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Re: ARTICLE : Puraanas

Posted By Shrisha Rao (shrao@nyx.net)
12 Jan 1997 03:21:28 -0700

In article <ghenE3q2C4.ADC@netcom.com>, vijaypai@mridangam.rice.edu
(Vijay Sadananda Pai) wrote:

> In article <ghenE3LwI9.F6G@netcom.com>, Shrisha Rao <shrao@nyx.net> wrote:
> >Very simple; because the person claimed to be Vyaasa Tiirtha's
> >disciple and Krishna Chaitanya's initiator's initiator is not called a
> >Tiirtha, as he would be were he a Maadhva.
> "Vyaasa Tiirtha's disciple" (Laksmipati) and "Krishna Chaitanya's
> initiator's initiator" (Madhavendra Puri) are distinct individuals.


> >There is no record of
> >Vyaasa Tiirtha having had such a disciple, either.
> Vyaasa Tiirtha must have had hundreds of disciples; were all of them
> recorded? Apparently, B.N.K. Sharma knows of no such record:

All his _sannyaasii_ disciples certainly were, yes.

> "As for Vyasatirtha himself, there is nothing to show that he could
> not have had a North Indian disciple of the name of Laksmipati, who
> might have been initiated into the Bhakti Pantha, which he transmitted
> to Madhavendra Puri and other monks obviously of an Advaitic order."
> (Sharma, _History of the Dvaita School of Vedanta and Its Literature_,
> Ch. 39)

Complete speculation. The _fact_ is that there is no record, and
handwaving like the above doesn't help. (I'm not sure what the
context of the above is.)

> >As such, the
> >listing is prima facie incorrect, and is stated to be so by
> >B.N.K. Sharma, et al.
> Acutally, BNK Sharma does not in his _History of the..._ explicitly
> say that the list is incorrect. I have already mentioned the above
> statement that leaves open the possibility of Laksmipati being a
> disciple of Vyaasa Tiirtha who then transmitted those teachings to
> Advaitic monks. To further support the possibility of such a thing, Sharma
> asserts "As a matter of fact, Madhva himself received orders from
> Acyutapreksa, who for all practical purposes represented an Advaitic order...
> In this way, Caitanya himself might have inherited the gospel of Bhakti from
> his teacher Isvara Puri" (ibid).

There are serious flaws in that argument. For one thing, consider
that it is claimed, and I quote,

This Bhagavad-gita As It Is is received through this disciplic succession:

1. Krsna
2. Brahma
3. Narada
4. Vyasa
5. Madhva
6. Padmanabha
7. Nrhari
8. Madhava
9. Aksobhya
10. Jayatirtha
11. Jnanasindhu
12. Dayanidhi
13. Vidyanidhi
14. Rajendra
15. Jayadharma
16. Purusottama
17. Brahmanya Tirtha
18. Vyasa Tirtha
19. Laksmipati
20. Madhavendra Puri
21. Isvara Puri, (Nityananda, Advaita)
22. Lord Caitanya
23. Rupa, (Svarupa, Sanatana)
24. Raghunatha, Jiva
25. Krsnadasa
26. Narottama
27. Visvanatha
28. (Baladeva) Jagannatha
29. Bhaktivinoda
30. Gaurakisora
31. Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati
32. A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

-- end quote. Now, it is perfectly clear that "This Bhagavad-gita As
It Is" *isn't* received in that order as claimed. No one at level of
Vyaasa Tiirtha and above accepts that "Krsna, Brahma, Narada, Vyasa,"
is a valid listing for the first four claimed steps. As such, it must
be that (a) either the people at the level of Vyaasa Tiirtha and above
didn't know the proper disciplic succession they were getting it from
-- in which case one has to wonder how the later ones came to know
this, given that their information was allegedly derived from them, or
(b) the claim is false.

> BNK Sharma also points out that Vyaasa Tiirtha had many disciples
> belonging to Advaitic orders. Of course, a "Puri" could not have been
> ordained a yati by a Maadhva "Tiirtha", but then again, the Gaudiya
> parampara never claims to consist only of sannyasa ordination links,
> including instead any spiritual initiation; in some cases, such as
> that of Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Gaura-kishora das Babaji, the link was
> purely shiksha (many of the later links were not even ordained
> sannyasis). Listing links in such a fashion should not be considered
> unusual by Maadhvas, since Madhva lists only Vyaasa as his guru
> despite having taken sannyasa-diksha from Acyutapreksha Tiirtha.

It would be considered *very* unusual; Madhva is not a typical
example, inasmuch as he is, at least as per his own claim, a deity
incarnation mentioned in the Rg Veda. Anyone not so mentioned, etc.,
cannot claim as he did with any conviction.

Besides, correct me if I'm wrong -- it is claimed by the Gaudiya
tradition that there are two kinds of affiliation -- shikshA and
dIkshA; the former being actual schooling and the second mere
ordination without actually (necessarily) following the precepts of
the order in which one is ordained, and that the Gaudiya tradition's
claimed link is a "diikshA" link rather than a "shikshA" link. That
has to be said given the differences in the doctrines, although it
doesn't square at all with the claim "This Bhagavad-gita As It Is is
received through this disciplic succession" -- that claim relates to
the understanding of a specific text, and clearly denotes a shikshA
listing, and anyway, since Vyaasa is listed above Madhva, the listing
is shikshA and not diikshA, else above him would have to come
Shankara's tradition, undoing the whole point of the exercise. In
fact, the quote of "Evam parampara-praptam imam rajarsayo viduh
(Bhagavad-gita 4.2)" given in this regard is also only meaningful for
a shikshA link. Now, since it cannot be a shikshA link because of the
differences in doctrine, and it cannot also be a diikshA link because
Vyaasa Tiirtha did not ordain anyone by name of Lakshmipati, and "many
of the later links were not even ordained sannyasis," it stands
concluded that the link does not exist in any manner whatsoever.

> However, BNK Sharma feels that that it is more probable that the
> Gaudiya bhakti movement came through Vishnu Puri, who would have been

Irrelevant speculation.

> >Besides, the sannyaasii-s of the Gaudiya
> >tradition follow rules very similar to those of the Ramanuja tradition
> >(wearing the sacred thread, reciting the Gayatri, being tri-daNDi,
> >etc.), but dissimilar in all these respects to those of the Maadhva or
> >Advaita traditions. This is further evidence against the claimed
> >link, for if the claimed link were authentic, the practices would be
> >identical to that of Maadhva sannyaasii-s.
> Actually, parivrajaka sannyaasa in the Gaudiya tradition had
> practically ceased to exist for several generations in the Gaudiya
> line and was restarted by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami

More evidence against the claim. If that is indeed the case, then
there is surely no diiksha connection at all, and by the same standard
a connection could be established with between anybody and any


Shrisha Rao

> Vijay


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