Bhakti Tattva – Part One

Based on the Chaitanya Charitamrita ; this is a series of articles that delineates the Bhakti tattva rooted on the life and teachings of Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. The article series focuses on the Madhya leela of the great work.

43c970e67eff886d64e1429a06c4a1c2Bhakti essentially means to worship. Worship mandates the acceptance of the Higher and taking the position lower than the aspect being worshipped. The “heart” of the path of Bhakti is that the lower one considers oneself and takes the position of the servant ; the higher one ascends on the path  towards the Absolute reality ; Krishna. This is the basis of Bhakti. A person who surrenders to Sriman Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in his heart ; is simply accepted by the Lord. The Supreme Lord had come with His eternal associates 530 years ago to perform His unprecedented Leelas to inundate the world in Bhakti Rasa. Sri Nityananda Prabhu was His chief associate who assisted Him in His leelas. The mood of the Lord is that of Srimati Radharani who enjoys the mood of union and separation from Her dear Lord Sri Nandanandana. The sweet Lord Mahaprabhu displayed these high moods in Kaliyuga when He thus advented. It is known very well that both Sri Krishna and Sriman Mahaprabhu descend to the material plane only once in a day of Brahma. Hence this is very very rare. How fortunate are we ; to witness this divine play of the Lord ; who is just separated from us by a mere 530 years considering that a day of Brahma is 4,320,000 years long and equally long is his night!  Srila Krishna dasa Kaviraja Goswami takes the shelter of the 3 presiding deities of Vrindavana namely Sri Madana Mohana who attracts the hearts of the living entities towards their “Prayojana” or their ultimate Goal; then the author takes shelter of Sri Radha Govinddevji who engages the living entity in active service and thus relieves the living entity from eternal material malady and then the author takes shelter of Sri Sri Radha Gopinath who awards the fruit of such service ; that is Prema Bhakti.

The object of devotional service in Kaliyuga are the Panca Tattva under whose shelter ; the living entity is engaged perennially in the service of Sri Sri Radha Krishna. The Panca Tattva is comprised of Sri Gauranga Mahaprabhu; Sri Nityananda Prabhu; Sri Advaita Acarya; Sri Gadadhara Pandita and Sri Srivasa Pandita. One who takes shelter under these aspects of the Supreme Lord can never waver from the path of Krishna Bhajana.The Chaitanya Bhagavata is an earlier work written by Srila Vrindavana Das Thakura who is the very same Srila Veda Vyasa. This work deals extensively with the early life of Sriman Mahaprabhu ; yet it does not deal in detail with the consummate pastimes of the Lord. This credit goes exclusively to the extensive work of Srila Kaviraja Goswami ; the Chaitanya Charitamrita which details out the final pastimes of the Lord in the Antya Leela.

The Adi leela refers to the first 24 years of Sriman Mahaprabhus life ; however the transition of the Lord from Gauranga to Chaitanya happened during  the waxing moon period when the Lord accepted Sanyasa. The Lord persisted on the earthly plane for exactly 48 years and thus He remained as a Sanyasi for 24 years. The 24 years of this sanyasa life can be further sub-divided into 3 sections. The first 6 years of this life ; the Lord spent as a parivrajakacarya or as a monk who travelled to many places preaching the glories of Lord Krishna. The next 12 years He spent adoring Lord Jagannatha and also having sweet and intimate relationship with His eternal associates and engaging in Hari katha. The last six years the Lord spent His life completely lost within Himself in divine rapture and displayed the monumental moods of a devotee who is thus inundated in Krishna rasa.

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