Disappearance of Syamananda Prabhu

Gauravani Dasa - June 23, 2005 4:49 pm

Volume II, No. 31: Q&A: 'Preaching, highest rasa, and Bhaktivinoda parivara'


Q. You stated in a recent Sanga that the jiva was not previously in the spiritual world. You also stated that the tatastha-sakti originates in Maha-Visnu. I have been looking for references on the origin of tatastha-sakti. Could you provide a tip for further research?


A. Caitanya Caritamrita Adi lila 5.45 states jiva-nama tatasthakhya eka sakti haya

maha-sankarsana--saba jivera asraya


"There is one marginal potency, known as the jiva. Maha-sankarsana is the shelter of all jivas." This is mentioned in reference to the manifestation of the material world, which is just one of the glories of Sankarsana. This Sankarsana is the source of the purusa, Maha Visnu, who directly manifests the world along with the jivas. You can also read about this in Jaiva Dharma. See the chapter entitled "Deliberation on the locus standi of the Jiva." Q. Is our siddha-deha predestined, or is it a matter of which sadhana one chooses to follow? The Caitanya Caritamrta (M.22.107) states that "Pure love for Krsna is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source." This seems to support the idea that our siddha-deha is already within us.


According to Bhaktivinoda Thakura and all of his followers, the svarupa of the jiva is both inherent within the jiva and in need of sadhana for it to manifest. The svarupa is present in the jiva in the form of sat cit ananda anu, a particle of sat cit ananda. However, it cannot manifest without diksa, siksa and a corresponding sadhana. The verse you cited seems to support this idea.


However, outside of the succession of Bhaktivinoda Thakura, other Gaudiya Vaisnavas interpret the Goswami literature to say that the svarupa is not dormant in the jiva. They interpret the verse you cited to say that prema is eternally established (nitya siddha), but not in the jiva. It is not a product in time resulting from sadhana, and thus it is not something to attain, sadhya kabu naya. It appears in the heart of the jiva (karaye udaya) who engages in hearing and chanting (sravanadi) when the jiva experiences the ingress of suddha sattva (suddha citte). This group emphasizes Sridhara Swami's comment on the Visnu Purana cited by Jiva Goswami in Sat-sandarbha. Sridhara Swami says that the Lord is the shelter of the svarupa skati, and not the jiva.


Our line from Bhaktivinoda counters this by interpreting Sridhara Swami's words to mean that the entirety of the svarupa sakti is not within the jiva, but a particle of it is. Further practical evidence for the position of Bhaktivinoda Thakura can be drawn from the fact that sometimes, in spite of being initiated into a particular lineage, say of madhurya rati, a disciple develops sakhya bhava. We find an example of this in Jaiva Dharma, and the converse of it in the case of Syamananda prabhu.


Syamananda was initiated into the lineage of Gauridasa Pandita, the incarnation of Subala sakha in Gaura lila. His guru was Hridaya Caitanya, who was in sakhya rati, but Syamananada developed madhurya rati. The brother of Rupa Santana Goswamis is also an example. He was initiated into the Krsna diksa mantra, but he developed love for Rama.


In any case, if we are to know our svarupa, we need guidance and sadhana, and most of all we need suddha nama. Try to chant offenselessly, and you will know everything you need to know.


Volume VI, No. 7: Rasika Darsana


Q. We commonly hear that all the gurus in the line of Sri Rupa Goswami (the Gaudiya sampradaya) are in a type of conjugal love with Krsna known as manjari bhava. However some devotees point to the following prayer written by Srila Prabhupada as evidence that his spiritual identity in Krsna lila was that of a cowherd boy in sakhya bhava (friendly love). What are your thoughts on this?


"O my dear brother! Meeting you again I will experience great joy. Wandering about the pastures and fields, I will pass the entire day with you tending the cows. Joking with you and frolicking throughout so many forests of Vraja, I will roll upon the ground in spiritual ecstasy. When, oh when will that day be mine?" (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna)


A. Most of the gurus and siddhas in our sampradaya have an affinity for manjari bhava, but there are some exceptions. Siddhas such as Vamsidasa babaji and Srila Prabhupada's godbrother, Akincana Krsnadasa babaji are examples. The diksa guru of Syamananda dasa, Hrdaya Caitanya, was in sakhya rasa. Indeed, the Gaudiya sampradaya began when the dvadasa gopalas (twelve cowherd friends of Krsna) appeared with Nitai and Gaura and began initiating disciples. So there is no prohibition in the Gaudiya sampradaya against having a guru in sakhya rasa, and if you have a sat guru who is situated in sakhya rasa, it is not a problem.


On numerous occasions my Guru Maharaja expressed an affinity for sakhya rasa, and in my experience many of his disciples have an undeveloped but natural attraction for this spiritual sentiment. Pujyapada Sridhara Deva Goswami considered him to be in sakhya-rati. However, to harmonize the sentiments of some of his disciples, Srila Sridhara Maharaja also said it is possible that Srila Prabhupada veiled his sentiments for manjari bhava out of deference to Nityananda Prabhu, who empowered him to preach, and while under the influence of Nityananda Prabhu expressed sentiments for sakhya bhava. Such a possibility exists, although it seems unlikely because almost the entire Nityananda parivara openly express affinity for manjari bhava.


Volume II, No. 49: 'Blind following and the dynamics of spiritual life'


Q. If the followers of the pusthi marga are not ultimately in a paternal rasa, how can the worship of Bala Krsna help them in the development of their particular rasa?


A. It is true that most pusthi marga devotees worship Bala Krsna and appear to be attracted to vatsalya rasa. No harm. As one advances, his or her natural attraction manifests and this usually corresponds with the attraction of one's guru. If it is otherwise, an arrangement will be made from above as in the case of Syamananda.

Bhrigu - June 23, 2005 8:46 pm

I visited the sripat (holy residence) of Prabhu Rasikananda, Shyamananda Prabhu's main disciple some years ago. It is a small town called Gopiballabhpur, situated in Midnapur in South Bengal. It was a very special place, and it left a strong impression in my mind. They had this mantra they would sing during kirtana every evening:


jaya prabhu shyamananda, sri rasikananda

sri gopiballabhapur, sri radha-govinda!


(Radha-Govinda were the main Deities there). Very sweet!


In Vrindavana, Shyamananda Prabhu's samadhi is near the Sri Sri Radha-Shyamasundar temple established by himself, were his bhajana-cave can also be seen. The Sri-murtis are very beautifully dressed and decorated daily, and the in-charge, Sri Krishna-gopalananda Goswami, is a very friendly and enthusiastic devotee.