Panca-Tattva_b

pañca-tattva avatīrṇa caitanyera saṅge
pañca-tattva lañā karena saṅkīrtana raṅge[Cc. Ādi 7.4]

Translation: “These five tattvas incarnate with Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and thus the Lord executes His saṅkīrtana movement with great pleasure.”

śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda, śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda

As preachers of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we first offer our obeisances to Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu by chanting this Pañca-tattva mantra; then we say Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. There are ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra, but these are not considered in the chanting of the Pañca-tattva mantra, namely, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya prabhu-nityānanda śrī-advaita gadādhara śrīvāsādi-gaura-bhakta-vṛnda.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is known as mahā-vadānyāvatāra, the most magnanimous incarnation, for He does not consider the offenses of the fallen souls. Thus to derive the full benefit of the chanting of the mahā-mantra (Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare), we must first take shelter of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, learn the Pañca-tattva mahā-mantra, and then chant the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra. That will be very effective.

Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu is the immediate expansion of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu as His brother. He is the personified spiritual bliss of sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. His body is transcendental and full of ecstasy in devotional service. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is therefore called bhakta-rūpa (the form of a devotee), and Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu is called bhakta-svarūpa (the expansion of a devotee). Śrī Advaita Prabhu, the incarnation of a devotee, is viṣṇu-tattva and belongs to the same category.

Although Kṛṣṇa is the reservoir of all pleasure, He has a special intention to taste Himself by accepting the form of a devotee. It is to be concluded that although Lord Caitanya is present in the form of a devotee, He is Kṛṣṇa Himself. Therefore Vaiṣṇavas sing, śrī-kṛṣṇa-caitanya rādhā-kṛṣṇa nahe anya: Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa combined together are Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu and Śrī Advaita Gosāñi Prabhu are natural gosvāmīs because They belong to the viṣṇu-tattva category. As such, all of Them are prabhus (“predominators” or “masters”), and They are sometimes called Caitanya Gosāñi, Nityānanda Gosāñi and Advaita Gosāñi.

In his Anubhāṣya, Śrī Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura, describing the truth about the Pañca-tattva, explains that we can understand that Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the supreme predominator and that Nityānanda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu are His subordinates but are also predominators. Lord Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the Supreme Lord, and Nityānanda Prabhu and Advaita Prabhu are manifestations of the Supreme Lord. All of Them are viṣṇu-tattva, the Supreme, and are therefore worshipable by the living entities. Although the other two tattvas within the category of Pañca-tattva-namely, śakti-tattva and jīva-tattva, represented by Gadādhara and Śrīvāsa-are worshipers of the Supreme Lord, they are in the same category because they eternally engage in the transcendental loving service of the Lord.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is called mahā-vadānyāvatāra because although He is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, He is even more favorably disposed to the poor fallen souls than Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself was personally present He demanded that everyone surrender unto Him and promised that He would then give one all protection, but when Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to this earth with His associates, He simply distributed transcendental love of God without discrimination. Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī, therefore, could understand that Lord Caitanya was none other than Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, for no one but the Supreme Personality of Godhead can distribute confidential love of the Supreme Person.

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always accompanied by His plenary expansion Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, His incarnation Śrī Advaita Prabhu, His internal potency Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu and His marginal potency Śrīvāsa Prabhu. He is in the midst of them as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One should know that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu is always accompanied by these other tattvas. They are always engaged in chanting the name of the Lord and are always describing Lord Kṛṣṇa.

In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verses 147 through 153, it is stated: “The pleasure potency of Śrī Kṛṣṇa formerly known as Vṛndāvaneśvarī is now personified in the form of Śrī Gadādhara Paṇḍita in the pastimes of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu.” Śrī Svarūpa Dāmodara Gosvāmī has pointed out that in the shape of Lakṣmī, the pleasure potency of Kṛṣṇa, she was formerly very dear to the Lord as Śyāmasundara-vallabhā. The same Śyāmasundara-vallabhā is now present as Gadādhara Paṇḍita.

Gadādhara dāsa is this dyuti, or luster. In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā he is described to be the expansion potency of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. He counts among the associates of both Śrīla Gaurahari and Nityānanda Prabhu; as a devotee of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu he was one of the associates of Lord Kṛṣṇa in conjugal love, and as a devotee of Lord Nityānanda he is considered to have been one of the friends of Kṛṣṇa in pure devotional service. Even though he was an associate of Lord Nityānanda Prabhu, he was not among the cowherd boys but was situated in the transcendental mellow of conjugal love. He established a temple of Śrī Gaurasundara in Katwa.

Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa is considered to be a united form of Candrakānti, who is the effulgence of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, and Pūrṇānandā, who is the foremost of Lord Balarāma’s very dear girlfriends. Thus Śrīla Gadādhara dāsa Prabhu was one of the associates of both Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda Prabhu.
In the Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā, verse 90, Śrīvāsa Paṇḍita (Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura) is described as an incarnation of Nārada Muni, and Śrī Rāma Paṇḍita, his younger brother, is said to be an incarnation of Parvata Muni, a great friend of Nārada’s.

Advaita Ācārya was a contemporary of Lord Caitanya’s father. He felt sorry for the condition of the world because even after Lord Kṛṣṇa’s appearance, no one had interest in devotional service to Kṛṣṇa. This forgetfulness was so overwhelming that Advaita Prabhu was convinced that no one but Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself could enlighten people about devotional service to the Supreme Lord. Therefore Advaita requested Lord Kṛṣṇa to appear as Lord Caitanya. Offering tulasī leaves and Ganges water, He cried for the Lord’s appearance. The Lord, being satisfied by His pure devotees, descends to satisfy them. As such, being pleased by Advaita Ācārya, Lord Caitanya appeared.

Advaita Prabhu is nondifferent from the Lord, yet in His relationship with the Lord He does not merge in Him but eternally renders service unto Him as a plenary portion. This is inconceivable for Māyāvādīs because they think in terms of mundane sense perception and therefore think that nondualism necessitates losing one’s separate identity. It is clear from this verse, however, that Advaita Prabhu, although retaining His separate identity, is nondifferent from the Lord.

Lord Caitanya always offered respects to Advaita Prabhu as He would to His father because Advaita was even older than His father; yet Advaita Prabhu always considered Himself a servant of Lord Caitanya. Śrī Advaita Prabhu and Īśvara Purī, Lord Caitanya’s spiritual master, were both disciples of Mādhavendra Purī, who was also the spiritual master of Nityānanda Prabhu. Thus Advaita Prabhu, as Lord Caitanya’s spiritual uncle, was always to be respected because one should respect one’s spiritual master’s Godbrothers as one respects one’s spiritual master. Because of all these considerations, Śrī Advaita Prabhu was superior to Lord Caitanya, yet Advaita Prabhu considered Himself Lord Caitanya’s subordinate.
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