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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

 

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Sri Guru Nityananda Prabhu
and His Divine Mercy Manifestations

Lord Nityananda



His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura
Srila Prabhupada


In this essay His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Srila Prabhupada unveils the mystery surrounding Lord Nityananda’s true position as Sri Guru. Even though Sri Nityananda Prabhu is the source of the power of Sri Guru He remains elusive from the intellects of empiric thinkers and devotees alike, who have not been blessed by the dear most associates of Sri Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Caitanya MahaprabhuIt is all important to understand the relationship of the individual soul to Lord Nityananda who is worshipped along with Shree Chaitanya by the community of the Madhva-Gaudiya Vaishnavas. The teachings of Lord Chaitanya have been recorded in the vernacular by some of the greatest of His followers. This has produced two kinds of delusion. The orthodox pandits, specially those who are not thoroughly versed in all branches of the Scriptures and are, therefore, disposed to favor a narrow interpretation of the texts, are sometimes inclined to take the view that the vernacular works do not rank as revealed literature. On the other hand there are persons who have no knowledge of the Sanskrit language and who are not, therefore, in a position to study the Scriptures in that language, who have sometimes been led to suppose that the religion taught by Shree Chaitanya is different from the religion that is to be found in the Sanskrit works.

As a matter of fact there is no text which declares that the process of revelation can be closed. Neither is there any text which considers that the Sanskrit language is the only medium of all revelation. The linguistic view of the Scriptures is denounced in no uncertain terms by the Scriptures themselves. Access to the real meaning of the Scriptures is not furnished by the language but by the spiritual preceptor, Shree Guru. It is the highest order of devotees who can make us understand the real meaning of the Scriptures. They can do so with or without the help of any language, or any other form of instrument, of this world. The process of enlightenment by the Sad-Guru is spiritual, its nature or method cannot be understood except by his grace. This applies as much to the Sanskrit works as to the vernacular compositions. In neither case a person can do without the help and guidance of the Sad-Guru.

Shree Nityananda Prabhu is the source of the power of the Sad-Guru. He is the servant of Shree Chaitanya. He is the Divinity Himself in the form of His servant. It is through Him that the Supreme Lord manifests Himself to the souls of men. There cannot be any direct revelation of the Nature of the Supreme Lord to the spiritual consciousness of the individual soul. The individual soul is too small to be able to comprehend the Nature of the Divinity. He has to be helped by Godhead Himself in order to be enabled to understand the Divine Nature. This function of the Divinity is performed by Lord Nityananda and is known as the power of the Sad-Guru. Nityananda Prabhu serves Shree Gaursundar in the same way that Shree Balaram serves Shree Krishna. Both of Them are one and the same Person. Their functions are also identical. They are concerned with the task of reclaiming disloyal souls and preventing them from access to the Supreme Lord till they agree to give up their attitude of opposition to Krishna. The relation of Shree Nityananda Prabhu to the conditioned soul is that of the Saviour. But no person can be safe if he does not accept the chastening process laid down by the Scriptures as the method of reclamation for all offending souls. Shree Nityananda Prabhu makes this process available to all offending souls. He does not replace or alter the Scriptures by any contrary dispensation.

There is a widely prevalent error that the regulations of the Scriptures need to be followed by those who place themselves under the protection of the Sad-Guru. This error has its origin in the fact that it is not possible for the conditioned soul to understand either the ways of the Sad-Guru or the regulations of the Scriptures are properly followed only by obeying the Sad-Guru unconditionally. But there is this real difference between the two that whereas it is possible and practicable for the conditioned soul to obey the Sad-Guru, it is neither possible nor practicable for him to follow the Scriptures without the guiding help of the Sad-Guru.

There is something more. One cannot also neglect the voice of the reason that is within himself. If this voice is listened to with due care it will also be found to be identical with the advise of the Sad-Guru. But the voice of reason is powerless by itself to discover the real meaning of the Scriptures. Reason has no access to the substantive Truth. Its function is inferior and auxiliary to those of the Sad-Guru and the Scriptures. When by the grace of the Sad-Guru one is enabled to obtain access to the Truth he finds that the Sad-Guru, the Scriptures and pure reason point equally and exclusively to the Truth.

The reason of the conditioned soul cannot be saved from the state of unavoidable ignorance by its own exertion. If it tries to do so it only makes its position worse by its blundering attempts. This is the plight of the consistent empiricist. There is a function for the reason in the quest after the Truth. But that function is of a secondary nature. It can confirm the propriety of the regulations of the Scriptures after their true meaning is found out by the mercy of the Sad-Guru. If it does not observe these wholesome and rational limits to its operation it is bound to go astray. Such abuse of the faculty of reason need not be misnamed as freedom of individual judgment.

There is no loss of freedom in recognizing the real existence of the Source of all enlightenment. There is both unity as well as harmony in the Source of all cognitive activity. It is, of course, perfectly inconceivable to the un-enlightened reason that it is at all possible for it to approach, by any reasonable method, the Source of all cognition. But it need not, therefore, postulate by any inconclusive assumption the impossibility or un-desirability of approaching the Source by the method of natural and unconditional submission. Shree Nityananda Prabhu made his appearance in this world as the precursor of the Supreme Lord Shree Krishna Chaitanya. Lord Nityananda was commissioned subsequently by Shree Chaitanyadeva to preach the Holy Name of Krishna at the doors of all persons without exception. This shows that the Power which is wielded by Lord Nityananda belongs really to the Supreme Lord Himself. There is thus no distinction between the Power of the Supreme Lord and that of Lord Nityananda or that of the Sad-Guru whose power is identical with that of Lord Nityananda. But it also proves that there is such a thing as the real delegation of specific function of the Supreme Lord to appropriate agents. Shree Krishna Chaitanya is no doubt the Supreme Teacher of all persons. But Lord Nityananda exercises this function on behalf of the Supreme Lord. He exercised it even when the Supreme Lord Himself appeared in this world.

Shree Krishna Chaitanya is the Supreme Teacher of the World by His own example. This is also the specific nature of the function of the Sad-Guru. Shree Krishna is also the Supreme Teacher. But he does not teach by His own example. Shree Krishna Chaitanya is identical with Shree Krishna. He is, therefore, also the Master. But He chooses to conduct Himself as His Servant. Lord Nityananda performs the external part of this function of the Supreme Lord. He is the connecting link between the external world and Shree Chaitanya. There is also an inner world in which Lord Nityananda has a function which is different from His function concerning the external world. A conditioned soul has no access to the inner world but may have direct connection with Lord Nityananda or with the Sad-Guru who is identical with Nityananda. The service of Shree Gaursundar is identical with the service of Shree Krishna because Shree Chaitanya is identical with Shree Krishna. But the Activity of Shree Chaitanya is different from that of Shree Krishna. There is for this reason a corresponding difference in the methods of their respective services. Shree Gaursundar is to be served as the Supreme Teacher Who teaches by His own example. He is at the same time the Supreme Lord Himself. These two principles require to be combined in the service of Shree Gaursundar. The service of Shree Gaursundar alone can in this Iron Age enable the conditioned soul to attain to the service of Shree Krishna.

But Shree Gaursundar can be truly served only by the method of serving Lord Nityananda. Lord Nityananda is also Divine Functionary. But He is more merciful than even Shree Gaursundar Himself, because he is accessible to all conditioned souls even of this Iron Age. For this reason it is also much more difficult to understand the real nature of Lord Nityananda. He has been accordingly widely misunderstood by both contem-poraries and succeeding generations. There is no other road to Vaikuntha, the Holy Abode of Lord Nityananda, than a sincere heart. It is possible to get rid of mistakes to which a sincere nature is liable. But when the muddled intellect is allowed to mislead the heart by its casuistries the plight of the offending soul is rendered very much worse. Such is the condition of most persons, and especially of the Pundits, in this Iron Age. It was, therefore, necessary for Lord Nityananda Himself to come down into this world for the deliverance of the sophists and Pharisees of this quarrelsome Age by exploding their long-spun nostrums, for good.


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