Let’s say everything I’ve been saying for the past couple of days makes sense and everything lines up beautifully according to this left-right distinction. There’s this righteous religious path supported by Vedas, with karma yoga and dharma-artha-kāma-mokṣa and where not spending your wealth on sense gratification is a sin, and there’s this left-hand tantric path that doesn’t care for any of that, breaks up families, takes away sons and daughters and converts them into life long ascetics caring for nothing in this world.
People coming in the right hand tradition are sticklers for the rules and they value traditions, they are indisputable authorities and leaders of the men. They are endowed with Kṛṣṇa’s power to liberate people from material illusion and open their eyes to spiritual truth that everything is connected to the Lord and everything is meant for Lord’s pleasure no matter how material it might look.
People coming in the left hand tradition do everything the opposite way and don’t dwell much on spiritual value of the world around us. They appear to be dismissive and care only about Kṛṣṇa or whatever it is they consider important. Whenever they appear to offend somebody or diminish value of something they’d just say “Kṛṣṇa will take care”. Their devotion is unsurpassed but they always leave mess in their wake for someone else to clean up. Basically, they are like women. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them either, and at the end of the day their whims and capricious behavior is worth the trouble.
Right-hand, dakṣinācāra, spread through viṣṇu tattva expansions of the Lord down to one’s guru, who is representative of Balarāma. Left-hand, vāmācāra, emanates from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and passes down through a chain of pure devotees who might occasionally persuade people to abandon their gurus and surrender solely unto them. They don’t particularly care for rules of disciplic succession and allow for centuries long gaps between their appearances, carrying the same mood is more important than necessary proximity and initiation rituals. Oh, and they don’t care about rituals at all, their internal devotion overrides rituals and they are not going to depend on rules. If they offer food to Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa accepts it no matter what mantras they chant and what silverware they use, and same goes for worshiping the deities.
It’s the situation best illustrated by Sanātana Gosvāmī who “rescued” a deity of Gopāla from children playing with it(Him) only to be rebuked by the deity itself(Himself) that He had the best time of His life in the company of His pure devotees and now got stuck with this Sanātana fellow where everything is on schedule and there’s no freedom at all.
Of course most of the time we try to combine both of these paths and avoid unnecessary conflicts, but let’s say all of this is true. Then came Lord Caitanya with His Pañca Tattva and turned everything upside down.
We’d expect Lord Nityānanda to behave righteously and embody the dakṣinācāra but instead He was an avadhūta. We’d expect Gadādhara Paṇḍita to show symptoms of vāmācāra, as an incarnation of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī but he was anything but.
If Gadādhara Paṇḍita was internally a left-wing gopī he didn’t show it at all. He always displayed perfect deference to the Lord and was practically His shadow, not a behavior of the vāma side. If he was a true vāma he’d constantly argue with Mahāprabhu and try to control Him, he’d break up with Him and then force the Lord to seek reconciliation. He’d be jealous as hell, too, but nothing like that happened.
Instead it was Lord Nityānanda who broke all the rules, even broke Lord Caitanya’s daṇḍa, and if anyone was confused about Lord’s decisions they’d ask Lord Nityānanda to go and change Mahāprabhu’s mind. He had this privilege of being able to get away with everything, with the famous “If Nityānanda goes to the liquor shop you have to assume He goes there to preach” dictum.
The only time Gadāḍhara Paṇḍita get into trouble with the rules was when he wanted to follow Lord Caitanya to South India and thus break his kṣetra sannyāsa vow. In the end he didn’t. If he was truly left-hand person he’d say to hell with rules and simply follow the Lord no matter what.
This puzzles me and needs to be explained.
With Lord Nityānanda it’s fairly easy – the true propagator of the right-hand path in this world was Advaita Ācārya, as an incarnation of Mahā Viṣṇu or Sadā Śiva. He was the one upholding dharma and He made fun of Lord Nityānanda all the time, joking that it’s inappropriate for a brahmaṇa like Him to take meals in the company of a vagabond like Nityānanda.
If one wanted to learn the rules, Advaita Ācārya was the man. Lord Nityānanda was free from this obligation.
It also could be said that rules here and rules in the spiritual world are different. Up in Goloka Balarāma is fond of drinking vāruṇī and being intoxicated but down here intoxication is a no-no. Devotees would offer betel nuts to the deities but they would never take it themselves, even as prasādam, afaik. Lord Nityānanda, therefore, didn’t do anything against the rules as He knows them in His spiritual abode. In fact, everything He does ARE the rules there. He appeared as avadhūta only by our material standards. As I said, if one wants to see the example of dakṣinācāra in our world one has to look to our assigned incarnation – Advaita Ācārya.
Explaining away Gadādhara Paṇḍita is not as easy. All I can think of is that in the material world there’s no place for transcendental caprice. While in this body one can’t afford to act as if he was in Goloka, we can’t get away with breaking the rules here and it’s not the place to display transcendental emotions. If one has them he’d better keep them to himself and behave like a proper gentleman, as Prabhupāda instructed. Māya can catch us at every step and we should always be aware of her power to delude us.
Sometimes our devotees acted all transcendental when preaching or distributing books but similar examples would be relatively small to be recorded in Caitanya Caritāmṛta if they ever happened to Gadādhara Paṇḍita. I mean to say that if he occasionally displayed vāmācāra behavior it would have to be very out of line to be registered.
It is also wrong to assume that Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī is all about teasing Kṛṣṇa and acting out. She can afford those things because Her innate devotion, the one indicated by dakṣinācāra, is deeper than anyone else’s. Naturally, when She appeared in this world as Gadādhara Paṇḍita she had to accept limits on what She can display here.
And let’s not forget that Lord Caitanya wasn’t going to enjoy rasa as Kṛṣṇa Himself so the scope for displaying Śrī Rādhā’s devotion in the guise of Gadādhara was very limited even spiritually speaking.
Huh, it appears I’ve managed to explain the exceptions, which means I’m even more convinced in the plausibility of the rule. Well done (taps himself on the shoulder and leaves).