The Apostolic cCatholic Jesus Christ has history and theology that is connected to every major Branch of the ancient World’s Radha-Krishna-centric Vaishnavism. This is because the Divine Revelatory Tradition of Jesus is connected to the Brahma Lineage of Global Vaishnavism, just like the Gaudiya Vaishnava Tradition is! Thus if we go back far enough in both the Gaudiya Vaishnava Tradition and the JUDEO-cCatholic Apostolic (Heliopolitan or Afro-Heleno-Semitic Mediterranean) Tradition, we find the very SAME revelatory Tradition!
Actually PURE LAND BUDDHISM and Sattvic Theistic Shaivism and many other ancient global Eastern AND Western Hemisphere Sacred Traditions are also historically and theologically related to our same Revelatory Lineage ‘coming from’ Brahma, Surya and Manu, the Father of Humanity. In these related lineages there are always the parallel Traditions of transmitting the understanding of Divine Revelation, one being Theological or logical and analytical, dealing with everything from philosophy and physics to metaphysics, and the other mode of transmission being the narration of Lila or ‘Pastime’ Stories, in which the Transcendental, Mediating and Immanent Godhead and His Shakti is revealed.
So, there are two ways to understand the Holy Scriptures and Oral traditions of the Vaishnavas. One is as deeply meditated-upon and analysed THEOLOGICAL REVELATION. The other is as emotionally and psychologically experienced LILA. The LILA is the Story, the PLAY. In the Theological Approach we focus on Who the Actor IS. The ACTOR has been revealed as GOD HIMSELF. We understand the profound SELF-REVELATION of GOD, through HIS STORY-TELLING LILAS. HE REVEALS something of HIMSELF in His PASTIMES. What is that SOMETHING? To understand His Self-Revelation we must read, listen-to and reflect-on, meditate-on His Theology as explained to us through the PARAMPARA of His Self-Realized Devotees. We cannot understand the Theology of the Persons of the Godhead without the REALIZED spiritual direction and intellectual formation of the Mahatmas who have actually EXPERIENCED Knowing Him. The Great Souls KNOW THE ACTOR! He has an OMNI-PRESENT OMNISCIENT and OMNIPOTENT existence outside-of the PLAY.
The ‘self-realized’ Devotee Theologian can introduce us to the Divine Actor in the sacred Lila Scriptures / Tradition of his or her own people, because the Saint Theologian knows Him Personally in that Lila ‘Role’. However, the same Saint, may not be initiated into the Theological understanding of another Tradition of Revelation. Not being part of the sectarian Guru-Shastra-Sadhu sub-Lineage of another Sampradaya within the Maha Parampara of Brahma, Surya and Manu, a sectarian Saint will typically NOT recognise the Nama-Rupa Name-Form Revelation of their Own God as worshiped outside-of their own Lineage. The only reason that Vaishnavas in India recognize Rama and Krishna, Narahari and Matsya as FORMS of the Same God is because they have been taught to. Some have been taught that Shaivites exist who worship Lord Baladeva as the Highest Siva. These Vaishnavas can be non-sectarian regarding such Sattvic Theistic Shaivites. Thus such Shaivites participated in Sri Sri Gaura-Nitai’s Non-sectarian Hari and Hara Nama Sankirtan Movement, understanding that the Names and Forms of the Highest Siva were also Names and Forms of Lord Baladeva!
In this way, if we study both the Theology and the Lila Names and Forms of God in various ANCIENT ‘personalist’ Bhakti Yoga Traditions, we can discover the most astounding truth of all of the human adventure: In our remote origin as a single Human Family, we all worshiped the Same Godhead as revealed through the SAME SAVIOR GOD, Lord Baladeva.
What we must all now learn to appreciate is that the PLAY of God, meaning the LILA STORY or PASTIME is to be experienced by us, allowing God to remain ‘In Character’ as the Divine Actor in His own Play/Story. But, when we step-out of the Play, we must learn to see the Actor, God, with the eyes of His Theologian Saints. Thus the Theologian Saints can explain to us that Jesus is BOTH Theologically the Second Person of the Godhead, and simultaneously the ONLY BEGOTTEN MONO-GENOUS SOLE, ONLY, ALONE GENERATED SON of ELI / GOD the FATHER, WHO IS THE TRANSCENDENT SOURCE OF ALL. All Forms of God for Pastimes are Baladeva.
This is both a theological assertion and AN HISTORICAL FACT! I have researched this claim and found it to be true. In the Mediterranean Bhakti Tradition ALL of the variegated Forms of Helios Kouros were manifest through, with, in and by Dionysos or BAL-YAHU the Second Person of the Primal Trinity of HERU-AUSU-ATUM. (Please note that ATUM/N / ATMAN is the Holy Spirit Param-ATMA, and NOT Radha. Modern Jewish and Christian Feminist Theologians have made a serious mistake by trying to identify the Masculine Holy Spirit with the Feminine Shekinah / Shakti of Godhead. This is because they do not understand that the Purusha Trinity of HARI-VASU-ATMAN is paralleled by a Trinity of Prakritis, HARE (Radha)-VASUDEVI (the Shaktis of Baladeva-Vishnu)-Jivatma (Heva / EVE the Jiva-atma as Beloved of Param-Atma)
To summarize: Sri Hari, KRISHNA, is ALWAYS KOUROS (Has His Same Original Supreme Form of Youthful Beauty) and He ‘never leaves’ His Supreme Abode. But, BALADEVA SAM-KARSHANA the All-Attractive ALSO-KRISHNA, both stays AND ‘leaves’ Goloka Vrindavan, and appears in countless Nama-Rupa Name-Forms in the Lila or Pastimes of Godhead in this and every other Spiritual and Material World. Through speaking, hearing and remembering these Revelatory ‘Pastimes’ of the Lord can be experienced by the Devotees of the Lord, in two ways. One is affectively through the mind and emotions. The other is intellectually through logical, theological, philosophical and metaphysical etc. analysis and contemplation etc. When we consider WHO THE ACTOR IS IN THE LILA / PLAY, we are thinking theologically. When we are immersed in the Play / Story / Lila itself, we must allow God to remain ‘in Character’, or we CANNOT experience what it is that He is trying to communicate to US through His Lila.
Thus we must HEAR HIS STORIES or ‘SEE’ His Plays, produced-by and presented-from the Saints who both KNOW the Stories and Know WHO the ‘Actors and Actresses’ are in the Play. The Saints of the Lord’s authentic Bhakti Traditions can alone tell us about the writers of their Tradition’s Plays, about the Divine Actors and Actresses in their Plays, the ‘bonafide’ purports of the characters, settings and actions etc.
Thus we must ‘hear’ and ‘see’ the Bhagavad-gita AS IT IS, to both experience it at our deepest psychological and emotional level, and we must read Srila Prabhupada’s authentic Brahma Sampradaya Bhakti Yoga Commentary to theologically grasp that Sri Krishna-Vishnu-Paramatma is the Original Supreme Personality of Godhead. Just reading the Gita without a Bhakti Yoga Saint’s Commentary does not garuntee either the emotional experience or the intellectual realization of the Gita’s Self-Revelation of God. In the same way, one must experience Jesus Christ through His authentic Traditions of Guru,Shastra and Sadhu. His Apostles and Saints alone both know His Story and Who He IS. It is in their Sacred Repertoire to tell and explain His Story.
The Saints must be allowed to tell and explain the Sacred Stories of their Traditions without having them ruined by agressors, who like the demons of the Vedic Era were described as attacking and desecrating the sacred precincts of the yagna sacrificial rtyas / rites. Thus the proper etiquette of the Devotees is to offer all respects to the Devotees and Lineages of the other authentic Sampradayas, avoiding all offences to their various Gurus, Shastras and Sadhus. Understanding what IS an authentic Tradition is not complicated, once you understand the foundational theology of the related Great Bhakti Yoga Traditions, as revealed BY KRISHNA TO ARJUNA IN HIS BHAGAVAD-GITA AS IT IS.