Sat Kriya Sara Dipika.

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Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami has compiled “Sat Kriya Sara Dipika” as a Vedic samskara manual for the Vaishnava community. Recognizing that most of the Vaishnavas are grihasthas, and that they should perform the samskaras, he has given a procedure that is not contradictory or offensive to the Vaishnava ideals.


The first half of his manual is an argument for the worship of Vishnu to the exclusion of devatas, with ample scriptural evidence. The usual samskara manuals are compiled by those who are interested in karma khanda (accumulating material fruits), and prescribe worship of the devatas and pitris for material prosperity. Therefore, in his practical procedure for samskaras, Gopala Bhatta Gosvami substitutes worship of Ganesha, the material shaktis, and the planetary deities for worship of Vishnu and His associates. Whereas worship of devatas (who are mixed devotees), brings only material auspiciousness, worship of Vishnu and His associates (who are pure devotees), brings spiritual deliverance.


Gopala Bhatta Gosvami cites the alternative for the Vaishnava according to the Padma Purana:


ananya sharano bhakto nama mantreshu dikshitah
kada cin narcayed devan ganeshadims tu vaishnavah
yatra yatra surah pujya ganeshadyas tu karminam
vishnvarcane tatra tatra vaishnavanam hi vaishnavah
vishvaksenam sa sanakam sanatana matah param


sananda sanat kumara pancaitan pujayet tatah “The devotee interested in pure devotion to the Lord, and initiated with Vaishnava mantra should never worship Ganesha and the other devatas. Wherever the karmis prescribe worship of Ganesha and the devatas, the Vaishnava should worship the pure devotees of Vishnu. Thus instead of worshipping Ganesha to remove material obstacles, the devotee should worship Vishvaksena ( the commander-in-chief of Vishnu’s army in Vaikuntha) and the four Kumaras, to remove obstacles on the spiritual path.”(Padma Purana, cited in Sat Kriya Sara Dipika)


In the same way, instead of worshipping the nine planetary Deities one should worship the nine Yogendras, and instead of worshipping the Dik-Palas (protectors of the ten directions) one should worship the Maha Bhagavatas. Instead of worshipping the Matri Gana (sixteen female demigoddesses in charge of various material functions) one should worship the the Lord’s consorts who are the shelter of all spiritual and material energies.


Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura has accepted Sat Kriya Sara Dipika as the authorized Vaishnava manual for yajna and samskaras, just as he has accepted Hari Bhakti Vilasa as the authorized scripture for arcana, and has recommended that all Vaishnava grihasthas should follow these procedures.


Bhanu Svami



by Shri Shrimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Goswami Prabhupada


(Translated from the original Bengali)


According to the instructions of Shriman Mahaprabhu, Shrila Sanatana Goswami Prabhu compiled a Vaishnava smriti called the ‘Hari Bhakti Vilasa’ which was published by Shri Gopala Bhatta Goswami Prabhu. Shri Gopala Bhatta Goswami also wrote a book on the ten samskaras which is known as ‘Sat Kriya Sara Dipika’ and a manual called ‘Samskara Dipika’, which is a book on the rules for taking sannyasa.


Almost half a century after the Hari Bhakti Vilasa was published, the non-Vaishnava smriti compiler, Raghunandana Bhattacarya Mahashaya, wrote a work called ‘Ashtavimshati Tattva’. Before that, the paddhati of Bhavadeva and the Sat Kriya Sara Dipika were the most famous books on samskaras in Bengal.


After this, due to the strong influence of the Smartas, Sat Kriya Sara Dipika became obscure. The ‘Nrisimha Paricarya’ of Shri Krishnadevacarya and ‘Smriti Nibandha’ of Shri Keshava Bhatta were also published before another non-Vaishnava paddhati, ‘Nirnaya Paddhati’ of Kamalakara Bhatta was compiled.


We can observe from the writings of the Smarta Bhattacaryas that there are certain differences of opinions between Vaishnava smriti and non-Vaishnava smriti, in other words, between the smarta -smriti paddhatis and the Shri Hari Bhakti Vilasa of the Vaishnavas. There were many obstacles in the preaching of the Vaishnava-smriti due to the popularity of the non-Vaishnava smritis. The Vaishnava and non-Vaishnava paddhatis differ in many places regarding demigod worship, shraddhas, ekadashi vratas etc. Also, due to a lack of genuine Vaishnava grihastas, for some time, the Smarta ceremonies were accepted as Vaishnava. Non-Vaishnava rituals are not accepted as bona-fide by the Vaishnava world, and since this has been logically proven with shastric evidence, those sense-enjoyers who are inimical to pure devotional service find this fact unpalatable. Therefore, they have endevoured to stop the publication of books containing Vaishnava rituals and etiquette. However, there is no doubt that the vain hopes and desires of the non-Vaishnavas will be uprooted by the re-publication of this book.Those whose hearts feel pain as if pierced by a lance, by the spreading of Vaishnava-smriti, will not be able to appreciate topics of devotional service. Nontheless, the customs of the society of pure Vaishnavas, being like the Pole Star will shine forth brightly even in the darkness of the new moon.


It is not that the erroneous smartavada misconceptions have only penetrated the Vaishnava community of Bengal, they have also spread to other Vaishnava societies all over India; in some places more, in others, less. Therefore, the Sat Kriya Sara Dipika is not very famous now. By the endevour of Shri Shrimad Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who re-established the flow of pure devotion, this book was published again some time ago. Now, this is the third printing and we view this as an opportunity to propagate the Vaishnava faith and the rules, regulations and etiquette of devotional service.


For some time now, many people, who understood the value of following Vaishnava sadacara, felt the neccesity of printing this book again after the second edition was depleted. By the desire of Shriyukta Avidyaharana dasadhikari and Sevabandhava Mahashaya, Mahopadeshaka Pandita Shriyukta Yadavara Bhaktishastri (Sampradaya Vaibhavacarya, M.A. B.L.) has helped to correct this new edition. Without his endevour, this book would not have been published in such a nice way. He takes full credit from the Gaudiya Vaishnava community for this work.


In this edition of Sat Kriya Sara Dipika we have also included the ‘Veshashraya Paddhati’ with the Bengali translation of Shrila Thakura Bhaktivinoda.




The “Veshashraya Paddhati” has been published seperatly by the Bhaktivedanta Academy under Gopala Bhatta Gosvamis’ original title, “Samskara Dipika”.


Shri Siddhanta Sarasvati


Shri Jagannath Math
1ST Vaishakha 1342 Shakabda
( 14th April 1935 )

(To be continued…)


Sat Kriya Sara Dipika



Sep 20, 2016 — CANADA (SUN) — By Shrila Gopala Bhatta Gosvami. Printed by The Bhaktivedanta Academy, Mayapur (1995).


Foreword by H.H. Bhanu Svami




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