Philosophy II.

Intelligence - eight virtues
Jiva and his falldown
Knowledge (prama)
Fish & water


What is most worthy of pursuit? That which is always desirable in itself and never for the sake of something else. It is _happiness_: all the virtues serve the purpose of achieving happiness and not in contrary.

Aristotle's teleological theory: Everything in nature has a function, including the organ of the body. What about the complete person? His unique function is in reason - good man behaves according to reason.

St Augustine provided theological (deontological) basis for ethics: Goodness is based upon love for all things which is possible only if primary love is that for God.

Kant: Good will (response of a person's sense of duty to obey moral) leads to good action.

Stuart Mill's utilitarianistic ethics: criterion of what is good are the consequences of behavior (achieving happiness and avoidance of pain).

Nietzsche's and Sartre's existentialist view: No objective rules of good and evil, there should be a balance in passionate and rational element.


Activity of the soul in harmony with perfect virtue; virtue is intellectual (vidya) which is gained by education, and moral (vinaya) which comes from habit developed by practice (not automatically). Cannot be anchored in "man/country is the measure" approach (relativism): natural question comes "_which_ man/country"? (many centers vs. one center, God)

Intelligence - eight virtues

(Kamandak Nitisar, a dharma sastra)

1) Inclination to hear what others say (!) 2) Actually hearing what others say (!!) 3) The capacity to grasp the meaning of what others say 4) Retentiveness 5) Insight into the meaning of what others say 6) Reasoning in favor of a proposition 7) Reasoning against a proposition 8) Wisdom

Jiva and his falldown

In the second chapter of his book "Brahmana and Vaisnava" entitled Harijana-khanda (page 86 in ISKCON edition from 1999), Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura states:

"Who are the Harijanas, or Vaisnavas, and what makes them different from the nondevotees? I am quoting various evidence from the scriptures and sentiments of devotees in this Hari-jana-khanda to answer these questions.

"Before acquiring material designations, the living entity is supremely pure. EVEN THOUGH HE IS NOT ENGAGED IN SERVING THE SUPREME LORD [emphasis mine], he remains situated in the neutral position of santa-rasa due to his marginal nature. Though the living entity born from the marginal potency does not at that time exhibit a taste for serving the Lord due to a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF SELF REALIZATION, his direct propensity of serving the Supreme Lord nevertheless remains within him in a dormant state. Though the indirect propensity of material enjoyment, which is contrary to the service of the Lord, is not found in him at that time, indifference to the service of Hari and the seed of material enjoyment, which follows that state of indifference, are nevertheless present within him.

"The living entity, who belongs to the marginal potency, cannot remain indifferent forever by subduing both devotional and nondevotional propensities. He therefore contemplates unconstitutional activities from his marginal position. As a sleeping person dreams that he is active in the physical world without actually being involved in activities, when the dormant indifferent living entity of the marginal potency exhibits even a little apathy to the service of the Supreme Lord and situates himself in a neutral, unchanging condition for even a little time, he is infected by impersonalism. That is why the conditioned soul desires to merge in the impersonal Brahman, thus exhibiting his mind's fickle nature. But due to neglecting the eternal service of the Lord and thereby developing the quality of aversion to the Lord, he cannot remain fixed in that position. In this way aversion to the Lord breaks his concentration of mind and establishes him as the master of this world of enjoyment.

"Maya, the external energy of the Supreme Lord, then induces the marginal living entity to enjoy this world through her covering and throwing potencies and thus shows the living entity the reality of being averse to the Lord's service.

"At that time the living entity considers himself the king of enjoyers, and being situated in the mode passion he takes the position of Brahma and creates progeny. The living entities who are born from Brahma, the grandfather of everyone, expand themselves in families of Aryans and brahmanas. In this world of duality, however, living entities who are covered and thrown under the control of the external energy naturally become envious. This enviousness further creates pride, illusion, greed, anger, and lust and induces the living entities to dance frantically in aversion to the Lord. At that time they forget both that they were born from Grandfather Brahma and the Lord's instructions in the Vedas.

"And on the platform of progress, if a living entity cultivates transcendental sound vibration and revives the process of remembering the lotus feet of Sri Krsna, he then achieves scientific spiritual knowledge. By this process, all anarthas are destroyed and he becomes situated in a supremely auspicious position.

"The mood that arises when one is manipulating his senses is called vilasa, or enjoyment. The meaning of vairagya, or renunciation, is to become averse to the accumulation of sensual knowledge. The conditioned souls who are overwhelmed by the illusory energy of Hari become temporary enjoyers of this world under the control of Maya's covering and throwing potencies. But if such persons fortunately meet devotees who are constantly remembering Krsna, then they can give up insignificant material enjoyment and receive the opportunity to attain transcendental knowledge.

"Although due to forgetfulness of Krsna the perverted movement of the senses is considered temporary and adverse, when they are properly employed in eternal subjects their disease of transience is destroyed and they give up the desire to embrace such transient objects. Then that person appreciates the following verse from the Hari-bhakti-vilasa, which is the mercy of Sri Sanatana and compiled by Srila Gopala Bhatta, the disciple of Tridandipada Srila Prabodhananda Sarasvati, who was a servant of Sri Gauranga and born in an Andhra brahmana family.

grhita-visnu diksako
visnu-puja-paro narah
vaisnavo 'bhihito 'bhijnair
itaro 'smad avaisnavah

"One who is initiated into Sri Visnu's mantras and who is devoted to worshiping Lord Visnu is called a Vaisnava by those who are learned. One who is devoid of these practices in not a Vaisnava."

"Although the eternal living entity is constitutionally favorably inclined towards the Supreme Lord, due to his indifference towards the eternal service of the Lord he is eligible for being controlled by Maya. When one tries to measure material objects with his sensual knowledge, he simply increases his enjoying propensity day after day. That he is eligible for achieving transcendental knowledge - this ancient memory he also often forgets. As a result of being covered and thrown and considering himself the enjoyer of this world, such a person has no power to discriminate between good and bad, rather he considers temporary and unreal subjects as permanent and favorable for his enjoyment."

The jiva is the eternal servant of Krsna because he "is constitutionally favorably inclined towards the Supreme Lord", but before falling down he serves Him only in santa-rasa which in fact is not direct pure devotional service. As for the higher rasas, Srila Prabhupada says that the pure devotee can never forget Krsna and we cannot argue with that.

Knowledge (prama)

according to Vedanta-sutra a process directed to the attainment of truth (which is an intrinsic characteristic of knowledge)

self-evident (svaprakasatva): neither needs to be or can be an object of itself or other knowledge

validity of knowledge is established by its non-contradiction to facts


guNa-rahitaM kAmanA rahitam pratikSaNa-vardhamAnam
avicchinam sUkSma-taram anubhava-rUpam

"Pure love of God (anubhava) manifests as the most subtle consciousness (suksma-taram), devoid of material qualities (guna) and material desires (kama), increasing at every moment (pratiksana-vardhamanam), and never interrupted (avicchinam)." (Narada-bhakti-sutra, sutra 54)

Fish & water: insider/outsider look at the world of Maya

Keith Thompson is explaining the ancient Chinese aphorism "The fish is the last one to know that it lives in water" ("Angels and Aliens", p. 229-230):

"The fish takes for granted that the medium it knows is the True Element - indeed, the ONLY element. Why should it imagine otherwise? But then, one day, a particular fish swims into a remote part of the lake and sees a strange object above. The fish has no name for what it sees from below, but we who are above would call the object a "bobber." Amazed, the fish returns to its school and tells what it has seen. The story is impressive, but the other fish are not so interested. After all, there is always fresh kelp to find, not to mention larger, hungry fish to avoid. News of such strange objects can only be a dangerous distraction to the overall affairs of the school." "Over time, however, others see the bobber, and a robust set of legends grows. Then, on a particular day, a fish happens to swim too close to the object and gets "hooked." Suddenly this fish finds itself pulled UP and OUT, into a vast and altogether amazing realm of ABOVE and BEYOND. Those who have snagged the fish and reeled it in, after analyzing the creature according to particular criteria, decide the fish is not a "keeper" and toss it back into the ocean. Bewildered, the fish makes its way back with an even more incredible tale to tell about another world - a very different kind of world - populated by the most marvelous of beings." "Depending on how this news is revealed and received, the fish is deified, eaten, or simply isolated from the rest of the school, where it is left to muse aloud, "Water! We live and swim in WATER! I have just now seen that which is NOT water: I have glimpsed 'dry land,' and 'open sky.' Does anyone hear me? Does anyone CARE?"


Q: What is moksa or salvation and how does one attain it?

A: See Liberation


Blissful unconsciousness, bright light often mistaken for samadhi; hapens through increased influx of prana into head during meditation on ajna-cakra.


sva-dhisnyanam eka-dese
manasa prana-dharanam
samadhanam tathatmanah

sva-dhisnyanam - within the vital air circles; eka-dese - in one spot; manasa - with the mind; prana - the vital air; dharanam - fixing; vaikuntha-lila - on the pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; abhidhyanam - concentration; samadhanam - samadhi; tatha - thus; atmanah - of the mind.

Fixing the vital air and the mind in one of the six circles of vital air circulation within the body [cakras], thus concentrating one's mind on the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is called samadhi, or samadhana, of the mind. (SB 3.28.6)


Sampradaya is a Vedic spiritual tradition or school. It contains paramparas (lineages) of spiritual masters and disciples. These can be either diksa (based on initiation) or siksa (based on instruction). Padma Purana lists four sampradayas:

The Four Sampradayas Verse

Madana-mohana Das:

Here is the verse in full (by the way, it is not to be found anymore in Padma Purana, and therefore is claimed to be a Vaisnava interpolation by some):

samprAdya-vihInA ye mantrAs te niSphalA matAH
atah kalau bhaviSyanti catvAraH sampradAyinaH

SrI-brahma-rudra-sanakA vaiSNavAH kSiti-pAvanAH
catvAras te kalau bhAvyA hy utkale puruSottamAt

rAmAnujaM SrI svIcakre madhvAcAryaM caturmukhaH
SrI viSNusvAmInaM rudro nimbAdityam catuHsanAH

Unless one is initiated by a bona-fide spiritual master in the disciplic succession, the mantra he might have received is without any effect. For this reason four Vaisnava disciplic successions, inaugurated by Laksmi-devi, Lord Brahma, Lord Siva, and the four Kumaras, will appear in the holy place of Jagannatha Puri, and purify the entire earth during the age of Kali. Laksmi-devi chose Ramanujacarya to represent her disciplic succession. In the same way Lord Brahma chose Madhvacarya, Lord Siva chose Visnu Svami, and the four Kumaras chose Nimbarka. (quoted in Prameya-ratnavali by Baladeva Vidyabhusana, 1.5-6)

Nayana-ranjana Das:

I checked in the Prameya Ratnavali by Baladeva Vidyabhusana, text 1.5 and he clearly says in the first line of the verse:

yad uktam padma-purane means "it is said in the Padma Purana..."

Any idea why is it not found now in the Padma Purana? In which edition of the Padma Purana is it not found? Unfortunately Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana has not mentioned the verse number.

Ekanath Das:

The following comes from the Bengali book called "Sri Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana" (GVA). It is unclear from the text whether the second verse (raamaanujam...) is supposed to be from the Padma Purana. It was used by Ramanandis to challenge the genuineness of Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya in 1718 following which Baladeva Vidyabhusana wrote the Govinda-bhasya and it is quoted in Prameya-ratnavali by Baladeva Vidyabhusana, 1.5-6. I also looked up under the entry 'sampradaya' in the Sabda-Kalpa-Druma Sanskrit-Sanskrit dictionary. There we have the same quote from the Padma Purana but it is a little longer, beginning as follows:

Sriiman naaraayaano brahmaa
naarado vyaasa eva ca
Sriila madhvaH padmanaabho
nRharir maadhavas tathaa

puruSottamo brahmaanyo
vyaasa-tiirtha-munis tathaa
Sriimal lakSmii-patiH Sriimaan
maadhavendra-puris tathaa

sampradaaya vihiinaa ye
mantraaste niSphalaa mataaH
ataH kalau bhaviSyanti
catvaaraH sampradaayinaH
vaiSNavaaH kSiti-paavanaaH
catvaaras te kalau bhaavya
hy utkale puruSottama

* There is an alternative reading for this line:


The last verse is not quoted in the SKD:

raamaanuujaM SriiH svii-cakre
maadhvaacaaryaM catur-mukhaH
Srii-viSNusvaaminaM rudro
nimbaadityam catuH-sanaH

There is a problem with verse references from the Padma P. There are a number of different recensions of the Padma P. There are mainly four manuscripts: the Bengali recension, the Anandasrama edition, the Venkatesvara edition, the Vangavasi edition. The latter three editions are at least similar, but the Bengali recension is very different. The chapter arrangements in the other three editions are also different, so that the references hardly match. It is therefore very important with references of the Padma P. to give the name of the edition. Anandasrama edition from 1893 is very good but has no verse index. At least now I found a very good book about Puranas (Ludo Rocher: The Puranas. A History of Indian Literature) in which the different chapter structures are explained and this should help us to find verses.

Elements of the Four Sampradayas accepted by Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

In Sri Navadvipa-Dhama-Mahatmya, Chapters 15 and 16, Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has described his revelations regarding the svarupa of the transcendental abode and the lila of the Lord performed in the area of Navadvipa. During these narrations, Sri Nityananda Prabhu took Srila Jiva Gosvami on a tour of the nine islands of Navadvipa and told him many wonderful things. Herein it is mentioned how Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu accepted two principles from each of the four Vaisnava sampradayas and incorporated these into His own sampradaya. It is also mentioned that the four principal acaryas of these four lineages later took birth as Lord Caitanya's devotees during His manifest lila.

Ramanuja - of the Laksmi-sampradaya (who preached the philosophy of dasya-rasa) - was reborn as the Gaura-bhakta named Ananta (who lived near Vallabhacarya's house):

1) concept of unalloyed devotion free from karma and jnana (ananya-bhakti)

2) service to the devotees bhakta-jana-seva

Madhva - of the Brahma-sampradaya - was reborn as Murari Gupta (Vayu/Hanuman/Bhima).

1) complete defeat of mayavada philosophy (kevale-advaita-nirasana)

2) worship of the deity of Krsna, understanding it to be eternal (krsna-murti-sevana)

Visnusvami - of the Rudra-sampradaya (who preached suddha advaita philosophy) - was reborn as the Gaura-bhakta named Vallabha Bhatta, who perfected his own sampradaya by Gauranga's mercy:

1) the sentiment of total dependence on Krsna (tadiya-sarvasva-bhava)

2) the path of spontaneous devotional service (raga-marga)

Nimbarka - of the Kumara-sampradaya (who preached dvaita-advaita philosophy) - was reborn as the Gaura-bhakta named Kesava Kasmiri (who perfected his worship of bhava-marga with a mantra described in Sanat Kumara Samhita):

1) the necessity of taking exclusive shelter of Radhika (ekanta - radhikasraya)

2) the exalted mood of the gopis' love for Sri Krishna (gopi-bhava)

(Lord Caitanya to Nimbarkacarya:) "Later, when I begin the sankirtan movement, I myself will preach, using the essence of the philosophies of the four of you. From Madhva I will receive two items: his complete defeat of the mayavadi philosophy and his service to the murti of Krsna, accepting it as an eternal spiritual being. From Ramanuja I will accept two teaching: the concept of bhakti unpolluted by karma and jnana, and service to the devotees. From Visnu Swami's teachings I will accept two elements: the sentiment of exclusive dependence on Krsna and the path of raga bhakti. And from you I will receive two great principles: the necessity of taking shelter of Radha and the high esteem for the gopis' love of Krsna." (Bhaktivinoda Thakura, Navadvipa Mahatmya, ch. 16)

Suhotra Prabhu:

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura has explained in Navadvipa Mahatmya, ch. 15-16, that the founder-acaryas of the 4 Vaisnava Sampradayas all had the darsan of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu during their lifetimes. (They did not live at the same time as Mahaprabhu, but He granted them His darsan by His special mercy). Lord Caitanya gave each acarya his mission. Thus each sampradaya is actually already under the shelter of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Mostly the present-day adherents of the sampradayas (excepting, of course, the Gaudiya branch of the Madhva sampradaya) do not know this, but at least they are dutifully worshiping their founder-acaryas, who are devotees of Lord Caitanya. But if any adherent deliberately blasphemes Lord Caitanya while claiming to be a devotee of Krsna, he offends his founder-acarya and thus clears his way to hell.

ISKCON Diksa Parampara

by Gauranga Das SRS

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada

Gaurakisora dasa Babaji

Bhagavata dasa Babaji

Jagannatha dasa Babaji

Srila Madhusudana dasa Babaji

Srila Uddhava dasa Babaji

Baladeva Vidyabhusana

[GVA: formally initiated into Madhva sampradaya but accepted Radha-Krsna mantra from Radha-Damodara dasa who taught him the sastras; therefore elsewhere in GVA is mentioned as R-D's disciple; Atmarama Das: Baladeva Vidyabhusana was not a diksa disciple of Radha-Damodara das. When he asked him for diksa, Radha-Damodara said that he cannot initiate him, since he was already initiated in the Madhva sampradaya. To reinitiate him would be an offense. However, he did perform an official ceremony of acceptance in the Gaudiya sampradaya, but that is by no means a diksa. So, he was only a siksa disciple of both Radha-Damodara and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti.]

Radha-Damodara dasa

Nayanananda dasa [GVA: only a grandson of Rasikananda]

Rasikananda Murari

Syamananda Gosvami

Hridaya Caitanya dasa (cousin of Gadadhara Pandita)

Gauridasa Pandita (younger brother of Suryadasa Sarakhela, Jahnava Mata's father) He is mentioned in CC Adi 11.26-27 and in CC Antya 6.62. According to the Gaura-ganoddesa-dipika 128 Gauridasa is Subala in Krsna-lila and one of the dvadasa-gopalas, Lord Nityananda's main associates.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura was initiated by Vipin Vihari Gosvami from Jahnava Mata's line.

Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura's diksa line: Radha-Ramana Cakravarti, Krsna-carana Cakravarti, Ganga Narayana Cakravarti, Narottama dasa Thakura, Lokanatha Gosvami.

The idea of siksa-parampara comes from Lord Caitanya, who didn't formally initiate all the six Gosvamis, despite that everyone accepts them as His direct successors. Lord Krsna also didn't initiate Arjuna, although He made him the member of His parampara by instructing him.