Chakra Discussions

New book about Guru Parampara

by Giri Sharan das

Posted March 10, 2004

Srila B. R. Sridhar Maharaj's explanation of the Parampara of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura is examined in depth in a new publication from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip Dham. In "Spiritual Successors of the Six Goswamis", readers are given a detailed history of the Gaudiya Guru Parampara from the sixteenth century to the 20th century. This book presents a thorough examination of various philosophical issues in regards to Guru Parampara. Many matters of concern which have been raised by devotees, in regards to the spiritual succession or Guru Parampara given by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, are discussed in detail.

The concept of Bhagavati Parampara, or Siksa-Guru-Parampara, as taught by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, is explained. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura's vision of Guru Parampara is contrasted with the ideas of Parampara current amongst some of the sahajiya traditions of India.

The mistaken beliefs of opponents of Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati, such as the followers of the siddha-pranali tradition which originates from Jayakrishna das Babaji of Vrindaban in the eighteenth century, are discussed. Controversies surrounding the re-establishment of worship at Sridham Mayapura, the birthplace of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu which was rediscovered by Srila Jagannatha das Babaji and Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur, are also discussed. The personal servant of Srila Jagannatha das Babaji, Sri Bihari das Babaji, was an eye witness when Srila Jagannatha das Babaji revealed the exact spot where Mahaprabhu was born at Mayapura, and in "Spiritual Successors of the Six Goswamis" we read Sri Bihari das Babaji's personal account of that event.

A dark age covered over Nabadwip Dham in the seventeenth century and public worship of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was stopped. There was fear among the Vaishnavas that the Deity of Mahaprabhu originally installed by Vishnupriya Devi would be attacked and destroyed by the devotees of Goddess Kali. So the Deity of Mahaprabhu was buried and hidden for a time. The great hater of Vaishnavas, King Krishnachandra of Krishnanagara, a devotee of Kali, strongly promoted worship of Mother Kali in Nabadwip in that period. But then through the intervention of King Bhagyachandra Singha of Manipura, King Krishnachandra realized his mistakes and agreed to allow worship of Mahaprabhu in Nabadwip to resume in 1785.

"Spiritual Successors of the Six Goswamis" is available in print from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Nabadwip. An Adobe Acrobat (pdf) version of the book can be downloaded from the following internet address: http://www.mandala.com.au/books/sixgoswamis.pdf

in the service of Sri Guru and the Vaishnavas,
Giriraj Sharan das