The Appearance Day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

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Today we celebrate the appearance day of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. We honor His appearance with these two select verses from the Sri Caitanya-caritmrta.

“O most munificent incarnation! You are Kṛṣṇa Himself appearing as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu. You have assumed the golden color of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and You are widely distributing pure love of Kṛṣṇa. We offer our respectful obeisances unto You.

“We offer our respectful obeisances unto that merciful Supreme Personality of Godhead who has converted all three worlds, which were maddened by ignorance, and saved them from their diseased condition by making them mad with the nectar from the treasure-house of love of God. Let us take full shelter of that Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, whose activities are wonderful.”

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Characteristics of the Bona Fide Guru and the Bona Fide Disciple


The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people.

The disciple must have the following qualifications. He must give up interest in the material bodily conception. He must give up material lust, anger, greed, illusion, madness and envy. He should be interested only in understanding the science of God, and he should be ready to consider all points in this matter. He should no longer think, “I am this body,” or, “This thing belongs to me.” One must love the spiritual master with unflinching faith, and one must be very steady and fixed. The bona fide disciple should be inquisitive to understand transcendental subject matter. He must not search out faults among good qualities, and he should no longer be interested in material topics. His only interest should be Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

From Sri Caitanya-caritamrta – 1975 Edition
Madhya 24.330
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

TEXT 330

guru-lakṣaṇa, śiṣya-lakṣaṇa, doṅhāra parīkṣaṇa
sevya–bhagavān, sarva-mantra-vicāraṇa

SYNONYMS

guru-lakṣaṇa—the symptoms of a bona fide spiritual master; śiṣya-lakṣaṇa—the symptoms of a bona fide disciple; doṅhāra—of both; parīkṣaṇa—the testing; sevya-bhagavān—the Supreme Personality of Godhead is worshipable; sarva-mantra-vicāraṇa—consideration of the different types of mantras.

TRANSLATION

“In your book there should be the characteristics of the bona fide guru and the bona fide disciple. Then, before accepting a spiritual master, one can be assured of the spiritual master’s position. Similarly, the spiritual master can also be assured of the disciple’s position. The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, should be described as the worshipable object, and you should consider the bīja-mantra for the worship of Kṛṣṇa, Rāma or any other expansion of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

PURPORT

In the Padma Purāṇa, the characteristics of the guru, the bona fide spiritual master, have been described:

mahā-bhāgavata-śreṣṭho
brāhmaṇo vai gurur nṛṇām
sarveṣām eva lokānām
asau pūjyo yathā hariḥ

mahā-kula-prasūto ‘pi
sarva-yajñeṣu dīkṣitaḥ
sahasra-śākhādhyāyī ca
na guruḥ syād avaiṣṇavaḥ

The guru must be situated on the topmost platform of devotional service. There are three classes of devotees, and the guru must be accepted from the topmost class. The first-class devotee is the spiritual master for all kinds of people. It is said: gurur nṛṇām. The word nṛṇām means “of all human beings.” The guru is not limited to a particular group. It is stated in the Upadeśāmṛta of Rūpa Gosvāmī that a guru is a gosvāmī, a controller of the senses and the mind. Such a guru can accept disciples from all over the world. Pṛthivīṁ sa śiṣyāt. This is the test of the guru.

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Srimati Radharani

The descriptions of the beauty of Radharani are wonderfully poetic and descriptive. Actually, the residents of Vrindavana care more for Radharani than they do for Lord Krishna. They know that Krishna can be influenced through Radharani. They know that Radha can bring one to Krishna. She is also the compassionate nature of the Lord, and thus more easily approached than trying to reach Lord Krishna directly.

Srimati Radharani
By Stephen Knapp

Srimati Radharani is the Supreme Goddess. She is most always seen with Lord Krishna. It is described that She is the Chief Associate and devotee of Lord Krishna, and topmost of all Goddesses. Her name means the She is the most excellent worshiper of Lord Krishna. However, She is also an expansion of the Lord’s energy. Since She is also an extension of Krishna, She is the feminine aspect of God. Thus, in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, God is both male and female. They are One, but Krishna expands into two, Himself and Radharani, for the sake of divine loving pastimes. If They remained as One, then there is no relationship, there are no pastimes, and there can be no dynamic exchange of love. (Caitanya-caritamrita, Adi-lila, 4.55-56) Actually, if we all remained merged or amalgamated into one single force or light, then there is no further need of anything else. There certainly would be no need for the material manifestation to provide the innumerable conditioned souls with the means to seek out the way to satisfy their senses, minds, emotions, desires for self-expression, intellectual pursuits, and on and on.

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Krishna Consciousness in a Nutshell

Krishna Consciousness in a Nutshell
By Sriman Hansadutta Prabhu

Self-realization the Aim of Life

Krishna consciousness is the original consciousness of every living being, and it is explained in different Vedic literatures. One of these literatures is the Chaitanya-charitamrita. Chaitanya-charitamrita means “characteristic of the eternal living force”. Every living being is eternal by nature, and because he is eternal, he cannot be happy in this material world, which is a temporary arrangement, however wonderful it may be. It is the duty of every living entity to learn the science of Krishna, or the science of the self, and to make himself perfect. He will attain freedom from the temporary world of material creation by reviving his original love of Krishna. In this way, he will return home, back to Godhead, which is the aim of all human endeavors, be they scientific, economic, artistic or cultural.

No one lives forever

Every living creature is subjected to four basic miseries, beginning with birth, continuing into old age and disease, and ending in death. No one wants to be miserable—everyone wants to be happy—but material nature functions in such a way that no one can be happy.

Ignoring this basic truth, modern thinkers, politicians, scientists, educators and artists are all struggling against the stringent laws of nature. They think by material adjustments they will find the happiness they hanker for. In spite of all comforts and the advancement of science, economics and politics, no one is happy—if for no other reason than life is temporary.

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