Betwixt and Between: The Guru Doctrine of Chaitanya Vaishnavism

How to Cite

Mans Broo. (2022). Betwixt and Between: The Guru Doctrine of Chaitanya Vaishnavism: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 21(1), 231–241. Retrieved from


Statements such as these, identifying the guru with the supreme divinity, are common enough in the scriptures of Advaitic Hinduism, where the line between god and human in general is difficult to exactly pin down. For Hindus that follow dualistic or semi-dualistic doctrines, where the difference between the individual selves (jīvātman) and the supreme self (paramātman) or God is emphasized, statements such as these may sound not only foreign but downright blasphemous. How could a human being ever be called God? Besides, no matter how saintly, learned and devoted a teacher may be, will he or she not be bound by the same natural laws as the rest of us? What kind of god is it who has to eat, sleep and attend the calls of nature, and perhaps has other human frailties as well?

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