Essays

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For those interested in further studies of the topics discussed on this website, we have collected and written useful essays you may read. Currently, the entries are alphabetically sorted; as more content becomes available, we will sort them according to theme. Feel free to send us links to articles you believe might be of interest.



Introductory topics


We are currently working on a series of introductory topics. That pending, please review the Questions and Answers sections of Vilasa Kunja:

Lifestyle
History and Traditions
Sadhana
Siddhanta



Specialized topics


The following essays deal with themes that will be more meaningful for students of Gaudiya Vaisnavism who have already mastered the basics on theology and history. Available in PDF format.

An Analysis of Three Suspicious Texts (Jagadananda Das)
A thorough review of three works, namely Chaitanya Upanishad, Navadvipa Satakam and Prema Vivarta, that are suspect as being later works attributed to Vyasa and Chaitanya's companions.

Bhaktivinoda Thakur and Bipin Bihari Goswami (Jagadananda Das)
An investigation into the relation between Bipin Bihari Goswami and his disciple, Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinoda. Includes notes on the controversy surrounding the location of Chaitanya's birthplace.

Chanting Sanskrit verses in Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Jagadananda Das)
A thorough introduction to pronouncing Sanskrit and reciting various poetic meters, contains numerous examples of the different kinds of meters from various scriptures.

Charismatic Renewal in Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Jagadananda Das)
This article deals with the institutionalization of Gaudiya Vaishnavism in the 16th century, as well as subsequent developments until the dawn of the 19th century, providing heaps of useful information on the structure of the tradition.

Is the Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya connected
to the Madhva line?
(Jagadananda Das)
An investigation of the controversial issue of the connection of Madhavendra to the Madhva sampradaya, examining the historical facts surrounding the early Madhva-teachers connected to the Gaudiya tradition.

Jiva Goswami: Biographical information (Jagadananda Das)
A well-researched overview of the life and writings of Jiva Goswami, one of the great leaders and perhaps the most eminent among the scholars of the early Gaudiya Vaisnava sampradaya.

On the Doctrinal Basis of Siddha-pranali (Madhavananda Das)
Establishing the esoteric link to Radha and Krishna. This essay glosses the doctrinal basis of siddha-pranali, a concept at the heart of raganuga-bhakti.

Prabodhananda Saraswati: From Benares to Braj (Jagadananda Das)
This article discusses three controversial questions related to Prabodhananda Saraswati, namely his identity and relationship with Prakasananda Sarasvati, his relationship with Hita Harivamsa, and the authorship of Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi.

Prabodhananda, Hit Harivams and the Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi (Jagadananda Das)
Studying the controversy over the authorship of Radha-rasa-sudhanidhi and the relationship of Gaudiya Vaisnavism and the Radha-vallabhi-sampradaya, the followers of Hit Harivams.

References to the Hare Krishna Maha-mantra (Madhavananda Das)
A collection of references related with the 32-syllable Hare Krishna Maha-mantra, compiled from sources predating Chaitanya and from the writings of his followers.

Sac-cid-ananda and the Svarupa of the Jiva (Madhavananda Das)
Reflections on the controversy over the siddha-svarupa's inherence in the living entity and the positions of sat, cit and ananda vis-a-vis hladini, sandhini and samvit in the context.

The Authenticity of the Caitanya-Caritamrita-Maha-Kavya (Jagadananda Das)
Reviewing arguments on the authenticity of an early Sanskrit work on Sri Caitanya's life by Kavi Karnapura.

The Brief Essence of Raganuga-bhakti (Madhavananda Das)
An elaborate collection of references from the writings of the Goswamis and several subsequent teachers, stringed together with comments in explaining the theology of raganuga-bhakti.

The Parampara Institution in Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Jagadananda Das)
This essay contains a broad overview of a great number of issues, including discussions on parampara, the issue of initiation, and the developments of ISKCON and Gaudiya Matha after the departure of their respective charismatic leaders.

Women Saints in Gaudiya Vaishnavism (Jagadananda Das)
The position of a woman in Gaudiya Vaishnavism, historical and philosophical considerations, biographies of some well-known lady saints.



External links


The following essays found at other websites fall largely into the category of specialized themes.

Conversion: Self-surrender,
Deliverance and Transformation
(Joseph O'Connell)
This article peeks into the inner realm of a Gaudiya Vaishnava, reviewing the underlying psychology and ethical values behind devotional engagement.

Institutionalizing Prema-Bhakti (Joseph O'Connell)
Review of the early formative stages of Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, discussions on the exercise of authority within the tradition, on guru-disciple relationship and so forth.

Keeping Faith with Kheturi (Jagadananda Das)
Examining the history and implications of one of the most events in the early development of the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition.

Murali Vilasa, Vamsi Siksha and the Rasaraja Concept (Jagadananda Das)
A study of the history and theology Rasaraja-method of worship practiced among the descendants of Vamsivadananda in Baghnapada.

Siksastakam (Jagadananda Das)
This article discusses the history of Siksastakam, the eight verses written by Sri Chaitanya, providing us the explanations given by Krishnadas Kaviraja and Bhaktivinoda Thakura.

Radha in the Erotic Play of the Universe (David C. Scott)
An article studying the origins of Radha-bhakti, drawing from the writings of Jayadeva, Vidyapati, Surdas, Tamil poets and so forth. Some parallels with Christianity are drawn.

The Gaudiya Math Split Post 1937 (Dr. Finn Madsen)
A summary of Gaudiya Matha's history, it's split into initially two, and eventually dozens, of factions that formed after the departure of the founder, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati.

Why Did Chaitanya Mahaprabhu Come and What Did He Come to Give? (Gadadhar Prana Das)
An eloquent overview of the premises of raganuga-bhakti, this presentation supplies us with the core references from the writings of the acharyas explained in conjunction with the reasons of Sri Chaitanya's descent.
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