Glories of the Pañca-tattva

Bhagavad-Gita-Original-Art-Pancha-Tattva

“Love of Godhead is the ultimate benediction for all human beings.” Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the bestower of this great benediction.

“In the Age of Kali, people who are endowed with sufficient intelligence will worship the Lord, who is accompanied by His associates, by performance of saṅkīrtana-yajña.” (Bhāg. 11.5.32)

…Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always accompanied by His plenary expansion Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, His incarnation Śrī Advaita Prabhu, His internal potency Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu and His marginal potency Śrīvāsa Prabhu. He is in the midst of them as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should know that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always accompanied by these other tattvas. Therefore our obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu are complete when we say śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. As preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we first offer our obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by chanting this Pañca-tattva mantra; then we say Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. There are ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, but these are not considered in the chanting of the Pañca-tattva mantra, namely, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is known as mahā-vadānyāvatāra, the most magnanimous incarnation, for He does not consider the offenses of the fallen souls. Thus to derive the full benefit of the chanting of the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare), we must first take shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, learn the Pañca-tattva mahā-mantra, and then chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. That will be very effective. (Purport from Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 7.4)

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Precious Cargo

Precious Cargo
by Braja Sevaki Devi Dasi

Descendents of a long line of South Indian deity carvers cast the Panca-tattva deities according to strict scriptural guidelines.

As this year slid slowly into February and the cold mornings blurred into soft-sun days, winter began to shed its skin in Mayapur. The residents breathed a sigh of relief; weary from long months of heat and thick monsoon rain, they had welcomed the cold weather, but were now just as anxious for some sun-filled days with warm breezes. On a morning that woke lazily under a blanket of fog, an electric charge filled the atmosphere as word spread: “Sri Panca-tattva are coming today!”

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The Pancha Tattva

Sri Caitanya-caritamrta 1975 Edition
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Adi-lila 7.6

pañca-tattvātmakaṁ kṛṣṇaṁ
bhakta-rūpa-svarūpakam
bhaktāvatāraṁ bhaktākhyaṁ
namāmi bhakta-śaktikam

pañca-tattva-ātmakam—comprehending the five transcendental subject matters; kṛṣṇam—unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; bhakta-rūpa—in the form of a devotee; svarūpakam—in the expansion of a devotee; bhakta-avatāram—in the incarnation of a devotee; bhakta-ākhyam—known as a devotee; namāmi—I offer my obeisances; bhakta-śaktikam—the energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who has manifested Himself in five as a devotee, expansion of a devotee, incarnation of a devotee, pure devotee and devotional energy.

PURPORT

Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu is the immediate expansion of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as His brother. He is the personified spiritual bliss of sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. His body is transcendental and full of ecstasy in devotional service. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is therefore called bhakta-rūpa (the form of a devotee), and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu is called bhakta-svarūpa (the expansion of a devotee). Śrī Advaita Prabhu, the incarnation of a devotee, is viṣṇu-tattva and belongs to the same category. There are also different types of bhaktas, or devotees, on the platforms of neutrality, servitude, friendship, parenthood and conjugal love. Devotees like Śrī Dāmodara, Śrī Gadādhara and Śrī Rāmānanda are different energies. This confirms the Vedic sūtra parāsya śaktir vividhaiva śrūyate. All these bhakta subjects taken together constitute Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who is Kṛṣṇa Himself.

The Pancha Tattva further described More

Matter to Spirit

The following is an Excerpted article from ‘Back To Godhead’ magazine, one of my favorite issues in recent memory. The “Special Panca-Tattva Edition” This issue was dedicated to the momentous event in the history of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON): the inauguration of the worship of life-sized deities of Sri Panca-tattva (Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His four principal associates) in Mayapur, West Bengal. Ten thousand Hare Krsna devotees from around the world attended the March festival, the culmination of years of preparation and the fulfillment of the vision of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ISKCON’s founder-acarya.

From Back to Godhead Magazine Vol 38, No. 4, 2004

Matter to Spirit
The Anatomy of a Deity Installation

by Sri Prahlada Dasa and Braja Sevaki Devi Dasi

Vedic rites and mantras mark the appearance of Sri Panca-tattva in their deity forms.

As the festivities and formalities unfolded in the temple, thousands were drawn into the whirl of color and sound emanating from the main altar as Sri Panca-tattva were unveiled for the first time. Amongst the activities, one stood out in its beauty and intensity: the yajna, or fire sacrifice, being carried out center-stage. Huge flames licked the forty-foot-high ceiling, urged on by great wooden spoonfuls of ghee (clarified butter) and accompanied by a chorus of strong voices chanting Vedic mantras and prayers. This is tattva homa, one of the six rites of the deity installation process—a magical, spiritual, esoteric journey for the senses, mind, and spirit.

The Vedic scriptures teach that the Lord’s name, form, qualities, and pastimes are identical to Him. Thus the deity, as the Lord’s form, and the Lord Himself are identical. Then why the need for an installation? Essentially, the installation process formalizes the Lord’s manifestation. It is a conscious acknowledgment, a contract, so to speak, between the devotee and the Lord, whom the devotee requests to be formally present and to reciprocate with a certain standard of worship. Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita (4.11), ye yatha mam prapadyante: “As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly.”

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