Biogenesis and the Birth of Modern Science

January 30, 2023 in Articles by Narasimha das

By Narasimha das

Life Comes from Dirt Superstitions:

The ancient Greeks, specifically the renowned philosopher Aristotle (384 B.C – 322 B.C.), believed that living things were spontaneously generated from non-living matter.

Aristotle was a naturalist who loved to observe animals and nature while taking long walks through the country.  He noticed that ponds were full of various species, such as fish, frogs, and tiny swimming insects. Later, in the summer months, many of these ponds would dry up and appear to become lifeless mud sinks or totally dry beds. But when the rains came, the same dry beds would fill up again with aquatic life. He wondered how all this life became regenerated. After pondering this puzzle for a long while, he finally concluded that earth itself had the power to generate life spontaneously under certain conditions. Observing the life cycles of insects on land, he came to similar conclusions: that rotting meat, animal fur and other nonliving matter had the potency to generate various forms of life under specific conditions.

Aristotle was considered one the greatest thinkers of his era, so naturally his published findings circulated to nearby Arab countries, and gradually such misleading ideas spread west to European nations. Such misinformation gradually evolved into a system of superstitions and beliefs that were taught in school texts on biology and medicine.

Due, perhaps, to the liberating influence of the advent of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on Earth (1486-1534), Europe started to emerge from the Dark Ages. During the Dark Ages people had no idea how or why deadly diseases like the black plague were spread. City people would pass stool and urine in buckets and then throw it out their townhouse windows, yelling a warning to pedestrians, “Loo!” (This is how the term “loo” came to mean toilet or latrine.) Some streets were, at times, ankle deep in human excrement. Surgeons had no idea of any need for cleanliness. In fact, doctors would often wear their most filthy clothes to perform surgeries with unwashed scalpels, just as field workers and street cleaners would wear filthy clothes for their work, saving their clean clothing for social affairs. Thus, many patients would “mysteriously” die shortly after even routine surgeries.

Observation and Experimentation:

William Harvey (1578-1657) became famous for his discovery that blood circulates through the body in veins and blood vessels. In one of his writings, he mentioned that it was possible that insects may lay eggs that were too small to be seen with the naked eye. The glimmer of light from this suggestion inspired and motivated another early scientist, Francisco Redi (1626-1697), to investigate further. Soon he became convinced that the prevailing theories of his day were ill-conceived. He demonstrated through experiments that life was not generated spontaneously from non-living matter and that such conjectures had no basis. His controlled experiments involved sterilization through heating and various means of sealing containers and then comparing these with non-sterilized open containers of the same organic substances. He boldly propounded his views that life was generated not spontaneously from dead matter but from living organisms, some that were too small to be seen with the naked eye or laid eggs too small to be seen.

People of his day were stunned by this fantastic new theory. Aristotle had been highly regarded in the West for many centuries as one of the greatest thinkers and naturalists of all time. People wondered, “How could Aristotle have been so wrong?”

To prove his theory, Redi devised several interesting experiments to demonstrate that life comes from life. These experiments were literally the birth of modern sciences, specifically biology and medicine, which relies on controlled observations and experiments to demonstrate the truth or fallacy of theories like Redi’s and Aristotle’s. Redi’s experiments gave rise to modern-day knowledge regarding food preservation through sterilization, and sanitation through disinfecting. He had demonstrated variously that life is generated only from other living things and that non-living matter had no power to generate life on its own. Scientists then began forming groups for the sake of exchanging their findings derived through various means of experimentation and observation. Redi and his followers strongly propounded their new understanding known as biogenesis, which establishes that life arises only from previously existing life–not from non-living matter.

Improved Methods of Observation: 

A breakthrough came when a humble lens grinder, Antonio Van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), refined his art with the help of a renowned spectacle maker. He learned how to grind a precision magnifying lens and how to achieve further magnification by stacking lens in a tube. In this way he created the first known microscope. With his microscope he was able to observe microbes for the first time, and this led to many new discoveries. At first other scientists were doubtful about the existence of microbes because they were unable to match the precision and power of Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes.

With new microscopes, Leeuwenhoek’s discoveries of microbes were soon verified by other scientists. Yet many scientists clung to their belief that microbes themselves were spontaneously generated from non-living substances. Aristotle had taught that non-living substances can create life under certain conditions, and this widely accepted belief had been around for centuries. Long held beliefs die hard.

Diehard Atheists Oppose Biogenesis:

Despite clear evidence supporting biogenesis, many scientists challenged the idea for another 150 years. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, a member of the French Academy of Sciences, Dr. Pouchet, published a compelling book that attempted to reaffirm the idea that microorganisms were spontaneously generated from non-living matter. His book was highly lauded by scientists worldwide.

Dr. Pouchet’s findings did not go unchallenged for long. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) read Pouchet’s book and wrote to him explaining several discrepancies in his methods, findings, and conclusions.  Pasteur was considered one of the top scientists of his times, especially in France, and he is still considered one the most important scientists of the modern age. Pasteur strongly refuted Pouchet’s ideas through a series of experiments and debates. The scientific community and public were divided in their opinion on this issue. Many challenges and counter challenges went back and forth and gave rise to varieties of experiments under careful controls.

Modern Science Begins:

Both Pouchet and Louis Pasteur were experts in conducting experiments, and their efforts created the modern era of controlled experimentation and observation. They both refined and adjusted their experiments to demonstrate their theories, and this went on for several months or even years under the scrutiny of a special commission appointed by the French Academy of Sciences. At first the Commission was divided in its opinion, but finally they unanimously accepted Pasteur’s conclusions and bestowed upon him the Academy Award for Science (circa 1865). This was a high honor like the Nobel Prize, and people worldwide recognized Pasteur as the one of greatest scientists in the world. Louis Pasteur became widely popular, and Dr. Pouchet faded from the limelight.

Pasteur’s controlled experiments and observations proving biogenesis and disproving spontaneous generation led to many new breakthroughs in medicine (such as surgeon using sterilized tools and masks), food preservation, disease control, general sanitation, and other fields. He had proven that life comes from life and not from non-living matter. Without his discoveries through controlled experiments, Europe might have remained much longer in the dark ages of superstition, myth, and foolish conjectures.

Pseudo-Science and Superstition Rise Again:

But the new age of enlightened science in the realm of biology did not last long. Biological sciences suddenly embraced the darkness of superstition yet again after the publication of The Origin of Species by the infamous Charles Darwin (1809-1882). Darwin was clever pseudo naturalist propped up by atheistic institutions and financiers to challenge the idea of God and religion. He was an expert only in the creation of wild speculations under the guise of scientific observation.  Darwin himself doubted his own hypothesis, which was more outlandish than many prior superstitions. Darwin’s ideas have led to the now popular belief among scientists and academia that microbes were originally generated from non-living matter and gradually evolved to higher life forms spontaneously due to accidental genetic mutations and the process of “natural selection”. Thus, modern biology embraced a dark superstition that is as foolish as any myth that came before.

Although biological sciences have continued to improve in research methods and technology, with applied knowledge leading to advancements in medicine, ecology, and genetic research, including the creation GMOs and bioweapons, thus far no one has been able to create even one living microbe from non-living matter. In fact, no great scientist or laboratory can even repair and make grow one broken grain of rice. Discoveries regarding the mind-boggling designs and complexities of living organisms and their interrelationships with other super-complex living organisms should have caused unbiased scientists and thinkers to reject Darwin’s ideas as preposterous. Instead, these foolish ideas are still vigorously defended and promoted by cultish Darwinians in academia and by atheistic social and political activists.

Life Comes from the Supreme Living Force:

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (1896-1977) has often pointed out, in his many books on Vedic scriptures, that Darwin’s flimsy hypothesis regarding the origin of species and evolution has no basis in real science and cannot be demonstrated by experimentation or observation. It is unfounded and flies in the face of common sense and basic laws of physics. Yet due to a deviously calculated system of indoctrination in academia and media, school kids today, like those from the dark ages, are taught this foolish fantasy in the name of science.

The Vedas, a vast compendium of scriptures from ancient India, offer a more reasonable and consistent explanation regarding evolution and the origin of species. According to Vedic scriptures, such as Srimad-Bhagavatam and Bhagavad-gita, God, the supreme living being, creates powerful living beings known as prajapatis, and empowers them to populate various planets with various grades of species. It is logical to accept that superior living beings can create progeny of equal or inferior nature through sex or other powers. It is absurd to believe that superior beings evolve from inferior beings or that simple matter can spontaneously evolve into the complex organizations required for sustaining life and all its complex interactions with matter and other life.

It is an obvious scientific fact that living beings create other living beings. Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Vedic scriptures teach that God, the original and supreme person, has endowed each species with amazing abilities to reproduce, survive, and adapt in varieties of changing conditions on Earth. Vedic evidence never suggests that species evolve from chemicals and morph into new and better species through a perfect series of magical comic-book-like mutations. Great sages from every culture and every age have concluded that God is the designer and creator of all that exists. He is known as the cause of all causes and the basis of all reality.

It is reasonable to accept the consensus of scriptural conclusions that the wonders of life and the cosmos were created by the omnipotent, omniscient, and wonderful Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is reasonable to accept that living organisms, composed of gross and subtle matter, are animated by the consciousness of a spiritual soul, the living force. It is quite illogical, however, to believe that chemicals and chemical reactions produce life and consciousness when all practical evidence points to the opposite: chemicals and complex chemical reactions and all forms of life are created by living beings. 

In the Kali Yuga, there is no science for the liberation of consciousness as effective as Krishna consciousness and careful chanting of the Holy Names of God. Modern science, by its very nature, is full of ignorance, illusion, and doubt.  Lord Krishna’s material energy is difficult to understand and overcome. God’s power of illusion forever overwhelms everyone who fails to hear from Vedic authority and chant the Holy Names of God.

“O son of Pritha, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men.” (Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 7.10)

“This material nature is working under My direction, O son of Kunti, and it is producing all moving and non-moving beings. By its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again.” (Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 9.10)

“Those who are thus bewildered are attracted by demoniac and atheistic views. In that deluded condition, their hopes for liberation, their fruitive activities, and their culture of knowledge are all defeated.” (Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 9.12)

“Those miscreants who are grossly foolish, lowest of mankind, whose knowledge is stolen by illusion, and who partake of the atheistic nature of demons, do not surrender unto Me.”(Bhagavad-gita As It Is, 7.15)

“This divine energy of Mine, consisting of the three modes of material nature, is difficult to overcome. But those who have surrendered unto Me can easily cross beyond it.” (Bhagavad-gita As it Is, 7.14)

[Related article: Sankhya: The Yoga of Analysis]

Sri Madhvacarya’s disappearance day (tirobhava tithi) – January 30, 2023 Mayapura time

January 30, 2023 in Articles by Yasoda nandana dasa

Srila Prabhupada re Madhvacarya

The specific mention of Draviḍa-deśa refers to the five Draviḍa-deśas in South India. All are very strong in rendering the preliminary devotional processes (śravaṇaṁ kīrtanam). Some great ācāryas, like Rāmānujācārya and Madhvācārya, also came from Draviḍa-deśa and became great preachers. They were all situated on the platform of sakhyam ātma-nivedanam. [Srimad Bhagavatam 4.28.30 Purport]

madhvācārya-sthāne āilā yāṅhā ‘tattvavādī’
uḍupīte ‘kṛṣṇa’ dekhi, tāhāṅ haila premonmādī

SYNONYMS

madhva-ācārya-sthāne—at the place of Madhvācārya; āilā—arrived; yāṅhā—where; tattva-vādī—philosophers known as Tattvavādīs; uḍupīte—at the place known as Uḍupī; kṛṣṇa—the Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa; dekhi—seeing; tāhāṅ—there; haila—became; prema-unmādī—mad in ecstasy.

TRANSLATION

Caitanya Mahāprabhu next arrived at Uḍupī, the place of Madhvācārya, where the philosophers known as Tattvavādīs resided. There He saw the Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa and became mad with ecstasy.

PURPORT

Śrīpāda Madhvācārya took his birth at Uḍupī, which is situated in the South Kanaraḍā district of South India, just west of Sahyādri. This is the chief city of the South Kanaraḍā province and is near the city of Mangalore, which is situated to the south of Uḍupī. In the city of Uḍupī is a place called Pājakā-kṣetra, where Madhvācārya took his birth in a Śivāllī-brāhmaṇa dynasty as the son of Madhyageha Bhaṭṭa, in the year 1040 Śakābda (A.D. 1119). According to some, he was born in the year 1160 Śakābda (A.D. 1239).

In his childhood Madhvācārya was known as Vāsudeva, and there are some wonderful stories surrounding him. It is said that once when his father had piled up many debts, Madhvācārya converted tamarind seeds into actual coins to pay them off. When he was five years old, he was offered the sacred thread. A demon named Maṇimān lived near his abode in the form of a snake, and at the age of five Madhvācārya killed that snake with the toe of his left foot. When his mother was very much disturbed, he would appear before her in one jump. He was a great scholar even in childhood, and although his father did not agree, he accepted sannyāsa at the age of twelve. Upon receiving sannyāsa from Acyuta Prekṣa, he received the name Pūrṇaprajña Tīrtha. After traveling all over India, he finally discussed scriptures with Vidyāśaṅkara, the exalted leader of Sṛṅgeri-maṭha. Vidyāśaṅkara was actually diminished in the presence of Madhvācārya. Accompanied by Satya Tīrtha, Madhvācārya went to Badarikāśrama. It was there that he met Vyāsadeva and explained his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā before him. Thus, he became a great scholar by studying before Vyāsadeva.

By the time he came to the Ānanda-maṭha from Badarikāśrama, Madhvācārya had finished his commentary on the Bhagavad-gītā. His companion Satya Tīrtha wrote down the entire commentary. When Madhvācārya returned from Badarikāśrama, he went to Gañjāma, which is on the bank of the river Godāvarī. There he met with two learned scholars named Śobhana Bhaṭṭa and Svāmī Śāstrī. Later these scholars became known in the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya as Padmanābha Tīrtha and Narahari Tīrtha. When he returned to Uḍupī, he would sometimes bathe in the ocean. On such an occasion he composed a prayer in five chapters. Once, while sitting beside the sea engrossed in meditation upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, he saw that a large boat containing goods for Dvārakā was in danger. He gave some signs by which the boat could approach the shore, and it was saved. The owners of the boat wanted to give him a present, and at the time Madhvācārya agreed to take some gopī-candana. He received a big lump of gopī-candana, and as it was being brought to him, it broke apart and revealed a large Deity of Lord Kṛṣṇa. The Deity had a stick in one hand and a lump of food in the other. As soon as Madhvācārya received the Deity of Kṛṣṇa in this way, he composed a prayer. The Deity was so heavy that not even thirty people could lift it. Madhvācārya personally brought this Deity to Uḍupī. Madhvācārya had eight disciples, all of whom took sannyāsa from him and became directors of his eight monasteries. Worship of the Lord Kṛṣṇa Deity is still going on at Uḍupī according to the plans Madhvācārya established.

Madhvācārya then for the second time visited Badarikāśrama. While he was passing through Maharashtra, the local king was digging a big lake for the public benefit. As Madhvācārya passed through that area with his disciples, he was also obliged to help in the excavation. After some time, when Madhvācārya visited the king, he engaged the king in that work and departed with his disciples.

Often in the province of Gāṅga-pradeśa there were fights between Hindus and Muslims. The Hindus were on one bank of the river, and the Muslims on the other. Due to the community tension, no boat was available for crossing the river. The Muslim soldiers were always stopping passengers on the other side, but Madhvācārya did not care for these soldiers. He crossed the river anyway, and when he met the soldiers on the other side, he was brought before the king. The Muslim king was so pleased with him that he wanted to give him a kingdom and some money, but Madhvācārya refused. While walking on the road, he was attacked by some dacoits, but by his bodily strength he killed them all. When his companion Satya Tīrtha was attacked by a tiger, Madhvācārya separated them by virtue of his great strength. When he met Vyāsadeva, he received from him the śālagrāma-śilā known as Aṣṭamūrti. After this, he summarized the Mahābhārata.

Madhvācārya’s devotion to the Lord and his erudite scholarship became known throughout India. 

Consequently, the owners of the Śṛṅgeri-maṭha, established by Śaṅkarācārya, became a little perturbed. At that time the followers of Śaṅkarācārya were afraid of Madhvācārya’s rising power, and they began to tease Madhvācārya’s disciples in many ways. There was even an attempt to prove that the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya was not in line with Vedic principles. A person named Puṇḍarīka Purī, a follower of the Māyāvāda philosophy of Śaṅkarācārya, came before Madhvācārya to discuss the śāstras. It is said that all of Madhvācārya’s books were taken away, but later they were found with the help of King Jayasiṁha, ruler of Kumla. In discussion, Puṇḍarīka Purī was defeated by Madhvācārya. A great personality named Trivikramācārya, who was a resident of Viṣṇumaṅgala, became Madhvācārya’s disciple, and his son later became Nārāyaṇācārya, the composer of Śrī Madhva-vijaya. After the death of Trivikramācārya, the younger brother of Nārāyaṇācārya took sannyāsa and later became known as Viṣṇu Tīrtha.

It was reputed that there was no limit to the bodily strength of Pūrṇaprajña, Madhvācārya. There was a person named Kaḍañjari who was famed for possessing the strength of thirty men. Madhvācārya placed the big toe of his foot upon the ground and asked the man to separate it from the ground, but the great strong man could not do so even after great effort. Śrīla Madhvācārya passed from this material world at the age of eighty while writing a commentary on the Aitareya Upaniṣad. For further information about Madhvācārya, one should read Madhva-vijaya, by Nārāyaṇācārya.

The ācāryas of the Madhva-sampradāya established Uḍupī as the chief center, and the monastery there was known as Uttararāḍhī-maṭha. A list of the different centers of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya can be found at Uḍupī, and their maṭha commanders are (1) Viṣṇu Tīrtha (Śoda-maṭha), (2) Janārdana Tīrtha (Kṛṣṇapura-maṭha), (3) Vāmana Tīrtha (Kanura-maṭha), (4) NarasiṁhaTīrtha (Adamara-maṭha), (5) Upendra Tīrtha (Puttugī-maṭha), (6) Rāma Tīrtha (Śirura-maṭha), (7) Hṛṣīkeśa Tīrtha (Palimara-maṭha), and (8) Akṣobhya Tīrtha (Pejāvara-maṭha). The disciplic succession of the Madhvācārya-sampradāya is as follows (the dates are those of birth): (1) Haṁsa Paramātmā; (2) Caturmukha Brahmā; (3) Sanakādi; (4) Durvāsā; (5) Jñānanidhi; (6) Garuḍa-vāhana; (7) Kaivalya Tīrtha; (8) Jñāneśa Tīrtha; (9) Para Tīrtha; (10) Satyaprajña Tīrtha; (11) Prājña Tīrtha; (12) Acyuta Prekṣācārya Tīrtha; (13) Śrī Madhvācārya, 1040 Śaka; (14) Padmanābha, 1120; Narahari, 1127; Mādhava, 1136; and Akṣobhya 1159; (15) Jaya Tīrtha, 1167; (16) Vidyādhirāja, 1190; (17) Kavīndra, 1255; (18) Vāgīśa, 1261; (19) Rāmacandra, 1269; (20) Vidyānidhi, 1298; (21) Śrī Raghunātha, 1366; (22) Rayuvarya (who spoke with Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu), 1424; (23) Raghūttama, 1471; (24) Vedavyāsa, 1517; (25) Vidyādhīśa, 1541; (26) Vedanidhi, 1553; (27) Satyavrata, 1557; (28) Satyanidhi, 1560; (29) Satyanātha, 1582; (30) Satyābhinava, 1595; (31) Satyapūrṇa, 1628; (32) Satyavijaya, 1648; (33) Satyapriya, 1659; (34) Satyabodha, 1666; (35) Satyasandha, 1705; (36) Satyavara, 1716; (37) Satyadharma, 1719; (38) Satyasaṅkalpa, 1752; (39) Satyasantuṣṭa, 1763; (40) Satyaparāyaṇa, 1763; (41) Satyakāma, 1785; (42) Satyeṣṭa, 1793; (43) Satyaparākrama, 1794; (44) Satyadhīra, 1801; (45) Satyadhīra Tīrtha, 1808. (For approximate Christian era dates, add seventy-nine years.)

After the sixteenth ācārya (Vidyādhirāja Tīrtha), there was another disciplic succession, including Rājendra Tīrtha, 1254; Vijayadhvaja; Puruṣottama; Subrahmaṇya; and Vyāsa Rāya, 1470-1520. 

The nineteenth ācārya, Rāmacandra Tīrtha, had another disciplic succession, including Vibudhendra, 1218; Jitāmitra, 1348; Raghunandana; Surendra; Vijendra; Sudhīndra; and Rāghavendra Tīrtha, 1545.

To date, in the Uḍupī monastery there are another fourteen Madhva-tīrtha sannyāsīs. As stated, Uḍupī is situated beside the sea in South Kanaraḍā, about thirty-six miles north of Mangalore.

Most of the information in this purport is available from the South Kānāḍā Manual and the Bombay Gazette. [Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya -Lila 9.245]

We should not make any particular distinction between the poor and the rich like the foolish worshipers of daridra-nārāyaṇa. Nārāyaṇa is present in the rich as well as the poor. One should not simply think Nārāyaṇa is situated among the poor. He is everywhere. An advanced devotee will offer respects to everyone—even to cats and dogs.

vidyā-vinaya-sampanne
brāhmaṇe gavi hastini
śuni caiva śva-pāke ca
paṇḍitāḥ sama-darśinaḥ

“The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brāhmaṇa, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste].” (Bg. 5.18) This sama-darśinaḥ, equal vision, should not be mistaken to mean that the individual is the same as the Supreme Lord. They are always distinct. Every individual person is different from the Supreme Lord. It is a mistake to equate the individual living entity with the Supreme Lord on the plea of vivikta-dṛk, sama-dṛk. The Lord is always in an exalted position, even though He agrees to live everywhere. Śrīla Madhvācārya, quoting Padma Purāṇa, states: vivikta-dṛṣṭi jīvānāṁ dhiṣṇyatayā parameśvarasya bheda-dṛṣṭiḥ. “One who has clear vision and who is devoid of envy can see that the Supreme Lord is separate from all living entities, although He is situated in every living entity.” Madhvācārya further quotes from Padma Purāṇa:

upapādayet parātmānaṁ
jīvebhyo yaḥ pade pade
bhedenaiva na caitasmāt
priyo viṣṇos tu kaścana

“One who sees the living entity and the Supreme Lord as always distinct is very dear to the Lord.” Padma Purāṇa also states, yo hareś caiva jīvānāṁ bheda-vaktā hareḥ priyaḥ: “One who preaches that the living entities are separate from the Supreme Lord is very dear to Lord Viṣṇu.”Srimad-Bhgavatam 5.5.26

asyānuguṇān ślokān gāyanti——
aho bhuvaḥ sapta-samudravatyā
dvīpeṣu varṣeṣv adhipuṇyam etat
gāyanti yatratya-janā murāreḥ
karmāṇi bhadrāṇy avatāravanti

SYNONYMS

tasya—of Him (Lord Ṛṣabhadeva); anuguṇān—conforming to the instructions for liberation; ślokān—verses; gāyanti—chant; aho—oh; bhuvaḥ—of this earthly planet; sapta-samudra-vatyāḥ—possessing seven seas; dvīpeṣu—among the islands; varṣeṣu—among the lands; adhipuṇyam—more pious than any other island; etat—this (Bhārata-varṣa); gāyanti—sing about; yatratya-janāḥ—the people of this tract of land; murāreḥ—of Murāri, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; karmāṇi—the activities; bhadrāṇi—all-auspicious; avatāravanti—in many incarnations such as Lord Ṛṣabhadeva.

TRANSLATION

Learned scholars chant about the transcendental qualities of Lord Ṛṣabhadeva in this way: “Oh, this earthly planet contains seven seas and many islands and lands, of which Bhārata-varṣa is considered the most pious. People of Bhārata-varṣa are accustomed to glorifying the activities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His incarnations as Lord Ṛṣabhadeva and others. All these activities are very auspicious for the welfare of humanity.

PURPORT

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu said:

bhārata-bhūmite haila manuṣya-janma yāra
janma sārthaka kari’ kara para-upakāra
[Cc. Ādi 9.41]

As stated in this verse, Bhārata-varṣa is a most pious land. The followers of Vedic literature understand the Supreme Personality of Godhead in His different incarnations, and they are privileged to glorify the Lord by following the directions of Vedic literature. After realizing the glories of human life. such people should take up the mission to spread the importance of human life throughout the whole world. This is the mission of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. The word adhipuṇyam indicates that there are certainly many other pious men throughout the world, but the people of Bhārata-varṣa are even more pious. Therefore, they are fit to spread Kṛṣṇa Consciousness throughout the world for the benefit of all human society. Śrīla Madhvācārya also recognizes the land of Bhārata-varṣa: viśeṣād bhārate puṇyam. Throughout the world, there is no question of bhagavad-bhakti or devotional service, but the people of Bhārata-varṣa can easily understand the devotional service of the Lord. Thus every inhabitant of Bhārata-varṣa can perfect his life by discharging bhagavad-bhakti and then preaching this cult throughout the world for the benefit of everyone. Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.6.13

Lord Brahmā is the guru of Nārada Muni, who is the guru of Vyāsadeva, and Vyāsadeva is the guru of Madhvācārya. Thus the Gauḍīya-Mādhva-sampradāya is in the disciplic succession from Nārada Muni. The members of this disciplic succession—in other words, the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement—should follow in the footsteps of Nārada Muni by chanting the transcendental vibration Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. They should go everywhere to deliver the fallen souls by vibrating the Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and the instructions of Bhagavad-gītā, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and Caitanya-caritāmṛta. That will please the Supreme Personality of Godhead. One can spiritually advance if one actually follows the instructions of Nārada Muni. If one pleases Nārada Muni, then the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Hṛṣīkeśa, is also pleased (yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ ). The immediate spiritual master is the representative of Nārada Muni; there is no difference between the instructions of Nārada Muni and those of the present spiritual master. Both Nārada Muni and the present spiritual master speak the same teachings of Kṛṣṇa, who says in Bhagavad-gītā (18.65–66):

man-manā bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te
pratijāne priyo ’si me

sarva-dharmān parityajya
mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja
ahaṁ tvāṁ sarva-pāpebhyo
mokṣayiṣyāmi mā śucaḥ

“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus, you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend. Abandon all varieties of religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reaction. Do not fear.”  Srimad-Bhagavata, 6.5.22

This verse indicates that oṁkāra, or praṇava, is a direct representation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore, if at the time of death one simply remembers oṁkāra, he remembers the Supreme Personality of Godhead and is therefore immediately transferred to the spiritual world. Oṁkāra is the basic principle of all Vedic mantras, for it is a representation of Lord Kṛṣṇa, understanding of whom is the ultimate goal of the Vedas, as stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ). Māyāvādī philosophers cannot understand these simple facts explained in the Bhagavad-gītā, and yet they are very proud of being Vedāntīs. Sometimes, therefore, we refer to the Vedāntī philosophers as Vidantīs, those who have no teeth (vi means “without,” and dantī means “possessing teeth”). The statements of the Śaṅkara philosophy, which are the teeth of the Māyāvādī philosopher, are always broken by the strong arguments of Vaiṣṇava philosophers such as the great ācāryas, especially Rāmānujācārya. Śrīpāda Rāmānujācārya and Madhvācārya break the teeth of the Māyāvādī philosophers, who can therefore be called Vidantīs, “toothless.”

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta  Adi-Lila 7.128

Śrī Mādhavendra Purī is one of the ācāryas in the disciplic succession from Madhvācārya. Mādhavendra Purī had two principal disciples, Īśvara Purī and Śrī Advaita Prabhu. Therefore the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava-sampradāya is a disciplic succession from Madhvācārya. This fact has been accepted in the authorized books known as Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā and Prameya-ratnāvalī, as well as by Gopāla Guru Gosvāmī. The Gaura-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā clearly states the disciplic succession of the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas as follows: “Lord Brahmā is the direct disciple of Viṣṇu, the Lord of the spiritual sky. His disciple is Nārada, Nārada’s disciple is Vyāsa, and Vyāsa’s disciples are Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Madhvācārya. Padmanābha Ācārya is the disciple of Madhvācārya, and Narahari is the disciple of Padmanābha Ācārya. Mādhava is the disciple of Narahari, Akṣobhya is the direct disciple of Mādhava, and Jayatīrtha is the disciple of Akṣobhya. Jayatīrtha’s disciple is Jñānasindhu, and his disciple is Mahānidhi. Vidyānidhi is the disciple of Mahānidhi, and Rājendra is the disciple of Vidyānidhi. Jayadharma is the disciple of Rājendra. Puruṣottama is the disciple of Jayadharma. Śrīmān Lakṣmīpati is the disciple of Vyāsatīrtha, who is the disciple of Puruṣottama. And Mādhavendra Purī is the disciple of Lakṣmīpati.”   Sri Caitanya Caritamrta  Adi-Lila 6.40

The amazing story of Mula-Rama

The Madhvācārya-sampradāya and Rāmānuja-sampradāya are mainly worshipers of Lord Rāmacandra, although the Śrī Vaiṣṇavas are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Nārāyaṇa and Lakṣmī and the Tattvavādīs are supposed to be worshipers of Lord Kṛṣṇa. At present, in most of the monasteries belonging to the Madhva-sampradāya, Lord Rāmacandra is worshiped.

In the book known as Adhyātma-rāmāyaṇa, there are statements in Chapters Twelve to Fifteen about the worship of the Deities Śrī Rāmacandra and Sītā. There it is stated that during Lord Rāmacandra’s time there was a brāhmaṇa who took a vow to fast until he saw Lord Rāmacandra. Sometimes, due to business, Lord Rāmacandra was absent from His capital for a full week and could not be seen by citizens during that time. Because of his vow, the brāhmaṇa could not take even a drop of water during that week. Later, after eight or nine days, when the brāhmaṇa could see Lord Rāmacandra personally, he would break his fast. Upon observing the brāhmaṇa’s rigid vow, Lord Śrī Rāmacandra ordered His younger brother Lakṣmaṇa to deliver a pair of Sītā-Rāma Deities to the brāhmaṇa. The brāhmaṇa received the Deities from Śrī Lakṣmaṇajī and worshiped Them faithfully as long as he lived. At the time of his death, he delivered the Deities to Śrī Hanumānjī, who, for many years, hung Them around his neck and served Them with all devotion. After many years, when Hanumānjī departed on the hill known as Gandha-mādana, he delivered the Deities to Bhīmasena, one of the Pāṇḍavas, and Bhīmasena brought Them to his palace, where he kept Them very carefully. The last king of the Pāṇḍavas, Kṣemakānta, worshiped the Deities in that palace. Later, the same Deities were kept in the custody of the kings of Orissa known as Gajapatis. One of the ācāryas, known as Narahari Tīrtha, who was in the disciplic succession of Madhvācārya, received these Deities from the King of Orissa.

It may be noted that these particular Deities of Rāma and Sītā have been worshiped from the time of King Ikṣvāku. Indeed, they were worshiped by the royal princes even before the appearance of Lord Rāmacandra. Later, during Lord Rāmacandra’s presence, the Deities were worshiped by Lakṣmaṇa. It is said that just three months before his disappearance, Śrī Madhvācārya received these Deities and installed them in the Uḍupī temple. Since then the Deities have been worshiped by the Madhvācārya-sampradāya at that monastery. As far as the Śrī Vaiṣṇavas are concerned, beginning with Rāmānujācārya, they also worshiped Deities of Sītā-Rāma. Sītā-Rāma Deities are also being worshiped in Tirupati and other places. From the Śrī Rāmānuja-sampradāya there is another branch known as Rāmānandī or Rāmāt, and the followers of that branch also worship Deities of Sītā-Rāma very rigidly. The Rāmānuja-sampradāya Vaiṣṇavas prefer the worship of Lord Rāmacandra to that of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. Sri Caitanya-Caritamrta Madhya-Lila 9.11