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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava > Bhaktivinoda Vani Vaibhava Part 2 and 3 > Vol 2 Abhidheya > The Teachings of Sri Caitanya

97 The Teachings of Sri Caitanya


1. What is the importance of Sriman Mahaprabhu teachings? How can one adopt them?


Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings are confidential and scientific. They are incomprehensible to those who do not study them with special attention. Nowadays, many people read novels while relaxing after lunch. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings should not be read like that. These teachings are the confidential purport of the Vedas and Veddnta. If one slowly and faithfully studies them, giving them special attention, in the association of devotees, one can understand their purport. (Sri Manah-Siksa, Verse 1)


2. In what form has the essence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings appeared?


Sri Gauracandra's direct instruction is that the Vedic literature is the only evidence. His teachings establish the following nine axiomatic truths:

1. Lord Hari is one without a second.

2. He is always vested with infinite power. 

3. He is an ocean of rasa.

4.The spirit soul is His part and parcel.

5. Certain souls are engrossed in His illusory energy.

6.Certain souls are liberated from the grasp of His illusory energy.

7.All spiritual and material worlds are simultaneously one and different from Him.

8.Bhakti is the only means to attain the ultimate goal of life.

9.Love of Krsna is the ultimate goal of life.

(Sri Gaurahga-smarana-mahgala-stotra, 75)


3. Why has Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu condemned bhakti-siddhdnta-viruddha and rasabhasa?


Bhakti-siddhdnta-viruddha refers to that which is against the principle of unity in diversity, known philosophically as acintya-bheddbheda, simultaneous oneness and difference. Rasabhasa is something that resembles a transcendental mellow but is not. Pure Vaisnavas should avoid both these things, because they are both opposed to devotional service. These misconceptions practically parallel Mayavada philosophy. If one indulges in Mayavada philosophy, he will gradually fall down from the devotional service. By indulging in overlapping mellows (rasabhasa), one eventually becomes a prakrta-sahajiyd and takes everything too cheaply. One may also become a member of the Baula community and gradually become attracted to material activity. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu has therefore advised us to avoid bhakti-siddhdnta-viruddha and rasabhasa. In this way, we can remain pure and free from falldown. Everyone should try to remain aloof from bhakti-siddhdnta-viruddha and rasabhasa. (Commentary on Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya 10.113)


4. Does Mahaprabhu approve of immorality?


Mahaprabhu tells us that a man should earn money in a proper way, engaging in sincere dealings with others and their masters. He should not earn money immorally. When Gopinatha Pattanayaka, one of Ramananda Raya's brothers, was being punished by the raja of Orissa for immoral gains, Sri Caitanya warned all who attended upon Him to be moral in their worldly dealings.(Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His Life & Precepts)


5. What did Mahaprabhu teach through His own behavior regarding a householder's duty?


In His own early life, He taughtgrhasthas to help the needy and helpless, and showed the necessity, for one who has power to do so, to help people become educated, especially brahmanas, who are expected to study the higher subjects of human knowledge. (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His Life & Precepts)


6. Can any fault be found in the behavior, preaching, or teachings of Sri Caitanyadeva?


Sri Caitanya as a teacher taught both by precept and by His holy life. There is scarcely an event in His life that can be criticized. His practice of sannydsa, His severity toward Junior Haridasa, and such other acts have been questioned by certain persons, but as far as we understand, we think as all other independent men would think, that those men have come to hasty conclusions or criticism based on party spirit.  (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, His Life & Precepts)


7. What work did Sriman Mahaprabhu accept as the commentary on Veddnta? What are His teachings in this regard?


Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said that pranava (Orh) is transcendental sound vibration. The purport of this particular  sound vibration has been described vividly in the Upanisads. The Upanisadic teachings are completely supported in Vyasadeva's sutras. Srlmad-Bhdgavatam is the commentary on Vyasadeva's sutras. In Vyasadeva's first sutra it is stated, "janmadi asya yatah," and thus parindma-vdda is taught. In the Vedic mantra, "yato vd imdni bhutdni," the same principle is taught. The Srlmad-Bhdgavatam also teaches it. Fearing that in the philosophy of parindma-vdda the supreme Brahman becomes transformed, Sarikaracarya established his own philosophy called vivartavada. Actually brahmavivarta is the root of all misconceptions, and parindma-vdda is the pure spiritual truth approved by all the scripture. {Caitanya-siksdmrta 1/5)


8. What is the essence of Sriman Mahaprabhu teachings?


The essence of Sriman Mahaprabhu's teachings is that love of Krsna is the living entity's eternal constitutional propensity. The living entity can never be eternally separated from this propensity. But due to forgetfulness of Krsna, the living entity has become bewildered by the Lord's illusory energy and thus become attached to material objects. In this way, his constitutional propensity has gradually been lost. That propensity has almost become dormant in the core of his heart. This is the cause of the living entity's suffering in material existence. If by good fortune the living entity can remember that he is an eternal servant of Krsna, his dormant propensity will be revived and he will certainly regain his spiritual health.

(Ca it a nya -siksdmrta)


9.What is Sriman Mahaprabhu's ultimate instruction?


Srlmad-Bhdgavatam has declared that those who faithfully hear or glorify the transcendental pastimes of Vraja will certainly achieve love of God in the form of pure devotional service. Thus they will attain liberation from their mundane heart ailments.

{Caitanya-siksamrta 1/5)