Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Twelve Great Personalities

When I used to study Sanskrit in my high school curriculum this interesting quotation was taught by our teacher but unfortunately only partially Mahajano Yen Gatah Sah Panthah

{ The way is the way on which greatest of personalities have walked!}

image: here Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Srimad Bhagavatam 6.3.20-21

svayambhur naradah sambhuh
kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
dvadasaite vijanimo
dharmam bhagavatam bhatah
guhyam visuddham durbodham
yam jnatvamrtam asnute

svayambhuh -- Lord Brahma; naradah -- the great saint Narada; sambhuh -- Lord Siva; kumarah -- the four Kumaras; kapilah -- Lord Kapila; manuh -- Svayambhuva Manu; prahladah -- Prahlada Maharaja; janakah -- Janaka Maharaja; bhismah -- Grandfather Bhisma; balih -- Bali Maharaja; vaiyasakih -- Sukadeva, the son of Vyasadeva; vayam -- we; dvadasa -- twelve; ete -- these; vijanimah -- know; dharmam -- real religious principles; bhagavatam -- which teach a person how to love the Supreme Personality of Godhead; bhatah -- O my dear servants; guhyam -- very confidential; visuddham -- transcendental, not contaminated by the material modes of nature; durbodham -- not easily understood; yam -- which; jnatva -- understanding; amrtam -- eternal life; asnute -- he enjoys.


Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti], Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja, Sukadeva Gosvami and I myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.


In Bhagavad-gita Lord Krsna refers to bhagavata-dharma as the most confidential religious principle (sarva-guhyatamam, guhyad guhyataram). Krsna says to Arjuna, "Because you are My very dear friend, I am explaining to you the most confidential religion." Sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja: [Bg. 18.66] "Give up all other duties and surrender unto Me." One may ask, "If this principle is very rarely understood, what is the use of it?" In answer, Yamaraja states herein that this religious principle is understandable if one follows the parampara system of Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras and the other standard authorities. There are four lines of disciplic succession: one from Lord Brahma, one from Lord Siva, one from Laksmi, the goddess of fortune, and one from the Kumaras. The disciplic succession from Lord Brahma is called the Brahma-sampradaya, the succession from Lord Siva (Sambhu) is called the Rudra-sampradaya, the one from the goddess of fortune, Laksmiji, is called the Sri-sampradaya, and the one from the Kumaras is called the Kumara-sampradaya. One must take shelter of one of these four sampradayas in order to understand the most confidential religious system. In the Padma Purana it is said, sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah: if one does not follow the four recognized disciplic successions, his mantra or initiation is useless. In the present day there are many apasampradayas, or sampradayas which are not bona fide, which have no link to authorities like Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, the Kumaras or Laksmi. People are misguided by such sampradayas. The sastras say that being initiated in such a sampradaya is a useless waste of time, for it will never enable one to understand the real religious principles.

Note: Please see my previous article on this subject

The Panchratra Supremacy

Panchratra is part of Agamas.

Studying Vedas, Upanishdas and Puranas and understanding them on your own is next to impossible.

Saints show the path on which true happiness is found. Greatest of saints have established Panchratras as most important of tradition.

Agamas are texts which have established importance of temples, idol-creation and chanting holy names.

Panchratras have a great influence on Hinduism along with Vedas.

Jiva Goswami had following to say about Panchratra(Taken from Wikipedia article):

Jiva Gosvami had stated in his Paramatma Sandarbha, forming part of six principal Sandarbhas, or philosophical treateses of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, that, "Seeing that the imperfect scriptures in the modes of passion and ignorance bring only a host of troubles, and also seeing that the original Vedas are very difficult to follow properly, and thus being very dissatisfied with both of these, the all-knowing scripture authors affirm the superiority of the Pancaratras, which describe the pure absolute truth, Narayana, and the worship of the Lord, which is very easy to perform." In the same Sandarbha Jiva Gosvami states[3] that god himself, Svayam Bhagavan, had spoken the Narada Pancaratra, which is accepted as a pramana by Gaudiya scholars.

Panchratra is made of two words 'Panch' and 'Ratra'. It literally means 'Five Nights.'

Panchratra reminds you of greatest of sages and devotees, especially Narada.

Vishnu worshipers of today, represented in a wide spectrum of traditions, generally follow the system of Pancaratra worship. The concept of Nada and Nada-Brahman appear already in Sattvata Samhita or Sattvata Tantra and in Jayakhya Samhita, two texts considered most canonical of Pancaratra texts.

Omkar is primordial sound(nada) which is enchanting and emanates from the flute of shri Krishna, Alternatively it's Rudra(as suggested in the Krishnopnishada).

Madhavacharya(Anand Tirtha) established very long ago that chanting holy names of Hari is only way for deliverance in the age of Kaliyuga. In a way, he founded Gaudiya Vaishnavism, though it was Chaitanya Mahaprabhu who stressed most on chanting Hare Krishna mahamantra on the basis of Kalisantarini upanishada. Srila Prabhupada popularized it amongst westerners. 

Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's teachings are in perfect alignment with Panchratra texts.

Bramha-Samhita is a most important Panchratra text.

Ramanujacharya also established supremecy of Panchratra texts.

Thus Madhvacharya, Ramanujacharya and Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, three greatest of scholars and devotees and most brilliant crown jewels amongst learned established supremecy of Panchratra texts in the age of Kali.