Sri Krishna-Chaitanya

by Nisikanta Sanyal | 1933 | 274,022 words | ISBN-10: 818919500X

The present work is an attempt to offer a theistic account in the English language of the career and teachings of Sri Chaitanya (representing the Absolute Truth in His full manifestation). Sri Chaitanya came into this world to make all people understand that in reference to their eternal existence they should have nothing to do with non-Godhead. A...

Chapter 8 - Founder-Acharyas (b): Sri Nimbaditya

Sri Nimbaditya is the propounder of bifurcial monism (dvaitadvaitada). Sri Nimbarkaditya appeared in the town of Baidurya-pattan (mod. ‘Mungerpattan’ or ‘Mungi-pattan’) in the Telugu country. He is known variously as ‘Nimbaditya,’ ‘Nimbarka,’ or ‘Nimbabibhavasu’ and sometimes also as ‘Aruneya,’ ‘Niyamanada,’ and ‘Haripriyacharya,’. His followers are known as Nimayets and are different from the ‘Nimanandis’ who profess to be followers of Sri Chaitanyadeva under His appellation of Nimananda.

Sri Nimbaditya was an ascetic of the triple staff (tridandi sannyasin); the line of his preceptorial succession being,

  1. Sri Narayana,
  2. Hamsa,
  3. the Chatuhsanas, viz., Sanaka, etc. and
  4. Nimbadityacharya.

Sri Nimbaditya's commentary of the Bhasya known as the ‘Vedanta parijata-saurabha’ and there are also several other works written by him.

The system of Nimbarka holds the ‘heard transcendental sound’ (sruti) as the highest natural evidence of the Truth, and also accepts the testimony of other Shastras when they follow heard sound (sruti). The source of Nimbaditya’s teaching is the instruction imparted by the four Sanas to Sri Narada Goswami in the seventh prapathaka of the Chandogyopanishad, which may be summed up as follows, viz., ‘that the Puranas are the fifth Veda; Vishnu is the Lord of all, devotion to Godhead in the forms of firm faith (sraddha) and close addiction (nishtha) is glorified; there is nothing equal or superior to the love for Godhead; the eternal Abode of Godhead is praised; Godhead is independent of any other thing;the perfectly emancipated are the eternal servitors of Godhead and are engaged in eternal pastimes in the region of self-conscious activities in the company of Godhead; Godhead has power of appearance to and disappearance from our view;the Vaishnavas are eternal and transcendental; the grace of Godhead is glorified, etc., etc.’

According to Sri Nimbaditya the individual (jiva) soul and the Supreme Soul are related to each other as integral part and Whole. The soul (jiva) is different from Godhead, but not separate. The soul (jiva) is both knowledge and knower, like the Sun which is self-luminous and also makes visible other objects. As an infinitesimal particle of consciousness the soul (jiva) is subordinate to Godhead Who is plenary consciousness. The souls (jivas) are infinite in number. By reason of his smallness he is liable to association with and dissociation from bodies made by the deluding energy of Godhead (maya). In the bound state the soul (jiva) is imprisoned in the gross and subtle physical bodies; in the free state he is dissociated from them.

Souls (jivas) are of three distinct kinds, viz., those that are

  1. free,
  2. bound yet free, and
  3. bound.

There are various gradations of each one of these. The soul (jiva) is freed from the bondage of the deluding energy (maya) by the grace of Godhead, there being no other way.

The inanimate objects are two, viz.,

  1. time, and
  2. deluding energy (maya).

Time is either transcendental or material. The former is self-conscious and eternal, i.e., undivided into past, present and future. The deluding energy (maya) is the perversion of the self-conscious (chit), or the shadow of the latter, and possesses the qualities of the shadow. Divinity is free from defect. The real nature of Godhead is full of infinite beneficience. Godhead as Krishna is the highest Brahman. Krishna is the source of all beauty and sweetness. Attended by His Own Power, the Daughter of Brishabhanu, constantly served by thousands of intimate female friends (sakhis) who are the extended self of the Daughter of Brishabhanu, Krishna is the Object of the eternal worship of the individual soul (jiva). He has an eternal and transcendental bodily Form. He is formless to the material vision but possessed of form to the spiritual eye. He is independent, all-powerful, Lord of all, possessed of inconceivable power and eternally worshipped by the gods such as Brahma, Siva, etc.

Worship is of two kinds, viz.,

  1. tentative devotion during novitiate, and
  2. the highest devotion characterized by love.

The latter is aroused by the practice of nine kinds of devotion as means, consisting of hearing, chanting, etc.

The Nimbarka community is not mentioned in his works by Sri Jiva Gowami. He is also unnoticed in the Sarbadarsanasamgraha of Sayana Madhava. From which it is supposed that the current views of the present Nimbarka community were not extensively known till after the time of the author of Sarbadarsansamgraha, or even of the six Goswamins. There is, however, no doubt whatever that Sri Nimbaditya is a very ancient Acharya and the founder of the satvata dvaitadvaita sampradaya.

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