Shad Darshan – Vedanta philosophies (contd.):
Dvaitadvaita philosophy (contd.)
Dvaitadvait philosophy of Nimbarkacharya (contd.):
Nimbarkacharya’s philosophy believes in three categories of souls, namely, baddha (means, bounded by sansār or māyā), baddha mukta (means, liberated from the bondage of sansar or maya), and nitya mukta (means, forever liberated or who never came into this sansar or maya, can be called as anādi mukta). “…muktancha baddham kila baddhamuktam, prabheda bahulya mathapi boddhyam ||” (Vedant Dash-Shloki by Nimbarkacharya: Shlok: 2)
Secondly, according to Nimbarkacharya’s philosophy, everything is done or achieved by the grace of God (Ishwar Krupā).
Nimbarkacharya believes that God and Brahm are not different and maintains worshiping personified God. Like Ramanujacharya who believed in and worshiped Vishnu (Narayan) as Sriman Narayan – the spouse (pati or nāth) of Laxmi (also spelled Lakshmi), as the Godhead of the universe, Nimbarkacharya also believed in Lakshmi-Narayan and worshiped Him as Shri Hari, Gopāl, Mādhav, Krishna etc. specifically with his consort Rādhā, both surrounded by a group of Gopis as their devotees (bhakta) in the divine place called Vrindāvan dham. In Nimbarkacharya’s period Radha was not worshiped as the consort of Shri Krishna (Krishna’s principal wife was Rukmani) just as Lakshmi was the consort of Vishnu, but Radha was worshiped as Krishna’s dearest, topmost, and true devotee or bhakta. Radha is considered the latent power (Shakti) of Krishna (Shaktimān). Both cannot be separated. “Upāsaniyam nitram janayhi sadā, prahannaye agyāna tamo anuvratte | Sanandadhyir munibhisthoktam, shrināradayakhila tatva sakshine ||” (Vedant Dash-Shloki by Nimbarkacharya: Shlok: 6) Meaning, “One should constantly reside in and meditate upon this dual (yugal) form of bhakta and Bhagwan (Parabrahm) – Shri Radha-Krishna. Mere concentrating or contemplating on them removes the basic ignorance. Shri Sanakādik Rishis had bestowed this very same knowledge to Shri Nārada.” “Radhayo sahito devo madhvo vaishavottamaih, archyo bandyashcha dhyeyashcha shrinimbarkapadanugaih ||” (Shri Nimbarka-Sudha) Meaning, “For the followers of Shri Nimbarkacharya, the worshiping form is “Radha sahita Madhava” (uttam bhakta sahita Bhagwan), which should be worshiped, prayed to, and meditated upon.”
Thus, Nimbarkacharya’s philosophy suggests a major change in Hinduism in the way of worshiping God, in two ways. One, worshiping the current or present form of God (Krishna) is valued more in salvation than worshiping the past form of God (Vishnu). Secondly, worshiping God with His dearest, nearest, and truest devotee or bhakta is more important than worshiping God alone. This kind of worshiping of God with His choicest and the best devotee (bhakta) is known as “Yugal Upāsanā”.
Nimbarkacharya writes in the “Dash-Shloki” on the worship of Radha-Krishna:
“Ange tu vāme Vrishabhānujām mudā, virājamānam anuroopsoubhagām | Sakhi sahastraihi pari sevitām sadā, smarema devim sakaleashta kāmadām ||”(Vedant Dash-Shloki by Nimbarkacharya: Shlok: 5) Meaning, “We remember Radha (the daughter of King Vrishabh) – the most beautiful and as glorious as Shri Krishna, who is on the left side (vame) of Him, and who is served or worshiped by thousands of sakhis (bhaktas).”
According to Nimbarkacharya, the devotion means total self-surrenderance or complete submission to God known as prapatti, also known as sharanāgati or nyasa. Prapatti should have five or six constituents or qualities (angas) fulfilled: 1. Anukulasya sankalpa – resolution of total submission to God, to do only things that pleases God, 2. Pratikulasya varjanam – avoidance of all negatives in submission, not to entertain any bad thoughts, not to do anything that displeases God, 3. Maha Vishwas (Rakshisyati iti vishwasa) – faith that only God shall provide protection and grant liberation (moksh), acceptance of only God as the savior, 4. Gopatratva varanam – praying for the protection and granting salvation (moksha), 5. Atmanikshepa – total sacrifice of one’s self to God, to leave everything up to God (ātma nivedanam, ātma samarpan, bhāra samarpan, and phala samarpan), 6. Karpanya – feeling of helplessness or incapability to perform bhakti or devotion and to get salvation by one’s own efforts only and without the grace of God.
In Nimbarkacharya’s philosophy, as a personified God, the Lord of all, the controller of all, the Highest Reality, is known as Hari, Narayan, or Krishna (God). As the sole cause of creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe, as the basic material cause (upādāna) and the efficient cause (nimitta) it is known as Brahm.
In Nimbarkacharya’s philosophy, Brahm is believed to be the sole cause of the creation. Nimbarkacharya describes two aspects of Brahm. In one aspect Brahm is eternal, transcendental, the greatest, and the creator of all. In another aspect it is abode of all good virtues, qualities, beauty, bliss and charm. Brahm as God have four nirgun forms or “vyuh”, namely, Vāsudev, Sankarshan, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. Vāsudev Narayan is considered as the original form. (It looks like the word “view” may have origin in the word vyuh (also spelled as vyuha.) In worshiping God, Dvaitadvait philosophy is also a bhakti marg. Later philosophies does not differ much in philosophical (tāttvik) aspect, that is, number, status, or relationships of the three realities, of Hinduism but it mainly differ in the worshiping aspect of Hinduism, that is, the form of worshiping deity (ishtadev) and the way of worshiping.