Sambandh, Abhideya, and Prayojan

“As the person who established the worship of Madan-Mohan, Sanatäna Gosvämé occupies a special position in the Chaitanyite disciplic succession. He is the representative teacher of sambandha-jïäna, or knowledge of our proper devotional relationship with Kåñëa. Rupa Gosvämé, whose name is inseparably connected with that of Govindadev, is the representative teacher of abhidheya-jïäna, or knowledge of how to develop that relationship with Kåñëa. It is interesting, however, that Raghunath Das Gosvämé, not Madhu Pandit – a contemporary of the Gosvämés who is usually aligned with the Gopinäth Deity, is considered the representative teacher of prayojana, the perfection of love of God.

“Nonetheless, it is said that Raghunath Das Gosvämé accepts the lotus feet of Çréla Rupa as his highest aspiration and that Çréla Rupa, in turn, accepts Sanatäna Gosvämé as his spiritual master and the lord of his life. In this sense, spiritual life is cyclical, for there is no higher or lower in a realm where everyone competes to be the highest by serving the lowest. It can thus be said that one devotee chases after the other, and all chase after Kåñëa.”

“…Chanted three times a day by brahmanas, the famed Gäyatré mantra is also said to honor this progression of Deities—Madan-Mohan, Govinda, and Gopinäth—by specifically mentioning their names. One line of the mantra begins as follows: “Klim Kåñëäya Govindäya Gopijanavallabhäya.” Traditionally, “Kåñëäya” refers to Madan-Mohan; “Govindäya” refers to Govindadev; and “Gopijana-ballabhäya” refers to Gopinätha.”

In fact, it is said that there are three prominent deities of Våndävana: Madan Mohan, Çré Govinda and Gopinätha, and it is explained by the Gaudiya Vaiñëavas that Kåñëa’s lotus feet are fully manifested in the most extraordinary way in Madan Mohan who is the Sambandha mürti. We establish our relationship with Kåñëa by first approaching His feet and then the Abhidheya-mürti, that is Govindaji. After establishing our relationship with the Lord then we act according to that relationship which is by rendering humble loving service and it is explained that the hands playing the flute and the chest of the Lord is perfectly manifested in its most super excellent way in the deity of Govinda. And through serving the Lord of abhidheya, gradually we become utterly purified and attain the state of prayojana bhakti. That means the ultimate goal of unalloyed love of God in the mood of the residents of Våndävana. Lord Gopinätha is the Prayojana-mürti.

SriSri Radha Ramanji has all 3 Thakurji in Him….and as we take darshan from Sri Lotus Feet to Sri Mukharvind…we go from sambandh to prayojan


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