana ||

"Just as these desires are the reason for Krishna's appearance, the destruction of the asuras being an incidental goal, so the advancing of yuga-dharma was not the desire of Caitanya-Krishna, the complete Bhagavan. When the time for an avatara arose for a certain reason, the time for yuga-dharma simultaneously arrived."

When Krishna descends, all the avataras merge in His being. Thus the aspect of Vishnu within takes care of asura-samhara, while Krishna Himself is busy enjoying life. So it is for Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Caitanya Caritamrita, 1.4.12-13:

sabe Asií kRSNa-aGge haya avatIrNa |
aiche avatare kRSNa bhagavAn pUrNa ||
ataeva viSNu takhana kRSNera zarIre |
viSNu-dvAre kare kRSNa asura-saMhAre ||

"They all [the avataras] descend as limbs of Krishna, and Krishna, the complete Bhagavan, descends. At that time, Vishnu is within the body of Krishna, and Krishna kills the demons through Vishnu."