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The Absolute Truth in five features


Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features

Advaita-Nityananda-Chaitanya-Gadadhara-Srivasa

pancha-tattva mantra
(jaya) sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by His plenary expansion Sri Nityananda Prabhu, His incarnation Sri Advaita Prabhu, His internal potency Sri Gadadhara Prabhu, and His marginal potency Srivasa Prabhu. He is in the midst of them as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

One should know that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by these other tattvas. Therefore our obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu are complete when we say, sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrinda.

As preachers of the Krsna consciousness movement, we first offer our obeisances to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu by chanting this Panca-tattva mantra; then we say Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. There are ten offenses in the chanting of the Hare Krsna maha-mantra, but these are not considered in the chanting of the Panca-tattva mantra, namely sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda.

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is known as maha-vadanyavatara, 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 maha-mantra (Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare / Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare), we must first take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, learn the Panca-tattva mantra, and then chant the Hare Krsna maha-mantra. That will be very effective.

Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features

Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features

Advaita Prabhu Nityananda Prabhu Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Gadadhara Pandit Srivasa Thakura
Advaita Prabhu
Nityananda Prabhu
Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Gadadhara Pandit
Srivasa Thakura

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is always accompanied by His plenary expansion Sri Nityananda Prabhu,
His incarnation Sri Advaita Prabhu, His internal potency Sri Gadadhara Prabhu, and His marginal
potency Srivasa Prabhu. He is in the midst of them as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.


Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features



In the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, Kṛṣṇa is manifested in five different features, known as the pañca-tattva, to whom Śrīla Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja offers his obeisances in the fourteenth verse of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta. Kṛṣṇa and His associates appear as devotees of the Supreme Lord in the form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Advaitācārya, Śrī Gadādhara Prabhu and Śrīvāsa Prabhu.

CC Preface and Introduction: In the tenth and eleventh verses Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja describes Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, successive plenary expansions of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Brahmā appears upon a lotus growing from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and within the stem of that lotus are so many planetary systems. Then Brahmā creates the whole of human society, animal society—everything. Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu lies on the milk ocean within the universe, of which He is the controller and maintainer. Thus Brahmā is the creator, Viṣṇu is the maintainer, and when the time for annihilation arrives, Śiva will finish everything.

In the first eleven verses of the Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī thus discusses Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu as Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and Lord Nityānanda as Balarāma, the first expansion of Kṛṣṇa. Then in the twelfth and thirteenth verses he describes Advaitācārya, who is another principal associate of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu's and an incarnation of Mahā-Viṣṇu. Thus Advaitācārya is also the Lord, or, more precisely, an expansion of the Lord. The word advaita means "nondual," and His name is such because He is nondifferent from the Supreme Lord. He is also called ācārya, teacher, because He disseminated Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In this way He is just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu. Although Lord Caitanya is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, He appeared as a devotee to teach people in general how to love Kṛṣṇa. Similarly, although Advaitācārya is the Lord, He appeared just to distribute the knowledge of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Thus He is also the Lord incarnated as a devotee.

In all cases, Caitanya Mahāprabhu is the source of energy for all His devotees. Since this is the case, if we take shelter of Caitanya Mahāprabhu for the successful execution of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we are sure to make progress. In a devotional song, Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura sings, "My dear Lord Caitanya, please have mercy upon me. There is no one who is as merciful as You. My plea is most urgent because Your mission is to deliver all fallen souls, and no one is more fallen than I. Therefore I beg priority."

With verse 15, Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī begins offering his obeisances directly to Kṛṣṇa Himself. Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja was an inhabitant of Vṛndāvana and a great devotee. He had been living with his family in Katwa, a small town in the district of Burdwan, in Bengal. He worshiped Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa with his family, and once when there was some misunderstanding among his family members about devotional service, he was advised by Nityānanda Prabhu in a dream to leave home and go to Vṛndāvana. Although he was very old, he started out that very night and went to live in Vṛndāvana. While he was there, he met some of the Six Gosvāmīs, the principal disciples of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He was requested to write the Caitanya-caritāmṛta by the devotees of Vṛndāvana. Although he began this work at a very old age, by the grace of Lord Caitanya he finished it. Today it remains the most authoritative book on Caitanya Mahāprabhu's philosophy and life.

Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features

Advaita Prabhu Nityananda Prabhu Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Gadadhara Pandit Srivasa Thakura
Advaita Prabhu
Nityananda Prabhu
Caitanya Mahaprabhu
Gadadhara Pandit
Srivasa Thakura

(jaya) sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare


Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features         Sri Pancha Tattva - The Lord in Five Features


Panca-Tattva

Lord Krishna enjoys by manifesting Himself as the Spiritual Masters, the devotees, the diverse energies, the incarnations and the plenary portions in the form of the Panca-Tattva. The Panca-Tattva are all six in one. I therefore worship the lotus feet of these six diversities of the one truth, the Panca-Tattva, by invoking their benedictions. I offer my respectful obeisances unto the spiritual masters, the devotees of the Lord, the Lordís incarnations, His plenary portions, His energies and the primeval Lord Himself, Sri Krsna Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

"Sri Krishna Caitanya, Prabhu Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Gadadhara, and Srivas are the Five Truths, or Pancatattva. Spiritually, there are no differences between these five tattvas, for on the transcendental platform everything is absolute. Yet, there are also varieties in the spiritual world, and in order to taste these spiritual varieties, one should distinguish between them" (C.C.Adi 7.5)

"Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Sri Krishna, who has manifested Himself in five as a devotee (Lord Caitanya), expansion of a devotee (Lord Nityananda), incarnation of a devotee (Advaita Acarya), pure devotee (Srivas), and devotional energy (Gadadhara)" (C.C.Adi 7.6)

Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu

"The loving affairs of Sri Radha and Krishna are transcendental manifestations of the Lord’s internal pleasure-giving potency. Although Radha and Krishna are one in Their identity, They separated Themselves eternally. Now these two transcendental identities have again united, in the form of Sri Krishna Caitanya. I bow down to Him, who has manifested Himself with the sentiment and complexion of Srimati Radharani, although He is Krishna Himself." (C.C.Adi 1.5)

"Desiring to understand the glory of Radharani’s love, the wonderful qualities in Him that She alone relishes through Her love, and the happiness She feels when She realizes the sweetness of His love, the Supreme Lord Hari, richly endowed with Her emotions, appeared from the womb of Srimati Saci devi as the moon appeared from the ocean" (C.C.Adi 1.6)

Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the source of energy for all His devotees. He is maha-vadanyavatara, the most magnanimous incarnation of the Lord, for He does not consider the offenses of the fallen souls. In order to take full benefit of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, we must first take shelter of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Nityananda Prabhu

"May Sri Nityananda Rama be the object of my constant remembrance. Sankarsana, Sesa Naga and the Visnus who lie on the Karana Ocean, Garbha Ocean and Ocean of Milk are His plenary portions and the portions of His plenary portions." (C.C.Adi 1.7)

"I surrender unto the lotus feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, who is known as Sankarsana in the midst of the catur-vyuha [consisting of Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha]. He possesses full opulences and resides in Vaikunthaloka, far beyond the material creation." (C.C.Adi 1.8)

"I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose partial representation called Karanadakasayi Visnu, lying on the Karana Ocean, is the original Purusa, the master of the illusory energy, and the shelter of all the universes." (C.C.Adi 1.9)

"I offer my full obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, a partial part of whom is Garbhodakasayi Visnu. From the navel of Garbhodakasayi Visnu sprouts the lotus that is the birthplace of Brahma, the engineer of the universe. The stem of that lotus is the resting place of the multitude of planets." (C.C.Adi 1.10)

"I offer my respectful obeisances unto the feet of Sri Nityananda Rama, whose secondary part is the Visnu lying in the Ocean of Milk. That Ksirodakasayi Visnu is the Supersoul of all living entities and the maintainer of all the universes. Sesa Naga is His further subpart" (C.C.Adi 1.11)

Devotees understand that Lord Nityananda is Balarama Himself — the first expansion of Krishna.

Vrindavan das Thakur, author of Caitanya Bhagavat prays, "I offer my respectful obeisances unto Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Nityananda Prabhu, whose long arms extend to Their knees. They have splendid golden complexions, and They inaugurated the congregational chanting of The Holy Names of the Lord. Their eyes resemble the petals of lotus flowers. They are the maintainers of all the worlds, the best of the brahmanas, the protectors of religious principles for this age. They bring happiness to the people of the world, and are the most merciful incarnations."

Lord Nityananda is even more merciful than Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu because after Nitai was struck on the head with an earthen pot by the sinful Jagai and Madhai, He stopped Lord Caitanya from killing the two criminals. He begged the Lord to spare their lives because after all, their mood was to make devotees by killing the demoniac tendencies within, not by slaying wrong-doers. The Lord agreed to do this if the demoniac brothers would give up their sinful activities and change their bad habits into Krishna Conscious ones. By His request Mahaprabhu spared the brothers. By this mercy, the brothers fell at the feet of Caitanya Mahaprabhu and immediately surrendered their lives in devotion to Lord Caitanya.

Sri Advaita Acarya

"Advaita means non-dual because He is non-different than the Supreme Lord. Acarya means He is disseminating Krishna Consciousness. Advaita is Mahavisnu, whose main function is to create the cosmic world through the actions of Maya" (C.C.Adi 1.13)

"Because He is nondifferent from Hari, the Supreme Lord, He is called Advaita, and because He propagates Krishna Consciousness, He is called Acarya. He is the Lord and the incarnation of the Lord’s devotee. Therefore I take shelter of Him" (C.C.Adi 1.14)

Advaita Acarya is in the Visnu tattva with Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and Sri Nityananda prabhu. These are the three masters, but Nityananda and Advaita are servants of Mahaprabhu. It was Advaita Gosai who prayed to the Lord by offering water and Tulasi leaves to His Salagram Sila Krishna Deity by loudly roaring his request for the Lord to appear.

Sri Gadadhara Pandita

"Gadadhara Goswami is a representative of a perfect brahmana spiritual master He is the Pleasure Potency of Sri Krishna (Srimati Radharani) He is a learned scholar and Gadadhara Pandit is simultaneously an incarnation of Srimati Radharani and Lalita-sakhi" (C.C.Adi 10.15 purport)

Gadadhara is the incarnation of devotional energy and of the internal potency who is sakti tattva, the confidential worshipper of the Visnu tattva. In this incarnation, Radharani was able to spend time with Her Lord as an intimate associate who helped spread the pastimes and glories of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

Sri Srivasa Thakura

"Srivasa Thakura is the incarnation of the pure devotee of the Lord. He is jiva-tattva, the leader of all pure unalloyed devotees. All glories to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Lord Nityananda! All glories to Advaita Prabhu, and all glories to the devotees of Lord Caitanya, headed by Srivasa!" (C.C.Adi 10.2)

"These two captains, with Their soldiers, such as Srivasa Thakura, travel everywhere, chanting the holy name of the Lord" (C.C.Adi 3.76)

"The devotees headed by Srivasa are His smaller limbs. They are like His hands, face and eyes and His disc and other weapons" (C.C.Adi 6.39)

"Srivasa, Haridasa, Ramadasa, Gadadhara, Murari, Mukunda, Candrasekhara and Vakresvara are all glorious and are all learned scholars, but the sentiment of servitude to Lord Caitanya makes them mad in ecstasy (C.C.Adi 6.51). The Lord’s marginal energy is Srivas Thakur. There are innumerable pure devotees of the Lord, headed by Srivasa Thakura, who are known as unalloyed devotees" (C.C.Adi 7.17)

Even cats and dogs in the household of Srivasa Thakura were also liberated. Cats and dogs and other animals are not expected to become devotees, but, in the association of a pure devotee, they are also delivered.

"In the Gaura-ganodesa dipika (90), Srivasa Pandita is described as an incarnation of Narada Muni, and Sri Rama Pandita, his younger brother, is said to be an incarnation of Parvata Muni, a great friend of Narada’s" (C.C.Adi 10.8)

----------------

The supreme energetic, the Personality of Godhead, manifesting in order to enjoy five kinds of pastimes, appears as the members of the Panca-tattva. Actually there is no difference between them because they are situated on the absolute platform, but they manifest different spiritual varieties as a challenge to the impersonalists to taste different kinds of spiritual humors (rasas). In the Vedas it is said, parasya saktir vividhaiva sruyate: [Cc. Madhya 13.65, purport] "The varieties of energy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are differently known." From this statement of the Vedas one can understand that there are eternal varieties of humors, or tastes, in the spiritual world. Sri Gauranga, Sri Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Sri Gadadhara and Srivasa Thakura are all on the same platform, but in spiritually distinguishing between them one should understand that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the form of a devotee, Nityananda Prabhu appears in the form of a devotee's spiritual master, Advaita Prabhu is the form of a bhakta (devotee) incarnation, Gadadhara Prabhu is the energy of a bhakta, and Srivasa Thakura is a pure devotee. Thus there are spiritual distinctions between them. The bhakta-rupa (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu), the bhakta-svarupa (Sri Nityananda Prabhu) and the bhakta-avatara (Sri Advaita Prabhu) are described as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, His immediate manifestation and His plenary expansion, and They all belong to the Visnu category. Although the spiritual and marginal energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead are nondifferent from the Supreme Personality of Godhead Vishnu, they are predominated subjects, whereas Lord Vishnu is the predominator. As such, although they are on the same platform, they have appeared differently in order to facilitate tasting of transcendental mellows. Actually, however, there is no possibility of one being different from the other, for the worshiper and the worshipable cannot be separated at any stage. On the absolute platform, one cannot be understood without the other. (Sri Chaitanya-caritamrita Adi-lila 7.6)