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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 13. Pramana & The Commencement of Prameya


C H A P T E R 13

Pramana & The Commencement

of Prameya


Late the next afternoon, at the time of go-dhuli (when the air

is thick with dust-clouds raised by the cows returning to the

go-sala), Vrajanatha arrived at Shrivasangana. He sat on the raised

platform under the dense foliage of the bakula tree, and waited for

the elderly Babaji Maharaja. Babaji was waiting in his bhajanakutira,

and for some unknown reason, vatsalya-bhava had arisen in

his heart towards Vrajanatha. As soon as a slight sound outside

indicated Vrajanatha's arrival, Babaji came out and, lovingly embracing

him, took him into his kutira, which was situated at one

side of the courtyard in an arbour of kunda flowers. There he offered

him a seat and sat beside him.


Vrajanatha took the dust of Babaji Maharaja's feet on his head.

Feeling blessed, he said humbly, "O great soul, yesterday you told

me that you would instruct me on Dasa-mula, the fundamental

principles of Nimai Pandita's teachings. Kindly bestow this knowledge

upon me now."


When Vrajanatha asked this wonderful question, Babaji

Mahasaya became very happy and said affectionately, "My son, I

shall first explain to you the sutra sloka of Dasa-mula, wherein the

ten ontological truths of Dasa-mula are set out in a condensed

form. You are a scholar, so by proper deliberation you will be able

to comprehend the true meanings of this sloka.


amnayah praha tattvam harim iha paramam sarva-saktim rasabdhim

tad-bhinnamsams ca jivan prakrti-kavalitan tad-vimuktams ca bhavad

bhedabheda-prakasam sakalam api hareh sadhanam suddha-bhaktim

sadhyam tat-pritim evety upadisati janan gauracandrah svayam sah


1. Pramana: The teachings of the Vedas received through

guru-parampara are known as amnaya. The infallible evidence

of the Vedas, of the smrti-sastras headed by the Shrimad-

Bhagavatam, as well as evidence such as direct sense perception

(pratyaksa), that concur with the guidance of the

Vedas, are all accepted as pramana (evidence). This pramana

establishes the following prameyas (fundamental truths):


2. Parama-tattva: Shri Hari alone is the Supreme Absolute Truth.


3. Sarva-saktiman: Shri Krishna is the possessor of all potency.


4. Akhila-rasamrta-sindhu: He is the ocean of nectarean



5. Vibhinnamsa-tattva: Both the mukta (liberated) and baddha

(conditioned) jivas are His eternally separated parts and parcels.


6. Baddha-jivas: Conditioned souls are subject to the control

and covering of maya.


7. Mukta-jivas: Liberated souls are free from maya.


8. Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva: The entire universe, consisting

of the conscious (cit) and unconscious (acit), is Shri Hari's

acintya-bhedabheda-prakasa, that is to say, it is His manifestation

which is inconceivably both different and non-different

from Him.


9. Suddha-bhakti: Pure devotional service is the only practice

(sadhana) to attain perfection.


10. Krishna-priti: Transcendental love and affection for Krishna

is the one and only final object of attainment (sadhya-vastu).


Svayam Bhagavan Shri Gaurangadeva has herein instructed ten

distinct tattvas (fundamental truths) to the faithful jivas. The first

of these is pramana-tattva, and the remaining nine are prameyatattva.

First you should understand the meaning of pramana. That

subject which is established by pramana (evidence or proof) is

known as prameya (that which is proved); and that by which

prameya is proved is known as pramana.


These ten fundamental tattvas (dasa-mula-tattva) are set out in

the sloka that I have just recited. The next sloka will be the first

actual sloka of the Dasa-mula, and it elaborates on the first of the

dasa-mula-tattvas, namely the authoritative Vedic literature

(amnaya or pramana-tattva). From the second to the eighth sloka

sambandha-tattva is described. The ninth sloka describes abhidheyatattva,

which is the sadhana for attaining the ultimate goal; and

the tenth sloka describes prayojana-tattva, which is the sadhya (goal)



When Vrajanatha had heard the meaning of the sloka, he said,

"Babaji Maharaja, I do not have anything to ask now. If any question

occurs to me after hearing the next sloka, I will submit it at

your lotus feet. Now kindly explain the first sloka of the Dasamula."


Babaji: Very good. Now listen attentively.


svatah-siddho vedo hari-dayita-vedhah-prabhrtitah

pramanam sat-praptam pramiti-visayan tan nava-vidhan

tatha pratyaksadi-pramiti-sahitam sadhayati nah

na yuktis tarkakhya pravisati tatha sakti-rahita

Dasa-mula (1)


The self-evident Vedas, which have been received in the

sampradaya through the guru-parampara by recipients of Shri

Hari's mercy such as Brahmaji and others, are known as

amnaya-vakya. The nine prameya-tattvas are established by

these amnaya-vakyas with the help of other pramanas that

follow the guidance of these sastras, such as evidence obtained

by direct sense perception (pratyaksa). Reasoning

that is only based on logic is always lame in the matter of

evaluating inconceivable subject matters, since logic and

argument have no access in the realm of the inconceivable.


Vrajanatha: Is there any evidence within the Vedas to show that

Brahmaji gave instruction through disciplic succession?


Babaji: Yes, there is. In the Mundaka Upanisad (1.1.1) it is stated:


brahma devanam prathamah sambabhuva

visvasya kartta bhuvanasya gopta

sa brahma-vidyam sarva-vidya-pratistham

atharvaya jyestha-putraya praha


Brahmaji, who is the creator of the entire universe, and the

protector of the worlds, was the first deva to appear. He gave

complete instructions on brahma-vidya, the basis of all

knowledge, to his eldest son, Atharva.


It is also stated further on in Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.13),


yenaksaram purusam veda satyam

provaca tam tattvato brahma-vidyam


Brahma-vidya is knowledge that reveals the true svarupa of

para-brahma, the indestructible Purusottama.


Vrajanatha: Do you have any evidence that the rsis who compiled

the smrti-sastras have given the correct explanation of the Vedas

in them?


Babaji: Evidence for this is given in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.3-4),

the crest jewel of all sastras.


kalena nasta pralaye vaniyam veda-samjnita

mayadau brahmane prokta dharmo yasyam mad-atmakah

tena prokta sva-putraya manave purva-jaya sa

tato bhrgv-adayo 'grhnan sapta brahma-maharsayah


Shri Bhagavan said, "By the influence of time, the Vedas containing

My instructions on bhagavata-dharma were lost

when the cosmic devastation occured. At the beginning of

the next brahma-kalpa at the time of creation, I again instructed

Brahma in that same Veda. Brahma instructed his

son Manu in the Vedic knowledge, and Manu in turn instructed

the same science to the seven Brahmarsis, headed

by Bhrgu."


Vrajanatha: What is the necessity for a sampradaya?


Babaji: Most people in this world accept the shelter of Mayavada

philosophy, and follow that inauspicious path which is devoid of

bhakti. Consequently, if there were no separate sampradaya for

those who practice suddha-bhakti that is untainted by the faults of

Mayavada, it would be very difficult to attain genuine sat-sanga.

Therefore, it is stated in the Padma Purana,


sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te viphala matah

shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka vaishnavah ksiti-pavanah


Vaishnava acaryas in the four sampradayas-namely

Ramanujacarya in the Shri-sampradaya, Madhvacarya in the

Brahma-sampradaya, Vishnusvami in the Rudra-sampradaya,

and Nimbaditya in the Catuhsana-sampradaya-purify the

whole universe. Diksa mantras not received from the acaryas

in one of these four sampradayas will be fruitless.


Of these four, the Brahma-sampradaya is the most ancient and

has continued through the disciplic succession until the present

day. These sampradayas adhere to the system of guru-parampara and

they have brought the Vedanta and other supremely auspicious

literatures unchanged from the most ancient times, and by the potency

of the system of parampara, there is not the slightest chance

that they have made any change or eliminated any portion. There

is, therefore, no reason to doubt the literature that the sampradaya

has authorized. Sampradaya is an effective and indispensible arrangement,

and for this reason, the sat-sampradaya system is continuing

amongst saints and sadhus from the most ancient times.


Vrajanatha: Are the names of all the acaryas in the sampradaya

available in order of succession?


Babaji: Only the names of the most prominent acaryas who have

appeared from time to time are mentioned.


Vrajanatha: I would like to hear the guru-parampara of the Brahmasampradaya.


Babaji: Listen.


para-vyomesvarasyasic chisyo brahma jagat-patih

tasya sisyo narado 'bhud vyasas tasyapa sisyatam


Brahma, the master of the universe, is the disciple of

Paramesvara Shri Narayana, and Naradaji became the disciple

of Brahma. Vyasadeva became the disciple of Naradaji.


suko vyasasya sisyatvam prapto jnanavarodhanat

vyasal labdho krishna-dikso madhvacaryo mahayasah


Shri Sukadevaji became the disciple of Shri Vyasadeva in

order to check the spread of impersonal jnana. The celebrated

Madhvacarya also received krishna-diksa from Shri

Vyasadeva, Narahari became the twice-born sisya of



tasya sisyo naraharis tac-chisyo madhavo dvijah

aksobhyas tasya sisyo 'bhut tac-chisyo jayatirthakah


Madhva-dvija became the disciple of Narahari. Aksobhya

was Madhva-dvija's disciple and accepted Jayatirtha as his



tasya sisyo jnanasindhus tasya sisyo mahanidhih

vidyanidhis tasya sisyo rajendras tasya sevakah


Jnanasindhu became the disciple of Jayatirtha, Mahanidhi

became Jnanasindhu's disciple and accepted Vidyanidhi as

his disciple, and Rajendra became the disciple of Vidyanidhi.


jayadharmo munis tasya sisyo yad-gana-madhyatah

shrimad-visnupuri yas tu bhakti-ratnavali krtih


Jayadharma Muni became the disciple of Rajendra, and one

of his followers named Shri Vishnu Puri, who composed


Bhakti-ratnavali, was a prominent acarya.

jayadharmasya sisyo 'bhud brahmanyah purusottamah

vyasa-tirthas tasya sisyo yas cakre visnu-samhitam


Jayadharma's disciple was Brahmanya Purusottama, who in

turn accepted Vyasa-tirtha, the author of Vishnu-samhita, as

his disciple.


shrimal-laksmipatis tasya sisyo bhakti-rasasrayah

tasya sisyo madhavendro yad-dharmo 'yam pravartitah


Shri Laksmipati became the disciple of Vyasa-tirtha, and

Madhavendra Puri, who was the epitome of bhakti-rasa, and

who propagated bhakti-dharma, was the disciple of



Vrajanatha: In the first sloka of Dasa-mula, the Vedas are accepted

as the sole evidence (pramana); whereas the other pramanas, such

as pratyaksa (direct perception), are accepted as evidence only

when they follow the Vedas. However, philosophies such as nyaya

and sankhya have accepted further types of evidence. Well-versed

readers of the Puranas have accepted eight types of pramana:

pratyaksa (direct perception), anumana (inference based on generalized

experience), upamana (analogy), sabda (revealed knowledge),

aitihya (traditional instruction), arthapatti (inference from circumstances),

sambhava (speculation), and anupalabdhi (understanding

something by its non-perception). Why are there so many opinions

regarding pramana? And if direct perception and inference

based on experience are not counted among the perfect pramanas,

how is it possible to get real understanding? Kindly enlighten me.


Babaji: Pratyaksa and other types of evidence depend on the senses,

but since the senses of the conditioned jiva are always subject to

bhrama (illusion), pramada (error), vipralipsa (cheating), and

karanapatava (imperfection of the senses), how can the knowledge

acquired through the senses be factual and faultless? The fully independent

possessor of all potencies, Shri Bhagavan Himself, personally

manifested as perfect Vedic knowledge within the pure

hearts of great maharsis and saintly acaryas who were situated in

full samadhi. Therefore, the Vedas, which are the embodiment of

svatah-siddha-jnana (self-manifest, pure knowledge) are always faultless

and fully dependable as evidence.


Vrajanatha: Please help me to understand clearly each of the terms

bhrama, pramada, vipralipsa and karanapatava.


Babaji: Bhrama (illusion) is the baddha-jiva's false impression of

reality resulting from faulty knowledge gathered through imperfect

senses. For example, in the desert, the rays of the sun sometimes

produce a mirage, which creates the impression of water.


This fault of making errors and mistakes is called pramada. Since

the material intelligence of the baddha jiva is by nature limited,

mistakes are inevitably present in whatever siddhanta his limited

intelligence discerns in relation to the unlimited para-tattva.


Vipralipsa is the cheating propensity. This is manifest when one,

whose intelligence is limited by time and space, is suspicious and

reluctant to believe in the activities and authority of Isvara, who

is far beyond time and space.


Our senses are imperfect and ineffective, and this is known as

karanapatava. Because of this, we cannot avoid making mistakes in

everyday circumstances. For example, when we see an object suddenly,

we may mistake it for something else and draw faulty conclusions.


Vrajanatha: Do pratyaksa and other pramanas have no value at all

as evidence?


Babaji: What means do we have to gain knowledge of this material

sphere, except through direct perception and other pramanas?

Nonetheless, they can never give knowledge about the spiritual

world (cit-jagat), for they cannot enter into it. That is why the

Vedas are certainly the one and only pramana for gaining knowledge

about the cit-jagat. The evidence gained from pratyaksa and

other pramanas is only worth considering when it follows the

guidelines of the self-evident Vedic knowledge; otherwise its evidence

can be discarded. That is why the self-evident Vedas are the

only evidence. Pratyaksa and other pramanas can also be accepted

as evidence, but only if they are in pursuance of the Vedas.


Vrajanatha: Are literatures such as the Gita and the Bhagavatam

not counted as pramana?


Babaji: The Bhagavad-gita is called an Upanisad (Gita Upanisad),

because it is the vani (instructions) of Bhagavan; hence, the Gita

is Veda. Similarly, Dasa-mula-tattva is also bhagavat-vani because it

is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions, so it is also Veda.

Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all the pramanas because

it is the compilation of the essence of the meaning of the Vedas.

The instructions of different sastras are authoritative evidence

only as long as they follow the Vedic knowledge. There are three

types of tantra-sastras: sattvika, rajasika and tamasika. Of these, the

Pancaratra and so on are in the sattvika group, and they are accepted

as evidence because they expand the confidential meaning of the



Vrajanatha: There are many books in the Vedic line. Which of these

may be accepted as evidence and which may not?


Babaji: In the course of time, unscrupulous and untruthful personalities

have interpolated many chapters, mandalas (sections and

divisions) and mantras into the Vedas, in order to fulfill various

self-interests. Those parts that were added at a later time are called

praksipta (interpolated) parts. It is not that we should accept any

and every Vedic text as reliable evidence. Those Vedic granthas

(sacred books) that the acaryas in the sat-sampradayas have accepted

as evidence are definitely Veda and are authoritative evidence, but

we should reject literature or parts of literature that they have not



Vrajanatha: Which Vedic granthas have the acaryas of the satsampradayas



Babaji: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya,

Aitareya, Chandogya, Brhad-aranyaka and Svetasvatara-these

eleven sattvika Upanisads are accepted, and so are Gopala Upanisad,

Nrsimha-tapani and some other tapanis that are helpful in worship.

The acaryas have also accepted brahmanas and mandalas as Vedic

literature, as long as they expand the Vedas, following the guidance

of Rg, Sama, Yajuh and Atharva. We receive all the Vedic literatures

from the acaryas in the sat-sampradayas, so we can accept

them as evidence from a bona fide source.


Vrajanatha: Is there any evidence in the Veda to show that logic

cannot enter into transcendental subject matter?


Babaji: There are many famous statements in the Vedas, such as,

naisa tarkena matir apaneya, "O Naciketa! Whatever intelligence

you have gained regarding atma-tattva should not be destroyed by

logic (tarka)" (Katha Upanisad 1.2.9); and the statements from

Vedanta-sutra, such as, tarkapratisthanat, "Arguments based on logic

have no foundation and cannot be used to establish any conclusions

about the conscious reality, because a fact that someone establishes

by logic and argument today can be refuted tomorrow by

someone who is more intelligent and qualified. Therefore, the

process of argumentation is said to be unfounded and baseless"

(Brahma-sutra 2.1.11).


Furthermore, it is stated:


acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet

prakrtibhyah param yac ca tad acintyasya laksanam

Mahabharata, Bhisma-parva (5.22)


All transcendental tattvas are beyond material nature, and

are therefore inconceivable. Dry arguments are within the

jurisdiction of material nature, so they can only be applied

in mundane subject matters. They cannot even come close

to transcendental tattvas, what to speak of grasping them.

As far as inconceivable conceptions are concerned, the

application of dry arguments is undesirable and useless.


This sloka of the Mahabharata establishes the limits of logic, and

Shrila Rupa Gosvami, the acarya of bhakti-marga, has therefore written

in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (Eastern Division 1.1.32):


svalpapi rucir eva syat bhakti-tattvavabodhika

yuktis tu kevala naiva yad asya apratisthata


One can comprehend bhakti-tattva when one has gained

even a little taste for sastras that establish bhakti-tattva, such

as Shrimad-Bhagavatam. However, one cannot understand

this bhakti-tattva by dry logic alone, because logic has no

basis, and there is no end to arguments.


Nothing genuine can be ascertained by logic and argument, as

this ancient statement proves:


yatnenopadito 'py arthah kusalair anumatrbhih

abhiyuktatarair anyair anyathaivopapadyate


Any logician can clearly establish any subject matter using

arguments, but someone who is more expert in argument

can easily refute him. You use logic to establish one

siddhanta today, but a more intelligent and qualified logician

will be able to refute it tomorrow, so why should you

rely on logic?


Vrajanatha: Babaji, I have fully understood that the Veda, which is

to say, knowledge that is svatah-siddha (self-evident), is pramana.

Some logicians argue against the Vedas, but their efforts are fruitless.

Now please be merciful and explain the second sloka of Dasamula-





haris tv ekam tattvam vidhi-siva-suresa-pranamitah

yad evedam brahma prakrti-rahitam tat tv anumahah

paratma tasyamso jagad-anugato visva-janakah

sa vai radha-kanto nava-jalada-kantis cid-udayah


Indeed Shri Hari, to whom Brahma, Siva, Indra and other

devatas continuously offer pranama, is the only Supreme

Absolute Truth. Nirvisesa-brahma that is devoid of sakti is

Shri Hari's bodily effulgence. Maha-Vishnu, who has created

the universe and who has entered into it as the indwelling

Supersoul of all, is simply His partial manifestation. It is

that Shri Hari alone, the very form of transcendental reality

(cit-svarupa), whose complexion is the color of a freshly

formed thunder cloud, who is Shri Radha-vallabha, the beloved

of Shri Radha.


Vrajanatha: The Upanisads describe brahma, which is transcendental

to affiliation with matter, to be the supreme truth, so what argument

or evidence has Shri Gaurahari used to establish brahma as

Shri Hari's bodily effulgence?


Babaji: Shri Hari is certainly Bhagavan, whose true nature has been

ascertained in the Vishnu Purana (6.5.74):


aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah shriyah

jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam bhaga itingana


Bhagavan is the Supreme Absolute Truth endowed with six

inconceivable qualities: complete opulence, strength, fame,

beauty, knowledge and renunciation.


Now, there is a mutual relationship amongst these qualities of

body (angi) and limbs (anga). The question may arise, which of these

qualities is angi, and which are angas? The angi (body) is that within

which the angas (limbs) are included. For example, a tree is angi,

and the leaves and branches are the angas; the body is angi, and

the feet and hands are its angas. Therefore, the principal quality

(angi-guna) represents the body and to that quality all the other

qualities (anga-gunas) are arranged as its limbs.


The angi-guna of Bhagavan's transcendental form is His resplendent

beauty (shri); and the three qualities - opulence (aisvarya),

strength (virya) and fame (yasa) - are His angas (limbs). The remaining

two qualities - knowledge (jnana) and renunciation (vairagya)

- are the effulgence of the quality of fame, because jnana and vairagya

are only attributes of a quality, and not original qualities in their

own right. Thus, jnana and vairagya are actually nirvikara-jnana,

which is the intrinsic, constitutional form of the nirvisesa-brahma,

and that brahma is the bodily effulgence of the spiritual world. The

changeless, inactive, nirvisesa-brahma, which exists without body,

limbs and so on, is not in itself a complete tattva; rather, it depends

on the transcendental form of Bhagavan. Brahma is therefore not

a supreme vastu (entity) that exists in its own right; it is a quality

of the vastu. Bhagavan is indeed that vastu, and brahma is His quality,

just as the light of a fire is not a complete and independent

tattva, but only a quality that depends on the fire.


Vrajanatha: The impersonal, nirvisesa qualities of brahma are described

in many places in the Vedas, and at the end of these descriptions,

the mantra 'om santih santih, harih om' is always used to

describe the supreme truth, Shri Hari. Who is this Shri Hari?


Babaji: That Shri Hari is in fact cit-lila-mithuna (the combined form

of Radha and Krishna), who performs divine pastimes.


Vrajanatha: I will inquire into this subject later. Now kindly tell

me, how is Paramatma, the creator of the universe, a partial manifestation

of Bhagavan?


Babaji: Pervading everything by His qualities of aisvarya and virya

(power), and creating all the universes, Bhagavan enters every universe

by His amsa (partial manifestation), Vishnu. Every amsa of

Bhagavan always remains complete; none of them are ever incomplete.


purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate

purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate

Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (5.1) and Isopanisad (inv.)


The avatari-purusa (the origin of all avataras) is complete

and perfect. Because He is completely perfect, all avataras

emanating from Him are also complete. All that emanates

from the Supreme Complete is complete. Even if the complete

is subtracted from the complete, He still remains complete.

In no way does that Paramesvara experience any diminution.


Therefore, that complete whole, Vishnu, who enters the universe

and controls it, is certainly the indwelling Supersoul, Paramatma.

That Vishnu has three forms: Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Ksirodakasayi

Vishnu and Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. Karanodakasayi Vishnu, who is

a partial manifestation of Shri Bhagavan, situates Himself on the

Causal Ocean, or the Viraja River, which extends between the cit

and mayika worlds. From there, He glances over maya, who is situated

far away, and by this glance the material world is created.

Bhagavan Shri Krishna has described the creation of the material

world in Shrimad Bhagavad-gita (9.10):


mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram


Under My superintendence, My illusory energy creates the

universe full of moving and non-moving beings.

Then it is said, sa aiksata, "That Paramatma glanced." (Aitareya

Upanisad 1.1.1)

Sa imal lokan asrjat, "That Paramatma created the universe of

moving and non-moving entities after glancing over His maya."

(Aitareya Upanisad 1.1.2)


Karanodakasayi Vishnu's power of glancing, which enters maya,

becomes Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and the localized atoms in the rays

of the transcendental glance of that Maha-Vishnu are the conditioned

souls; and in the heart of every jiva, Isvara is situated as a thumbsized

expansion of Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, also known as

Hiranyagarbha. Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.6) states, dva suparna

sayuja sakhaya, "The jiva and Paramatma are in the heart of the jiva,

like two birds on the branch of a tree. One of these birds is Isvara,

who awards the results of fruitive activity, and the other bird is

the jiva, who is tasting the fruits of his actions." Shri Bhagavan has

expressed this tattva as follows in the Gita Upanisad (10.41):


yad yad vibhutimat sattvam shrimad urjitam eva va

tat tad evavagaccha tvam mama tejo'msa-sambhavam


You should understand that all opulence, existence, splendor

and potency have come from a tiny part of My opulence.

Therefore, Arjuna, what is the necessity of understanding

all of My attributes separately? Simply understand that by

an expansion of Myself I have created this entire creation,

and I thereby pervade it fully.


Therefore, the attributes of God, such as being the creator and

maintainer of the universe, are manifested in Paramatma, the partial

manifestation (amsa-svarupa) of parama-purusa Bhagavan.


Vrajanatha: I understand that brahma is Shri Hari's bodily effulgence,

and that Paramatma is his part. However, what evidence is there

that Bhagavan Shri Hari is Krishna Himself?


Babaji: Shri Krishna Bhagavan is eternally manifest in two features,

one of aisvarya (opulence and majesty) and the other of madhurya

(sweetness). The feature of aisvarya is Narayana, who is the master

of the spiritual sky, Vaikuntha, and the origin of Maha-Vishnu.

Shri Krishna is the complete embodiment of the madhurya feature.

This Shri Krishna is the utmost limit of complete sweetness; indeed,

His sweetness is so great that its rays completely cover His aisvarya.

From the perspective of siddhanta or tattva there is no difference

between Narayana and Krishna. However, when we consider the

degree of rasa to be tasted in the spiritual world, Krishna is not only

the foundation all rasa, but He Himself, being the very form of rasa,

is also parama upadeya-tattva, the supremely pleasing Being. We

find evidence in the Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas that Shri Krishna

is Svayam Bhagavan Shri Hari. For example, the Rg Veda (



apasyam gopam anipadyama nama

ca para ca pathibhis carantam sa-sadhricih

sa visucir vasana avarivartti-bhuvanesv antah


I saw a boy who appeared in the dynasty of cowherds. He is

infallible and is never annihilated. He wanders on various

paths, sometimes near and sometimes very far. Sometimes

He is beautifully adorned with varieties of garments, and

sometimes He wears cloth of only one color. In this way, He

repeatedly exhibits His manifest and unmanifest pastimes.


In addition, in the Chandogya Upanisad (8.13.1) it is stated:


syamac chabalam prapadye sabalac chyamam prapadye


By rendering seva to Syama, one attains His transcendental

abode, which is full of spiritual bliss and astonishing,

variegated lilas; and within that cit-jagat, one attains the

eternal shelter of Syama.


Another understanding of this sloka is that the word syama

refers to Krishna, and the word Syama or Krishna, meaning black,

describes the nirguna-para-tattva, which like black, is colorless,

while the word sabala, meaning gaura, refers to one who is endowed

with variegated colors. In other words, when para-tattva, is endowed

with all transcendental qualities, He is called gaura. The

secret meaning of this mantra is that one attains Gaura by performing

krishna-bhajana, and one attains Krishna by performing gaurabhajana.

This and other mantras describe the activities of the liberated

and perfected jivas even after the stage of mukti.

We read in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28):


ete camsah kalah pumsah krishnas tu bhagavan svayam


Rama, Nrsimha, and the other avataras are all portions

(amsas) or plenary portions (kala) of the Supreme Personality,

Shri Bhagavan, but Shri Krishna is that original Bhagavan



In the Gita Upanisad (7.7), Shri Krishna Himself says, mattah

parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: "O Arjuna, there is nothing

superior to Me," and it is also said in the Gopala-tapani Upanisad

(Purva 2.8):


eko vasi sarva-gah krishna idyah

eko 'pi san bahudha yo 'vabhati


Shri Krishna is the all-pervasive, non-dual para-brahma who

controls everything. He is the only worshipable object for

all the devatas, for mankind, and for all other life-forms.

Although He is one, through His acintya-sakti He manifests

many forms and performs many varieties of lilas.


Vrajanatha: But how can Shri Krishna be all-pervading if He has a

medium-sized, human-like form? If we accept that He has form, it

means He can only stay in one place at a time, and that gives rise

to so many philosophical discrepancies. The first is that He cannot

be the all-pervading tattva if He has a form and body. Secondly,

if He has a body, He will be limited by the material modes of nature,

so how can He be independent and have limitless and absolute

authority? How can this be reconciled?


Babaji: My dear son, you are now thinking like this because you

are bound by the qualities of maya. As long as the intelligence

remains bound by material qualities, it cannot touch suddha-sattva.

If such conditioned intelligence attempts to exceed its own limitations

trying to understand suddha-tattva, it superimposes mayika

forms and qualities on suddha-tattva, and thus conceives of a

material form of Transcendence. After some time, the intellect

rejects this form as being temporary, mutable, and subject to the

material modes, and then it imagines the nirvisesa-brahma. That

is why one cannot gain an understanding of the Supreme Absolute

Truth through the intelligence.


Whatever limitations you are inferring about the transcendental,

medium-sized form are completely unfounded. Formlessness,

immutability, and inactivity simply comprise the material conception

of what is opposite to our conception of material qualities, so

they are themselves a type of material quality. However, Shri Krishna

also has qualities that are of an altogether different nature: for

example, His beautiful, blossoming, smiling face; His lotus eyes;

His beautiful lotus feet, which bestow fearlessness and peace upon

His bhaktas; and His spiritual form, which is the pure embodiment

of transcendence, with limbs and body just suitable for varieties

of playful sports. The 'medium sized' shri-vigraha, that is the very

basis of these two types of qualities (form and all pervasiveness),

is supremely pleasing. The Narada-pancaratra describes His extreme

attractiveness to the mind, and this description is replete with all



nirdosa-guna-vigraha atma-tantro

niscetanatmaka-sarira-gunais ca hinah


sarvatra ca svagata-bheda-vivarjitatma


Shri Krishna's transcendental body is composed of eternity,

consciousness and bliss, without even a trace of material

qualities. He is not subject to material time or space. On

the contrary, He exists fully at all places and in all times

simultaneously. His form and existence are the embodiment

of absolute nonduality (advaya-jnana-svarupa-vastu).


Direction (space) is an unlimited entity in the material world.

By material estimation, only a formless object can be unlimited or

all-pervading; an entity with a medium-sized form cannot. How

ever, this conception only applies in the material world. In the

spiritual world, all objects and their intrinsic natures and attributes

are unlimited, so Shri Krishna's medium-sized form is also allpervading.

Medium-sized objects in this material world do not have

this quality of all-pervasiveness, but it is charmingly manifest in

Shri Krishna's medium-sized vigraha. That is the supra-mundane glory

of His transcendental vigraha. Can such glorious attributes be

found in the conception of the all-pervading brahma? Material

substances are always limited by time and place. If an entity who is

naturally beyond the effects of time is compared to the all-pervading

sky, which is limited by time and space, then is not that entity,

beyond the influence of time, incomparably greater?


Shri Krishna's vraja-dhama is none other than the Brahma-pura

which is mentioned within the Chandogya Upanisad. This vrajadhama

is a completely transcendental reality, and is comprised of

all types of transcendental variety. Everything in that place-the

earth, water, rivers, mountains, trees, creepers, animals, birds, sky,

sun, moon and constellations-is transcendental and is devoid

of material flaws or shortcomings. Conscious pleasure is present

always and everywhere, in its fullest form. My dear son, this

Mayapura-Navadvipa is that self-same spiritual abode. You are

unable to perceive it, however, because you are bound in maya's

snare. But when, by the mercy of saints and sadhus, spiritual consciousness

arises in your heart, you will then perceive this land as

the spiritual dhama, and then only will you achieve the perfection

of vraja-vasa (residence in Vraja).


Who has told you that there must be material merits and faults

wherever there is medium-sized form? You cannot realize the actual

glories of the transcendental medium-sized form as long as your

intelligence is bound up in material impressions.


Vrajanatha: No intelligent person can have any doubts about this

point. However, I would like to know when, where and how Krishna's

spiritual vigraha, dhama, and lila are manifested within material

limitations, since Shri Radha-Krishna's vigraha and bodily complexion,

and Their lilas, associates, houses, pastime-groves, forests,

secondary forests and all the objects in the spiritual world are transcendental.


Babaji: Shri Krishna possesses all potencies, so even that which appears

to be impossible is actually possible for Him. What is astonishing

in this? He is the all-potent Personality (sarva-saktiman

purusa), the fully independent supreme controller who is completely

autocratic and imbued with lila. Simply by His desire, He

can appear in this material world in His self-same spiritual form,

along with His spiritual abode. How can there be any doubt about



Vrajanatha: By His desire, He can do everything, and He can manifest

His purely spiritual form in this material world-that much is

clear. However, materialistic people tend to think that Shri Krishna's

own transcendental abode that is manifest here is simply a part of

this material universe, and they perceive His vraja-lila to be just

like ordinary mayika activities. Why is this? Why can't worldly

people see Krishna's self-manifest, spiritual form as sac-cid-ananda

when He mercifully appears in this world of birth and death?


Babaji: One of Krishna's unlimited transcendental qualities is His

bhakta-vatsalya (affection for His bhaktas). Because of this quality,

His heart melts, and through His hladini-sakti, He bestows upon

His bhaktas a type of spiritual potency that enables them to have

direct darsana of His self-manifest form and His transcendental

pastimes. However, the non-devotees' eyes, ears, and other senses

are made up of maya, so they can see no difference between

Bhagavan's spiritual pastimes and the mundane events in human



Vrajanatha: Then does this mean that Bhagavan Shri Krishna did not

descend to bestow mercy upon all jivas?


Babaji: Bhagavan certainly descends to benefit the whole world.

The bhaktas see His descent and lila as transcendental, whereas

the non-devotees perceive them as ordinary human affairs, which

take place under the influence of material principles. Even so, these

lilas have the power to bestow a type of spiritual merit (sukrti),

and as this sukrti gradually accumulates, one is nourished so that

one develops one-pointed sraddha towards krishna-bhakti. That is

why Bhagavan's descent certainly benefits all the jivas in the universe,

because jivas who possess such sraddha and perform ananyabhakti-

sadhana (unalloyed devotional service) will one day be able

to see Bhagavan's transcendental form and lila.


Vrajanatha: Why is krishna-lila not distinctly described throughout

the Vedas?


Babaji: The pastimes of Shri Krishna are described here and there in

the Vedas, but in some places they are described directly, and in

other places indirectly.


Two types of expressions or tendencies determine the meaning

of words in a text: the direct, or literal sense (abhidha); and the

indirect, or secondary sense (laksana). These are also called mukhyavrtti

and gauna-vrtti, respectively. The literal sense (abhidha-vrtti)

of the mantra, syamac chabalam prapadye, in the last section of the

Chandogya Upanisad, describes the eternality of rasa and the service

attitude of the liberated jivas towards Krishna according to their

respective rasa. The indirect meaning of the words is called gaunavrtti

(secondary significance). In the beginning of the conversation

between Yajna-valkya, Gargi and Maitreyi, Krishna's qualities

are described by means of indirect presentation (laksana-vrtti), and

at the end, the super-excellence of Krishna is established by means

of direct presentation (mukhya-vrtti). The eternal pastimes (nityalila)

of Bhagavan are sometimes indicated in the Vedas by the direct

expression of the words, and in many places, the indirect approach

describes the glories of brahma and Paramatma. In fact, it is

the pledge of all the Vedas to describe Shri Krishna's glories.


Vrajanatha: Babaji Mahasaya, there is no doubt that Bhagavan Shri

Hari is para-tattva, but what is the position of the devatas such as

Brahma, Siva, Indra, Surya, and Ganesa? Please be merciful and

explain this to me. Many brahmanas worship Mahadeva as the

highest brahma-tattva. I took birth in one such brahmana family, so

I have been hearing and saying this from my birth until now. I want

to know the actual truth.


Babaji: I shall presently describe to you the respective qualities of

the ordinary living entities, the worshipable devatas and devis, and

of Shri Bhagavan. Through the gradation of their respective qualities,

you can easily understand the truth regarding the supreme

object of worship.


ayam neta su-ramyangah sarva-sal-laksananvitah

ruciras tejasa yukto baliyan vayasanvitah


These are the qualities of Shri Krishna, the supreme hero. He

is: 1) endowed with delightfully charming bodily limbs; 2)

endowed with all auspicious characteristics; 3) beautiful;

4) radiant; 5) strong; and 6) eternally youthful;


vividhadbhuta-bhasa-vit satya-vakyah priyam-vadah

vavadukah su-pandityo buddhiman pratibhanvitah


7) conversant with many kinds of astonishing languages;

8) truthful; 9) a pleasing speaker; 10) eloquent; 11) intelligent;

12) learned; 13) resourceful;


vidagdhas caturo daksah krta-jnah su-drdha-vratah

desa-kala-supatra-jnah sastra-caksuh sucir vasi


14) expert in relishing mellows; 15) clever; 16) expert; 17)

grateful; 18) very firm in His vows; 19) an astute judge of

time, place and circumstance; 20) a seer through the eyes

of sastras; 21) pure; 22) self-controlled;


sthiro dantah ksama-silo gambhiro dhrtiman samah

vadanyo dharmikah surah karuno manya-mana-krt


23) steadfast; 24) forebearing; 25) forgiving; 26) inscrutable;

27) sober; 28) equipoised; 29) munificent; 30) virtuous;

31) chivalrous; 32) compassionate; 33) respectful to others;


daksino vinayi hriman saranagata-palakah

sukhi bhakta-suhrt prema-vasyah sarva-subhan-karah


34) amiable; (35) modest; 36) shy; 37) the protector of surrendered

souls; 38) happy; 39) the well-wisher of His bhaktas;

40) controlled by prema; 41) the benefactor of all;


pratapi kirtiman rakta-lokah sadhu-samasrayah

nari-gana-manohari sarvaradhyah samrddhiman


42) the tormentor of His enemies; 43) famous; 44) beloved

by all; 45) partial to the side of the sadhus; 46) the enchanter

of women's minds; 47) all-worshipable; 48) all-opulent;


variyan isvaras ceti gunas tasyanukirtitah

samudra iva pancasad durvigaha harer ami


49) superior to all; and 50) the controller. These fifty qualities

are present in Bhagavan Shri Hari to an unlimited degree

like the unfathomable ocean.


They are present to a minute degree in the jivas, whereas

they are fully represented in Purusottama Bhagavan. Another

five of Krishna's qualities are present in Brahma, Siva

and other devatas, but not in ordinary jivas:


sada svarupa-sampraptah sarva-jno nitya-nutanah

sac-cid-ananda-sandrangah sarva-siddhi-nisevitah


51) He is always situated in His svarupa; 52) He is omniscient;

53) He is ever-fresh and new; 54) He is the concentrated

form of existence, knowledge and bliss; and 55) He is served

by all mystic opulences.


These fifty-five qualities are partially present in the devatas.


athocyante gunah panca ye laksmisadi-vartinah

avicintya-maha-saktih koti-brahmanda-vigrahah

avataravali-bijam hatari-gati-dayakah

atmarama-ganakarsity ami krsne kiladbhutah


Laksmipati Narayana has an additional five qualities: 56) He

possesses inconceivable potencies; 57) innumerable universes

are situated within His body; 58) He is the original

cause or seed of all avataras; 59) He awards gati (a higher destination)

to those whom He kills; and 60) He can attract even

those who are atmarama (satisfied within the self).


These additional five qualities are not present in Brahma or

Siva, but they are wonderfully present in Shri Krishna in their most

complete form. Besides these sixty qualities, Shri Krishna Himself has

four extra qualities, namely:





asamanorddhva-rupa-shrih vismapita-caracarah


61) He is like a vast ocean teeming with waves of the most

astonishing and wonderful lilas; 62) He is adorned with incomparable

madhurya-prema, and thus is auspiciousness

personified for His beloved bhaktas, who also have unparalleled

prema for Him; 63) He attracts the three worlds with

the marvelous vibration of His murali (flute); and 64) the

resplendent rupa (beauty) of His transcendental form is unparalleled,

charming and astonishing to all moving and

non-moving entities in the three worlds.


lila premna priyadhikyam madhurye venu-rupayoh

ity asadharanam proktam govindasya catustayam


Shri Krishna's sixty-four qualities and symptoms have been described,

including lila-madhuri, prema-madhuri, venu

madhuri and rupa-madhuri. These are four extraordinary

qualities that He alone possesses.


These sixty-four qualities are fully and eternally manifest in Shri

Krishna, who is the embodiment of sac-cid-ananda. The last four

qualities are present only in Shri Krishna's svarupa, and not in any of

His other pastime forms. Apart from these four qualities, the remaining

sixty qualities are brilliantly situated in their complete

and fully conscious state in Shri Narayana, who is the embodiment

of Transcendence. Setting aside the last five of these sixty qualities,

the remaining fifty-five are present to some extent in Siva,

Brahma and other devatas, and the first fifty qualities are present

to a very limited degree in all jivas.


The devatas such as Siva, Brahma, Surya, Ganesa and Indra, are

endowed with Bhagavan's partial qualities in order to run the affairs

of the material universe. They have received a special measure

of Bhagavan's opulences to do this, so they are considered

one type of special incarnation. The inherent and constitutional

nature of all these devatas is that they are Bhagavan's servants,

and many jivas have obtained bhagavad-bhakti through their mercy.

Since they are so much more qualified than other jivas, they are

also considered to be among the worshipable deities of the jivas,

depending on the jivas' qualification and level of consciousness.

Performing their puja is therefore considered a secondary limb of

the rules and regulations of bhagavad-bhakti. They are always worshiped

as the gurus of the jivas, for they mercifully bestow upon

them one-pointed krishna-bhakti. Mahadeva, the Isvara of all the

devas, is so complete in bhagavad-bhakti that he is perceived as nondifferent

from bhagavat-tattva. This is the reason that the

Mayavadis worship him as the supreme brahma-tattva.