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The philosophical relevance of Krishna and Radha together in deity image, according to Caitanya's acintya bhedabheda philosophy

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The philosophical relevance of Krishna and Radha together in deity image, according to Caitanya's acintya bhedabheda philosophy Empty The philosophical relevance of Krishna and Radha together in deity image, according to Caitanya's acintya bhedabheda philosophy

Post by Seva Lamberdar Fri Feb 17, 2023 11:01 am

The philosophical relevance of Krishna and Radha together in deity image, according to Caitanya's acintya bhedabheda philosophy Radha_10
(Krishna-Radha image from the Internet)

The Caitanya's bhakti movement is based on the bhakti (devotion) to Radha-Krsna*. The philosophical classics of this school are by Jiva Goswami (Caitanya's student) and Baladeva (a later author). These writers were greatly influenced by the views of Ramanuja and Madhva. They admit five principles of God, souls, maya or prakrti, svarupa-sakti (with its two elements of jnana or knowledge and suddhatattva or pure matter), and kala or time.

The traditional account of the sources of knowledge, including Vedic testimony, is accepted. The intuition of Brahman, pure and simple, is, for Jiva Goswami, an undoubted fact of consciousness, though it requires to be transcended. The ultimate reality is Vishnu, the personal God of love and grace, possessing the usual attributes of sat, cit and ananda. He is nirguna, in the sense that he is free from the qualities of prakrti and saguna, since he has the qualities of omniscience, omnipotence, etc. These qualities express the nature of Brahman and inhere (through svarupa-sambahdha) in him. His former nature is unchangeable, while his latter is subject to modifications. He is the source, support and end of the world, the material and efficient cause of the universe. He is the efficient cause through his higher energy (para-sakti), and material cause through his other energies (apara-sakti and avidya-sakti). The chief character of God is love and power of joy. God assumes infinite forms, of which the chief is that of Krsna, whose supreme delight is love. Krsna, when identified with the Supreme, has three powers, cit, maya and jiva. By the first (cit) he maintains his nature as intelligence and will, by the second (maya) the whole creation is produced, by the third (jiva) the souls. The highest manifestation of the cit power of Krsna is the power of delight. Radha is the essence of the delight-giving power.

The universe and its creatures have come into being through the powers of God. They are dependent on him, though separate and distinct from him. They are neither one with God nor different from him. An inconceivable difference-nondifference or acintya bhedabheda (by virtue of the acintya-sakti of God) is the truth of things. The world is real and not illusory; it is called maya on account of its nature, since it attracts men to itself and away from God. The servant of God becomes, through the power of maya, the slave of the world.

The soul is different from the Lord, who is the ruler. God is omnipresent while the soul is of atomic size. At the time of creation, the Supreme remembers the constitution of the world immediately preceding the pralya (dissolution) and desires to "become manifold," i.e. give separate existence to the enjoying souls and the objects of enjoyment merged in him. He creates the entire world from the great principle of mahat down to the cosmic egg and Brahma. Note that while Ramanuja regards the souls and matter as the adjectives (visesanas) of God (and thus not as separate from God), the Caitanya school (including Jiva Goswami and Baladeva) regards them as the manifestations of God's energy (or as God's inconceivable energy or acintya-sakti). The latter (Caitanyas') are averse to making unconscious prakrti a predicate of God, which may introduce an element of discord into his nature.

The souls become fettered by the bonds of the world through the power of maya, which makes them forget their real nature. The force of karma can be overcome if we have bhakti. By the development of love for Krsna, we can have intuition of the divine. God's affection for his creatures is said to be brought out in his love for Radha. It is the desire of the creator that his creature should cleave to him only in the hope of salvation. Kama or sexual love is distinguished from prema or spiritual love. Bhakti is the way to salvation. Study of the scriptures is inculcated. Reverence for the guru is recommended. The distinctions of castes are ignored. No person is too low for the grace of God. Ethical virtues of mercy towards all creatures, humility, tranquility, freedom from worldly desires and purity of heart are emphasized.

Salvation consists in the eternal experience of love. Souls upon liberation realize their status as the servants of God, and are utterly devoted to him. Love is release. Bhakti is the true mukti. Through mukti, soul's bondage to rebirth is broken, and it attains to a status of equality with God, though it is never absorbed in God. Note that even though some of writers belonging to Caitanya's school call themselves as the followers of Madhva, in their thought they are really nearer to Ramanuja, since in overall their emphasis (as Caitanyas') is more on identity than on differences.

* Ref.: Subhash C. Sharma, "Vaisnava philosophies of Ramanuja, Madhva, Nimbarka, Vallabha, Caitanya, Bhaskara and Yadavaprakasa," Apr. 24, 2004,  http://web.archive.org/web/20090809230814/http://geocities.com/lamberdar/vaisnava-philosophies.html
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

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The philosophical relevance of Krishna and Radha together in deity image, according to Caitanya's acintya bhedabheda philosophy Empty Re: The philosophical relevance of Krishna and Radha together in deity image, according to Caitanya's acintya bhedabheda philosophy

Post by Seva Lamberdar Mon Feb 27, 2023 9:43 am

Radha embodies God's (Krishna) affection for his creatures. Lord's power of delight involving love for his creatures is depicted in artwork as Krishna and Radha together, including in deity images.
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

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