In This Post, Let us see who are Pancha Tatvas and whom they represent.
Sri Pancha-tattva Pranama has a prayer like this:
panca-tattvatmakam krsnam bhakta-rupa-svarupakam
bhaktavataram bhaktakhyam namami bhakta-saktikam
“I offer my obeisances unto the Supreme Lord, Krsna, who is nondifferent from His features as a devotee, devotional incarnation, devotional manifestation pure devotee, and devotional energy.”
(SRI NITYANANDHA PRABHU – DIARY OF EVENTS WHEN HE APPEARED ON EARTH! READ HERE!)
Pancha-tattva Maha-mantra lists all the five Pancha tatvas:
(jaya) sri-krsna-caitanya prabhu nityananda
sri-advaita gadadhara srivasadi-gaura-bhakta-vrnda
We usually remind all these Pancha Tatvas before starting to chant Hare Krishna maha Manthras as a prayer to forgive our offenses while chanting and to get the blessings to make our chanting successful:
HARE KRSNA HARE KRSNA KRSNA KRSNA HARE HARE
HARE RAMA HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
(SRI CAITANYA MAHA PRABHU LIFE HISTORY – DIARY AND SIKSASHTAKAM! READ HERE!)
Who are Pancha Tatvas? Whom they represent?
Let us read what Srila Prabhupada has said about Pancha tatvas:
Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi lila 7.5:
“Sri Gauranga, Sri Nityananda, Sri Advaita, Sri Gadadhara and Srivasa are all on the same platform, but in spiritually distinguishing between them one should understand that Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is the form of a devotee, Nityananda Prabhu appears in the form of a devotee’s spiritual master, Advaita Prabhu is the form of a bhakta (devotee) incarnation, Gadadhara Prabhu is the energy of a bhakta, and Srivasa is a pure devotee. Thus there are spiritual distinctions between them.”
(SRI ADVAITA ACHARYA – LIFE HISTORY – DIARY : PART-1 READ HERE!)
Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi lila 17.301:
“…Although Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu appeared as a devotee, He is none other than the son of Nanda Maharaja. Similarly, although Sri Nityananda Prabhu appeared as Lord Caitanya’s assistant, He is none other than Baladeva, the carrier of the plow. Advaita Acarya is the incarnation of Sadasiva from the spiritual world. All the devotees headed by Srivasa Thakura are His marginal energy, whereas the devotees headed by Gadadhara Pandita are manifestations of His internal potency.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Advaita Prabhu and Nityananda Prabhu all belong to the visnu-tattva category. Because Lord Caitanya is an ocean of mercy, He is addressed as mahaprabhu, whereas Nityananda and Advaita, being two great personalities who assist Lord Caitanya, are addressed as prabhu. Thus there are two prabhus and one mahaprabhu. Gadadhara Gosvami is a representative of a perfect brahmana spiritual master. Srivasa Thakura represents a perfect brahmana devotee. These five are known as the Panca-tattva.
(CHANTING HARE KRISHNA MAHA MANTHRA – IMPORTANCE, TIPS AND COMPLETE PROCEDURE CAN BE READ HERE!)
Teachings of Lord Caitanya, Chapter 17:
“There is no difference between the energy and the energetic in regard to the Lord’s appearance as Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and His four associates–Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhara, and Srivasa. Amongst these five diverse manifestations of the Supreme Lord (as the Lord Himself and His incarnation, expansion and energies) there is no spiritual difference. They are five in one Absolute Truth. For the sake of relishing transcendental flavors in the Absolute Truth, there are five diverse manifestations. These are called the form of a devotee, the identity of a devotee, the incarnation of a devotee, the pure devotee and devotional energy.
Out of the five diversities in the Absolute Truth, the form of Lord Caitanya is that of the original Personality of Godhead, Krsna. Lord Nityananda is the manifestation of the first expansion of the Supreme Lord. Similarly, Advaita Prabhu is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord. These three–Caitanya, Nityananda and Advaita–belong to the category of Visnu-tattva, or the Supreme Absolute Truth. Srivasa represents the pure devotee, and Gadadhara represents the internal energy of the Lord for the advancement of pure devotion. Therefore Gadadhara and Srivasa, although included in Visnu-tattva, are dependent, diverse energies of the Supreme Lord. In other words, they are not different from the energetic, but they are manifest diversely for the sake of relishing transcendental relationships. The whole process of devotional service involves a transcendental reciprocation in the relationship between the worshiper and the worshiped. Without such a diverse exchange of transcendental flavors, devotional service has no meaning.”
So, one needs the blessings of these five PANCHA TATVAS to advance in his devotion to Krishna. More the blessings of exalted vaishnavas, faster will be the advancement in devotion.
(Why should we chant Hare Krishna Maha Manthra instead of Gayathri Manthra? READ HERE!)