Gaudiya Paribhasa Sutras
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das
What is a paribhasa sutra? It is often seen that one of the first few verses of a spiritual book or chapter presents its very essence. If it does, then this verse is called the paribhasa-sutra. Although usually appearing only once in a whole book or chapter, it is the regulator, the king ruling over all the other verses.
In other words, the paribhasa-sutra presents the sole purpose, conclusion and final message of the book ruling over and taking precedence over all the other ideas or teachings appearing in that book or chapter.
In Krishna Sandarbha (29), Sri Jiva Goswami says, “A paribhasa-sutra explains the proper method for understanding a book. It is the key shloka to understand the actual purport of a book or chapter, and a series of apparently unrelated facts and arguments that may follow.
“There may be millions of statements or verses in a book, but they are all regulated and subordinate to this one “the strongest” verse or superior statement, “the final word”, the paribhasa sutra, which is what the book is really about and the message it wants to convey.”
According to tattva-vichar (transcendent truth), Sri Jiva Goswami and other Gaudiya Vaisnava acharyas say the paribhasa-sutra of Bhagavatam is (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.3.28), krishnas –tu –bhagavan –svayam, which establishes Bhagavan Sri Krishna as the supreme and topmost personal form among all the Vishnu forms.
However, according to rasa-vichar, the consideration of rasa, divine love and bliss, the first verse of the Srimad Bhagavatam is the paribhasa-sutra, because it presents the adi-rasa, or madhurya-rasa of Radha and Krishna in Vrndavana, the ultimate conclusion and purpose of Srimad Bhagavatam.
Acharyas say that the paribhasa-sutra of Caitanya Caritamrita is (Cc. 1.1.4) because it describes the internal reason for Mahaprabhu’s advent i.e. giving the gift of Sri Radha’s mahabhava madhurya prema, and the beautiful service of Sri Radha as Her confidential maidservant, gopi/manjari.
Thus the Sri Caitanya Caritamrta follows the lead of its source, the Srimad Bhagavatam, by presenting and focusing mostly on the adi-rasa, the intimate loving pastimes of Rasaraja Sri Krishna and Mahabhavati Sri Radha in Sridham Vrndavana, and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s ecstatic experience of Them.
anarpita-carim –cirat, karunaya -vatirnah -kalau
samarpayitum –unnatojjvala –rasam, -sva-bhakti-sriyam
harih -purata-sundara, dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah
sada -hridaya-kandare, -sphuratu -vah -saci-nandanah
“May Shachinandan Sri Chaitanya, who is Sri Hari Himself appearing in a splendidly beautiful golden form in Kali-yuga to mercifully give the never before given special treasure of bhakti i.e. the brilliant and supreme, mahabhava madhurya-prema of Sri Radha (unnatojjvala- rasam) and the beauty of Radha’s service as Her manjari (sva-bhakti-sriyam), always be manifest within the core of your heart.” Caitanya Caritamrita 1.1.4)
Srila Prabhupada tika: “Chaitanya Mahaprabhu gave madhurya-rasa, gopi-bhava, and the method of worship done by the gopis. Therefore, the six Goswamis of Vrndavana also followed the gopis. Gaudiya Vaisnavas especially worship Krishna in the madhurya-rasa while aspiring to become assistants of the gopis.” (BBT Folio: 740210BG.VRN)
“In Radha-Krishna lila, the gopis are simply helping Radha and Krishna combine together in the kunjas of Vrndavana, “jaya radha madhava kunja bihari”. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s contribution is Radha-Krishna lila, so we Gaudiyas worship Radha and Krishna.
“The idea of this verse (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.1.4) is that if one becomes attracted to the loving affairs of Radha-Krishna, then one will forget the so-called amorous enjoyment in this material world.” (BBT Folio: Installation C-116 0108)
mmgd: Although many tattvas, rasas and truths are revealed in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta, however, since (Caitanya Caritamrita 1.1.4) IS THE PARIBHASA SUTRA, everyone must accept that its essential teaching, real meaning and ultimate message is Radha-Krishna madhuyra-lila, gopi-bhava and the eternal loving service of Srimati Radharani in Vrndavana.
One may quote Sri Caitanya Caritamrita to argue so many personal prejudices or viewpoints, but in truth, the actual meaning and purpose of Sri Krishna Dasa Kaviraja’s wonderful book is perfectly clear.
Summarizing all the shrutis and smrtis, Sri Rupa Goswamipada gives the most perfect definition of shuddha-bhakti or pure devotion. It is the paribhasa-sutra of his most excellent Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.1.11), and it appears in the mangalacaran, auspicious prayers beginning the book. Since we are practicing bhakti-yoga, the way of pure divine love, every genuine Gaudiya should perfectly know this verse. Srila Prabhupada quoted it 394 times in his books and classes!
anyabhilashita –shunyam, gyana –karmad -yanavritam,
anukulyena krishnanu, shilanam bhaktir uttama
“Pure bhakti means maintaining a positive, spiritually-charged and favourable attitude, and enthusiastically engaging all the activities of one’s body, mind and words in the joyful service of Bhagavan Sri Krishna solely for the happiness and pleasure of Sri Krishna.
“Such uttama-bhakti is completely devoid of all ulterior, selfish motives; totally free from aparadhas (vaishnav, nam, seva and jiva); and it is not mixed with GYAN (mundane views and philosophies), KARMA (selfish reward gaining pujas, yagnas, homas, etc.); YOGA, astrology or anything else.”
This verse establishes the purpose and essential teaching of the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu which is the topmost pure devotion. Sri Rupa Goswamipada shows in the book that Srimati Radharani and the Vraja gopis are the supreme and topmost pure devotees of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.
Although the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, like the Srimad Bhagavatam and Sri Caitanya Caritamrta describes other tattvas and rasas, its ultimate conclusion is madhurya-rati, Radhika and the damsels of Vraja because they exemplify the topmost standard of pure devotion, uttama-bhakti.
Acharyas say the paribhasa-sutra of Sri Bhagavad-gita is (10.8):
aham -sarvasya -prabhavo, mattah -sarvam pravartate
iti -matva -bhajante –mam, buddha –bhava -samanvivitah
Bhagavan Sri Krishna says, “I manifest everything both material and spiritual, and [as Paramatma] make everything work and move. Knowing this well, the intelligent worship Me with all their hearts.”
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: To underscore its significance, Srila Prabhupada quoted this verse 277 times in his books and classes! Krishna says I manifest everything, so “everything” must also include Srimati Radharani, the gopi/manjaris, bhava, mahabhava and Vraja dham. Sri Krishna says budha –bhava -samanvitah, intelligent persons worship Me with bhava. Since Srimati Radharani worships Krishna with the topmost bhava, MAHABHAVA, Sri Radha is certainly by far the most intelligent of all.
The word “samanvitah” means decorated, accompanied, following or with a relationship. Thus Krishna’s words bhava –samanvitah means in a relationship with bhava or the mahabhava of Srimati Radharani. So for the devotees and bhava-bhaktas, this means cherishing gopi-bhava in relationship with Radhika as Her intimate serving maid following the path of raganuga-bhakti.
Thus, according to tattva-vichar, the paribhasa-sutra of Bhagavad-gita is (10.8), which establishes that Sri Krishna, the source of everything, is best worshiped by bhava-bhaktas, and especially by the MAHABHAVA of Srimati Radharani and Her gopi/manjaris.
However, according to rasa-vichar, the paribhasa-sutra of Gita is (18.65), which Sri Krishna Himself says is the sarva –guhyatamam, the topmost secret of all secret spiritual teachings in Gita; it’s very core and essence.
man -manah -bhava -mad -bhakto,
mad -yaji -mam –namaskuru
mam –evaishyasi –satyam –te
pratijane –priyo –si -me
Sri Krishna says, “Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me and offer obeisances unto Me. Then certainly you will come to Me. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.” (Bhagavat Gita. 18.65)
Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das: Here Sri Krishna mentions bhava, surrender and becoming His priya-jana, dear one. Srimati Radharani is the fullest embodiment of this verse because Sri Radha constantly thinks only of Krishna and Radha is the topmost of all Krishna devotees.
And because Kishori worships Krishna with Her every breath, thought, word, deed and dream, Radha is always with Krishna. For Krishna, Sri Radha is His one and only best sweet heart and dearly beloved PRIYAJI. And for Radha, Krishna is Her PRIYATAM! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Thus in closing, we see that just like all the other essential books of Gaudiya Vaisnavism, i.e. Bhagavatam, Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu and Caitanya Caritamrta, the Bhagavad-gita also describes different tattvas and rasas. However, if one closely examines Gita, one will see that its ultimate conclusion is madhurya-rati, Radhika and the damsels of Vraja.
This is why acharyas say the Gaudiya Sampradaya is a raganuga-sampradaya teaching Vraja bhakti and the eternal loving service of Sri Sri Radha-Govinda Yugala in gopi-bhava, following the moods and feelings of Srimati Radharani and the cowherd damsels of Vrajabhumi. Jai Jai Sri Radhe!
Paribhasa-sutra ki jai! Gaudiya Vaisnava Sampradaya ki jai! Sri Guru ki jai!
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