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quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012


The Sruti on the Subject of Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

eko vasi sarvabhutamtaratma
ekam rupam bahudha yah karoti
tam atmastham ye' nupasyanti dhiras-
tesam sukham sasvatam netaresam

            Although His form is one, the Supersoul, who is the indwelling witness
and controller of all living beings, is manifest in innumerable ways. The wise
who can see that Supreme Soul within his heart becomes peaceful and enjoys
transcendental bliss. (Katha Upanisad 2.2.12)

Srimad Bhagavatam on Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

rte 'rtham yat pratiyeta na pratiyeta catmani
tad vidyad atmano mayam yathabhaso yatha tamah

            O Brahma, whatever appears to be of any value, if it has no relation to Me,
has no reality. It is My illusory energy that reflection which appears to be in
darkness. (Bhag. 2.9.34)

yatha mahanti bhutani bhutesuccavacesv anu
pravistany apravistani tatha tesu na tesv aham

            O Brahma, please know that the universal elements enter into the cosmos
and at the same time do not enter into the comos; similarly, I Myself also exist
within everything created, and at the same time I am outside of everything.
(Bhag. 2.9.35)

yatra yena yato yasya yasmai yad yad yatha yada
syad idam bhagavan saksat pradhana-purusesvarah
            You are the substratum, the agent, and the instrument of the universe.
You are its source and its object or purpose. Whenever or whatever form it
assumes is You. As the universe evolves, all the causes thereof, including time
and manner, are You, the Almighty Lord, the controller of both prakrti (the
enjoyed) and purusa (the enjoyer) and who transcends them both.
(Bhag. 10.85.4)

Smrti on Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

maya tatam idam sarvam jagad avyakta-murtina
mat-sthani sarva-bhutani na caham tesv avasthitah

            In My unmanifest form I pervade this entire universe. All beings are in
Me, but I am not in them. (Bhagavad-gita 9.4)

na ca mat-sthani bhutani pasya me yogam aisvaram
bhuta-bhrn na ca bhuta-stho mamatma bhuta-bhavanah

            And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic
opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am
everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation; for I am the very
source of creation. (Bhagavad-gita 9.5)

Srila Jiva Gosvami on Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

ekam eva tat parama-tattvam svabhavikacintya-saktya sarvadaiva svarupa-
tad-rupa-vaibhava-jiva-pradhana-rupena caturdhavatisthate
suryantarmandalastha-teja iva mandala
durghata-ghata-katvam hyacintyatvam

            The Absolute Truth is one. His natural characteristic is that He has incon-
ceivable potency. His inconceivable potencies are reposed in four different
stages: His personal form (svarupa), the expansions of His divine form (tad-
rupa-vaibhava), the jivas, and the material ingredients (pradhana). With re-
gard to the sun, there is the sungod, the internal power of the sun, and that
power when it is expanded as the external rays of the sun. Then there is the
shadow of the sun, that is to say, the sun's reflection which is in darkness, far
from the sun's influence. This illustration is used as an example. The point of
the example is that in the same way as the sun appears in this fourfold manifes-
tation (the sungod, its internal power, its external rays, and its shadow), there is
one eternal Supreme Truth (the Lord) whose form is eternal, but who is pos-
sessed of different potencies: svarupa-sakti, jiva-sakti, and maya-sakti.
            There seems to be a contradiction in this matter between the Lord being
one eternal Absolute Truth and His simultaneously possessing inconceivable
potency. How is it possible to understand such a contradiction? To that it is
said acintya means beyond the jiva's capacity to understand. An event which is
extremely rare or unlikely, even physically impossible, is inconceivable. For
the Supreme Lord, however, nothing is impossible for He has inconceivable
power. [Therefore the Lord's oneness with (and distinction from) His energy is
said to be inconceivable acintya-bhedabheda-vada.]
(Bhagavata-sandarbha 16)

Note: Srila Prabhupada paraphrased this section of Jiva Gosvami's
Bhagavata-sandarbha as follows:
Srila Jiva Gosvami states in Bhagavata-Sandarbha (16) That by His po-
tencies, which act in natural sequences beyond the scope of the specula-
tive human mind, the Supreme Transcendence, the summum bonum, eter-
nally and simultaneously exists in four transcendental features: His per-
sonality, His impersonal effulgence, His potential parts and parcels (the
living beings), and the principal cause of all causes. The Supreme Whole
is compared to the sun, which also exists in four features, namely the
personality of the sun-god, the glare of his glowing sphere, the sun-rays
inside the sun planet, and the sun's reflections in many other objects. The
ambition to corroborate the existence of the transcendental Absolute Truth
by limited conjectural endeavors cannot be fulfilled, because He is be-
yond the scope of our limited speculative minds. In an honest search for
truth we must admit that His powers are inconceivable to our tiny brains.
The exploration of space has demanded the work of the greatest scientists
of the world, yet there are countless problems regarding even fundamen-
tal knowledge of the material creation that bewilder such scientists. Such
material knowledge is far removed from the spiritual nature, and there-
fore the acts and arrangements of the Absolute Truth, are, beyond all
doubts, inconceivable.

apare tu "tarko-pratisthanat" bhede' pya-bhede' pi
nirmaryada-dosa-santati-darsanena bhinnataya
cintaryitumasakayatvadabhedah sadhyantah
tad-vad-abhinnatayapi cintayiuamasakyatvadbhedamapi sadhayanto'
cintyabhedabhedavada svikurvanti.
tatra badara-pauranika-saivanam mate bhedabhedau bhaskaramate ca.
mayavadinam tatra bhedamso vyavaharika eva pratitiko va.
gautama-kanada-jaimini-kapila-patanjalimate tu bheda eva.
sri ramanuja-madhvacaryamate cetyapi sarvatriki prasiddhih.
svamate tvacintyabhedabhedaveva acintyasaktimayatvaditi

            Other sampradayas of Vedantists admit that boundless essays, disserta-
tions, and theses can never be established as truth through any amount of argu-
ment. Still, they think that the principle of oneness and difference existing to-
gether in the same place transgresses the boundaries of reality. They take it
that this is a symptom of the fault of neglecting the nature of universality that
is, that if difference is true, then it must be true universally, and if oneness is
true then it must be true universally. Following this faulty logic they therefore
think that these two difference and non-difference cannot independently co-
exist. There cannot be both duality and oneness, they reason; one of these
doctrines must have supremacy over the other. Those who think it is one, find
that their attempts to practice the doctrine of oneness are impossible. In the
same way, those who attempt to practice a doctrine of absolute difference will
find their position untenable. In this way, both the practitioners of absolute
oneness and the practitioners of absolute duality will be unable to realize their
philosophy. Therefore, in light of the difficulties of trying to realize oneness
without distinction or distinction without oneness, the principle of acintya-
bhedabheda-vada, or inconceivable, simultaneous oneness and distinction, has
been accepted as the highest harmonizing principle.
            The true opinion of the sage Badasa and the Puranas is bhedabheda-vada,
oneness and difference. Even the followers of Siva sometimes accept this. For
example, the commentator Bhaskara accepts bhedabheda-vada in the idea that
there is a difference between the articles offered to the Deity and the Deity
Himself. In the opinion of the mayavadis, the branches of difference are merely
vyavaharika, mundane or apparent. Gautama, Kanada, Jaimini, Kapila, and
Patanjali admit the existence of distinction. In the opinions of Ramanuja and
Madhva's this principle reaches a higher level of perfection. Ramanuja's
visistadvaita philosophy supports difference and nondifference, and Madhva's
suddha-dvaita philosophy supports the principle of difference. The Supreme
Lord has inconceivable potency; and He supports the conclusion of acintya-
bhedabheda-vada. This is our conclusion. (Paramatma-Sandarbha, Sarva-
samvadini-tika, Jiva Gosvami)

The Brahma-sutras Support the View of Sakti-parinamavada

vyasera sutrete kahe 'parinama'-vada
'vyasa bhranta' bali' tara uthaila vivada
parinama-vade isvara hayena vikari
eta kahi' 'vivarta'-vada sthapana ye kari
vastutah parinama-vada sei se pramana
dehe atma-buddhi ei vivartera sthana
avicintya-sakti-yukta sri-bhagavan
icchaya jagad-rupe paya parinama
tathapi acintya-saktye haya avikari
prakrta cintamani tahe drstanta ye dhari
nana ratna-rasi haya cintamani haite
tathapiha mani rahe svarupe avikrte
prakrta-vastute yadi acintya-sakti haya
isvarera acintya-sakti, ithe ki vismaya

            In Vedanta-Sutra, Srila Vyasadeva has described that everything is but a
transformation of the energy of the Lord. Sankaracarya has misled the world,
however, by claiming that Vyasadeva was mistaken. Thus he has raised great
opposition to theism throughout the world. According to Sankaracarya, by
accepting the theory of the transformation of the energy of the Lord, one cre-
ates an illusion by indirectly accepting that the Absolute Truth is transformed.
Transformation of energy is a proven fact. It is the false bodily conception of
the self that is an illusion. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is opulent in
all respects. By His inconceivable energies, therefore, He has transformed the
material cosmic manifestation. Using the example of a touchstone, which by its
energy turns iron to gold and yet remains the same, we can understand that
although the Supreme Personality of Godhead transforms His innumerable
energies, He remains unchanged. Although a touchstone produces many vari-
eties of valuable jewels, it nevertheless remains the same. It does not change its
original form. If there is such inconceivable potency in material objects, why
should we not believe in the inconceivable potency of the Supreme Personality
of Godhead? (Cc. Adi 7.121-127)

The Meaning of Parinama-vada and Vivarta-vada

satattvato' nyatha pratha vikara ityudiritah
atattvato' nyatha pratha vikarta ityudahrtah

            When a real substance takes another form it is called vikara, or transfor-
mation. An example of this is the transformation of milk into yogurt. When
something is mistaken for something else it is called vivarta, or illusion, like
when a rope is taken as a snake. (Sadananda Yogindra, Vedanta-sara 59)

Thus ends the Eleventh Jewel of Gaudiya Kanthahara, entitled Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva

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Guru Position Paper

Dear devotees,

Please accept our dandavat pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Gauranga.

Since the departure of our beloved Gurudeva, Nitya-lila pravista Om Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, the Sannyasa Council in consultation with the members of the Bhakti Trust International, senior math commanders and eminent preachers, has begun the process of developing and codifying the principles and aims of our sanga, known as the International Pure Bhakti Yoga Society. Sri Guru is always present in his instructions and within the hearts of sincere disciples. We pray fervently that Srila Gurudeva guide us in our humble attempts to fulfill his mano bhista. Our discussions thus far have resulted in two papers that are being presented for your consideration.

Our Society, as envisioned by Srila Gurudeva, has many responsibilities and yet has a distinctive inclination towards encouraging individual initiative and decision making on the local level. The institution or society has as its primary responsibility, the preservation and teaching of the eternal spiritual principles conveyed by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu through our guru-parampara . The form that our society takes and any guidelines and bylaws that we may adopt, are meant to follow and uphold those principles.

Thus you will see in the two papers that are presented, that there is little in the way of rules and regulations. The topic is mostly guru-tattva and how we are responding to the complexities of that issue now that there are multiple devotees taking on that role within the same society. The emphasis is to clarify our spiritual relationships and our mutual goals. The processes by which we achieve these may be adjusted according to time, place and circumstance, as long as the original principles remain fixed as our guiding beacon.

The first paper on guru-tattva was written to be presented at the Vraja-mandala Parikrama of 2011. There were some issues that had not yet been discussed by the international body of sannyasis and senior devotees. We waited for those meetings to be concluded so that a summary of those discussions could be given at the same time. These meetings addressed the practical application of the guru-tattva paper based on the experiences gained and input received from members of the world-wide sanga over the last 9 months. The second paper is a summary of the meetings held in Govardhana during the parikrama in November, 2011.

These papers will certainly stimulate discussion and responses from devotees around the world. That is a good thing. Please keep the discussions philosophical and respectful. The discussions may center around guru-tattva or they may explore other areas of personal and sanga development. This is a challenging and exciting time. Let your voices be heard.

Aspiring for the service of Hari, Guru and Vaisnavas,

Swami BV Vaikhanas