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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

7 Instances of siddha deha in Śrīmad Bhāgavat

7 Instances of siddha deha in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 

On October 14, 2014, I published a blog which listed 4 instances in which a siddha deha, personal spiritual body, was described or mentioned in Śrīmad Bhāgavata, while the Bhāgavata mostly describes liberation as merging into Brahman or into Bhagavān. Since then I myself and several other devotees have found more verses on siddha deha in Śrīmad Bhāgavata, so I decided to delete the old blog and replace it with this updated one, adding 3 more instances to it. 

Nārada Muni in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 1.6.27-8-

evaṁ kṛṣṇa-mater brahman nāsaktasyāmalātmanaḥ
kālaḥ prādurabhūt kāle taḍit saudāmanī yathā

"O brāhmaṇa Vyāsa! Concentrating only on Kṛṣṇa, not attached to material enjoyment and pure in mind, the time of receiving my spiritual body occurred simultaneously with that of giving up my material body, like lightning flashing simultaneously with lightning."

prayujyamāne mayi tāṁ śuddhāṁ bhāgavatīṁ tanum 
ārabdha-karma-nirvāṇo nyapatat pāñca-bhautikaḥ

"Having been awarded a transcendental body befitting an associate of the Lord, the body made of five material elements, with karmas relating to the present body, fell away."

Śrīdhar Swāmī ṭīkā - bhagavatā mayi prayujyamāne nīyamāne – the word prayujyamāne means ‘the siddha deha is brought by the Lord’. anena pārṣada-tanūnām akarmārabdhatvaṁ śuddhatvaṁ nityatvam ity ādi sūcitaṁ bhavati: the bodies of the associates of the Lord are pure, without prārabdha-karmas, and eternal.

Viśvanātha Cakravartī ṭīkā - "The Lord previously promised hitvāvadyam imaṁ lokaṁ gantā maj-janatām asi: giving up this low body you will become my associate. (SB 1.6.23)  At the time of being made to accept a body which was śuddha-sattva (śuddhām) because it was not a material body and because it belonged to the Lord (bhāgavatīṁ), my material body (pāñca-bhautikaḥ) fell away. Giving up my material body and attaining a spiritual body were simultaneous, like the expression “I am walking while the cows are being milked.” The Lord’s own words were hitvāvadyam imaṁ lokam. The use of the verb form hitvā (giving up the material body) in this case indicates simultaneously giving up the material body while receiving the spiritual body. It is said:    

kvacit tulya-kāle ’pi upaviśya bhuṅkte ṛṇat-kṛtya patati cakṣuḥ saṁmīlya hasati mukhaṁ vyādāya svapitīty ādikam upasaṅkhyeyam -

There are examples in which the participles indicate simultaneous actions as in sitting down and eating, assuming debts and falling from esteem, closing the eyes and laughing, lowering the head and falling asleep. (Bhāṣā-vṛtti)."

Śrīmad Bhāgavata 1.15.32 -

niśamya bhagavan-mārgaṁ saṁsthāṁ yadu-kulasya ca 
svaḥ-pathāya matiṁ cakre nibhṛtātmā yudhiṣṭhiraḥ 

“Hearing the arrangements of the Lord and the proper situation of the Yadu family, without others knowing, Yudhiṣṭhira fixed his mind on attaining Kṛṣṇa’s abode. “

Normally the word svaḥ refers to the material heavens but in this case it means Kṛṣṇa's abode because later on in Śrīmad Bhāgavata [1.19.20] it is said about the Pāṇḍavas' final attainment -

na vā idaṁ rājarṣi-varya citraṁ
bhavatsu kṛṣṇaṁ samanuvrateṣu
ye ’dhyāsanaṁ rāja-kirīṭa-juṣṭaṁ
sadyo jahur bhagavat-pārśva-kāmāḥ

"O best of kings! It is not surprising that those desiring to associate with the Lord, born in the Pāṇḍava family and devoted solely to Kṛṣṇa, immediately gave up the royal throne served by kings' crowns."

From the context of this verse it is clear that bhagavat-pārśva-kāmāḥ means wanting to attain the Lord's side in the spiritual world because the departure of Kṛṣṇa from the material world had already taken place in chapter 14 of the same Canto.

Śrīmad Bhāgavata 3.2.23 is the clearest case of a soul attaining a personal relationship with Kṛṣṇa in a spiritual body, and it is most astonishingly bestowed to someone who tried to kill Him -

aho bakī yaṁ stana-kāla-kūṭaṁ
jighāṁsayāpāyayad apy asādhvī
lebhe gatiṁ dhātry-ucitāṁ tato ’nyaṁ
kaṁ vā dayāluṁ śaraṇaṁ vrajema

"Oh! Evil Pūtanā, who offered her poisonous breast to Kṛṣṇa to drink with the intention of killing him, attained the position of a nurse in the spiritual world. Who else is so merciful? I surrender to him!"

Another very clear one - Śrīmad Bhāgavata 3.15.25:

yac ca vrajanty animiṣām ṛṣabhānuvṛttyā
dūre yamā hy upari naḥ spṛhaṇīya-śīlāḥ
bhartur mithaḥ suyaśasaḥ kathanānurāga-
vaiklavya-bāṣpa-kalayā pulakī-kṛtāṅgāḥ

"Those who are far above rules by following the Lord with dedication, who are superior to us, and whose qualities are desirable by us, and whose bodies develop goose bumps and uncontrolled tears through attraction to discussions of the Lord possessing most excellent qualities, enter Vaikuṇṭha."

Verses 13-24 were an elaborate description of Vaikuntha so the context of this verse is crystal clear.

Dhruva undergoing transfiguration, his human body turning into a spiritual body on the spot, in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 4.12.29 –

parītyābhyarcya dhiṣṇyāgryaṁ
pārṣadāv abhivandya ca
iyeṣa tad adhiṣṭhātuṁ
bibhrad rūpaṁ hiraṇmayam

"Circumambulating and worshipping the plane which brought him to Dhruvaloka, an outpost of Vaikuṇṭha, offering respects to the two associates of the Lord, assuming a golden form, Dhruva desired to board the plane."

Ajāmila in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 6.2.43 -

hitvā kalevaraṁ tīrthe
gaṅgāyāṁ darśanād anu
sadyaḥ svarūpaṁ jagṛhe

"After seeing those forms, Ajāmila gave up his body at this holy place on the Gaṅgā River and immediately attained a spiritual body as an associate of the Lord."

Śrīnātha Cakravartī, disciple of Advaita Prabhu, comments in his Caitanya Mata Mañjuṣā-ṭīkā – sadyo’vyavadhānenaiva – sadya means seamlessly, (this happens) without a break, immediately.

Gajendra says in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 8.3.19 –

yaṁ dharma-kāmārtha-vimukti-kāmā
bhajanta iṣṭāṁ gatim āpnuvanti
kiṁ cāśiṣo rāty api deham avyayaṁ
karotu me 'dabhra-dayo vimokṣaṇam

"Persons desiring dharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa worship the Lord and attain the desired destination. What to speak of other benedictions, they also receive a spiritual body. May that Lord of unlimited mercy liberate me and bestow such a spiritual body."

To my knowledge there are no more references in Śrīmad Bhāgavata of the siddha deha.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

manjari bhāva is the greatest, and book burning.

Vaiṣṇava - Jay Rādhe! Someone quoted the following from Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī's commentary on Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī's anarpita carim cirāt-śloka: "unnatojjvala-rasa (the elevated amorous mellow) of Vraja cannot be attained by any method other than accepting the position of Śrī Rādhā-dāsya.”
[The verse runs as follows:]

anarpita-carim cirāt karuṇayāvatīrnaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasaṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacīnandanaḥ

“May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.”
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta ādi-līlā 1.4 and Vidagdha Mādhava 1.2)

Advaitadās - 
Yes, Jiva Gosvāmī writes in that commentary that

śrī-śrī-rādhā-dāsya-mātra-labhyānanya-labhya-vraja-sumadhura-prema-prakāśanāya tasyāḥ sarva-varīyastva-prakāśanāya ca

"Caitanya Mahāprabhu came to reveal the very sweet prema of Vraja which is only attainable through rādhā-dāsya and through no other means [ananya labhya]. He also came to reveal that this is the greatest thing there is."

This is significant because many devotees say Caitanya Mahāprabhu came just as well to give cowherd boy bhāva etc etc. It is also significant to show those who quote Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī's Ujjvala Nilamani so often to prove that sakhī-bhāva is actually the greatest thing, that not only Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī and Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmī, who are famous as the ‘rasika Gosvāmīs’ but also Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī, famous as the ‘philosophical Gosvāmī’ proclaims that manjarī-bhāva is the greatest thing.

Vaiṣṇava -
Yes, there is no doubt about this. They are all manjarīs and who else are the best ones to give the highest bhāva than those who innately have it? If Caitanya Mahāprabhu selected those who are in mañjarī bhāva to give the unprecedented and more sublime rasa, it means that mañjarī bhava is higher, otherwise if gopī [sakhi-] bhāva would be higher there is no meaning that He chose mañjarīs to preach that mood, instead He would have selected those have the mood of Lalitā and Viśākhā, but no, He selected mañjarīs. It is ridiculous to think that He chose mañjarīs to give another mood than mañjarī bhāva.

Advaitadās -
Yes, that too. All branches of the Gauḍīya Sampradāya, including those that say cowherd bhāva is just as good, give initiation in Kāma Gāyatrī and of what use is the concept of Kṛṣṇa as Cupid for someone contemplating himself as a cowherd boy?

Vaiṣṇava - How to harmonize that manjarī bhāva is the highest love for Rādhā with the commentaries of Viśvanātha Cakravartīpada to Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī’s Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi stressing sakhī bhāva instead?

Advaitadās - See Vilāpa Kusumāñjali verse 16 - sakhyāya te mama namo'stu namo'stu nityam dāsyāya te mama raso raso'stu satyam – “Let me always offer my obeisances to Your friendship (I am not interested in it) – Let me truly and always relish Your servanthood (mañjarī bhāva).”

Vaiṣṇava - Still the question remains why Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda wrote such commentaries.

Advaitadās - Well, look at it from another way - who wrote Sankalpa Kalpadruma??? 104 verses pure mañjarī bhāva....

Vaiṣṇava - Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda.

Advaitadās – Right. And did he ever write a similar book about sakhī bhāva?


Vaiṣṇava -
Rādhe rādhe. One of my friends from ISKCON just now posted a picture of a burning book and commented that this book is Advaita Prakāśa and he burned it in cause that this is sahajiya literature and posted a quote from Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswati that such books as Advaita Prakāśa are non-authentic and do not lead to pure bhakti. But on this page I see names of Mahāprabhu, Gaura, Kṛṣṇa, Sanātana....

Advaitadās -

Yes. Bhaktisiddhānta may have opposed this book but even he didn't say 'burn śāstra'. Book burning is a nazi-practise. Not only the names of Mahāprabhu, Gaura, Kṛṣṇa, Sanātana are in this book, the full biography of Advaita-candra is there. This is the only complete biography that exists of Advaita Prabhu, written by his lifelong servant Śrī Īśāna Nāgara, who was adopted by Advaita Prabhu at the age of 5 and served him till age 70. So how can it be non-authentic? And how this is a sahajiya book? sahajiyas preach one should contemplate on oneself as Kṛṣṇa while having an affair with a married woman who is supposed to be Rādhā. Nothing of that kind is described in Advaita Prakāśa. And what about māyāvādī-books? So many condemnations are there in Vaiṣṇava śāstra of māyāvāda - but they don't burn these books - instead they burn the only full and detailed biography of Śrī Advaita Ācārya, without Whom there would not be any Mahāprabhu even. ISKCON as a whole shouldn't be blamed for this burning of course - the book was published by ISKCON in several languages, this is the work of some mad fanatics that burn publications of their own organization.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Rāgānugā-study sequence and who gets lusty from Rāsa-līlā?

Vaiṣṇava –
Can you give a link or verses that establish the superiority of Rādhā’s mañjarīs over Her sakhīs? (Of course according to age, maryādā etc. the sakhīs are superior)

Advaitadās –

pādābjayos tava vinā vara dāsyam eva nānyat kadāpi samaye kila devi yāce 
sakhyāya te mama namo'stu namo'stu nityaṁ dāsyāya te mama raso'stu raso'stu satyam 

"O Goddess! I shall never pray to You for anything else but the excellent service of Your lotus feet! I offer my constant obeisances to the idea of becoming Your friend, but I really relish the idea of becoming Your maidservant!”  (Vilāpa Kusumānjali verse 16)

vihārais truṭitaṁ hāraṁ  gumphitaṁ dayitaṁ kadā
sakhīnāṁ lajjayā devi  saṁjñayā māṁ nidekṣyasi

O Devi! When will You, being shy before Your girlfriends, order me through a hint to restring Your dear necklace which broke during Your loving pastimes with Kṛṣṇa? (Vilāpa Kusumānjali verse 92)

vṛndāraṇya-maheśvarīṁ priyatayā yās toṣayanti priyāḥ 
prāṇa-preṣṭha-sakhī-kulād api kilāsaṅkocitā-bhūmikāḥ
kelī-bhūmiṣu rūpa-mañjarī-mukhās tā dāsikāḥ saṁśraye

"I take shelter of Śrī Rādhikā’s maidservants, headed by Rūpa Mañjarī, who always engage in serving betel leaves, massaging the feet, serving water, and arranging for the Divine Couple’s secret trysts. These maidservants are even more dear to the great Queen of Vṛndāraṇya (Śrī Rādhikā) than the prāṇa-preṣṭha-sakhīs (the girlfriends who are dearer to Her than life), and She is therefore not at all shy before them!" (Vraja vilāsa stava 38)

Vaiṣṇava –
You often mention that “attitude i.e. humility is most essential in bhakti bhajana, more so than big numbers and big sevā-accomplishments etc. Can you supply pramān to establish this point? I remember hearing bhāva grāhi janārdana, “Krṣṇa accepts the feeling mood and attitude more than sevā”, but don’t know if this applies. 

Advaitadās –

na hi sādhana sampattyā hariḥ tuṣyati karmavat; 
bhaktānāṁ dainyam evaikaṁ hariḥ toṣaṇa sādhanam 

 ‘Hari is not pleased with a mere huge amount of sādhana, it is not like karma. Hari is only pleased with the humility of the devotees.’ (Subodhini ṭīkā of Bhāgavat, Vallabhācārya]
Yes, bhāva grāhī janārdana also applies.

Vaiṣṇava –
Could you provide a sequential reading list of books one must read, study and understand to progress in rāgānugā bhakti?

1 Bhakti rasāmṛta sindhu, Rūpa Gosvāmī - Sādhana bhakti chapter;
2 Śikṣāṣṭakam commentary by Śrī Ananta Dasji Mahārāja
3 Mādhurya-kādambinī-commentary by Śrī Ananta Dasji Mahārāja
4 Raga Vartma candrikā-commentary by Śrī Ananta Dasji Mahārāja
5 Rādhā-Krṣṇa ganoddeśa dipikā – Rūpa Gosvāmī
6 Vraja Vilāsa Stava  - Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī
7 Stavamālā – Rūpa Gosvāmī
8 Utkalikā Vallari – Rūpa Gosvāmī
9 Śrīmad Bhāgavatam canto 10 with Śrīla Visvanatha Cakravarti’s Tīkās
10 Stavavali - Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī
11 Vilāpa Kusumānjali - Śrī Raghunātha Dāsa Goswāmī
12 Govinda Līlāmṛta – Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja
13 Krṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta - Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī
14 Bhāvanā Sāra Sangraha - Siddha Kṛṣṇadās Bābājī

Advaitadās - Before I put a sequence to this list, first this – Sādhu Bābā gave me Vilāpa Kusumānjali with his very own lotus-like hands, just weeks after my dīkṣā – kṛpā does not wait for a study sequence. Many of the titles you listed I read after the Vilāpa Kusumānjali. The first 4 on the list I agree should come first, in that sequence. Rādhā-Krṣṇa Ganoddeśa Dīpikā is more an index than a book, not really for systematic study but for consulting on case-by-case basis. After that one can read Sārārtha Darśinī 10th canto, though chapters 5-39 will suffice, for those who aspire for rāga bhakti, plus chapters 46-47. Then come nrs. 6-7-8-10-12-13. The Bhāvana Sāra Sangraha can be scrapped because it is an anthology of Govinda Līlāmṛta and Krṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta rather than a separate work. Vilāpa Kusumānjali should come last.

Vaiṣṇava –

The phala-śruti (concluding benediction) of the Rāsa-līlā-narration in the Bhāgavata says –

vikrīḍitaṁ vraja-vadhūbhir idam ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvitaṁ nu'śṛṇuyed atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ paraṁ bhagavatiṁ pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd rogam āśv apahinoty acirena dhīraṁ

"Anyone who faithfully hears and describes the pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa) with the ladies of Vraja (the gopīs) will attain supreme devotion to God and will soon become free from the heart's disease of lust. " (Śrīmad-bhāgavata 10.33.39)
Does this verse apply to everyone or to no one?

Advaitadās – Liberals say this verse is a blanket benediction, while conservatives say everyone gets lusty from hearing rasika kathā. They don’t know what to do with this verse. Neither are right. It is all a matter of bhāgya, luck. Śrīla Ānanda-gopāl Goswāmī said in his lecture on Vilāpa-kusumāñjali, verse 15 - līlā-kothā śunte śunte jāhār kāmodrek hoy, se hata-bhāgyo – “He who gets lusty from hearing about these pastimes, is unlucky.”

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Vaiṣṇava-dress, part 3

Inspired by this excellent blog of Panditji Śrī Satya-nārāyanjī, I added a paragraph to my paper on Vaiṣṇava-dress on my website (it is at the end). I will post it here too.

In Śrīmad-bhāgavata (10.14.35) Lord Brahmā prays to Lord Kṛṣṇa – sad-veṣād iva pūtanāpi sakulā tvām eva devāpitā – “O Lord, although the witch Pūtanā came to kill You, she and her whole family were redeemed by You and attained You just because of her sad-veṣa, her dressing like a saint.”

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī comments: satāṁ sad bhāva yuktānām vrajavāsiviśeṣāṇām dhātrī janānāṁ veśāt lebhe gatiṁ dhātryucitaṁ - “She wore the dress of the saints, those with true bhāva, the nurse of the specific Vrajavāsī style and thus attained the destination of the nurses (as an eternal, liberated associate of Kṛṣṇa).”

Śrīla Śrīdhara Swāmī comments: sad-veṣād iva satāṁ bhaktānāṁ yo veṣas tad-anukaraṇa-mātreṇa pāpiṣṭhā pūtanāpi tvām evāpitā prāpitā – “Simply by imitating the dress of the saints, of the devotees, even the sinful Pūtanā attained You (Kṛṣṇa).”

Then what to speak of those who dress like devotees to actually please Kṛṣṇa?

This blog is a sequel to the first two 'Vaiṣṇava-dress' blogs, here and here, posted in March, 2012.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

25 most essential ślokas

25 most essential ślokas

I was asked, for the benefit of hard-working devotees who have little time to study, what are the 25 most essential ślokas from śāstra, so as far as possible I compiled this list of the most impressive verses I learned from guru, śāstra and sadhu. I added an explanation to most of them.

ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanayas taddhāma vṛndāvanaṁ
ramyā kācid upāsanā vrajavadhū vargeṇa yā kalpitā
śāstraṁ bhāgavatam pramāṇam amalaṁ prema pumārtho mahān
śrī caitanya mahāprabhor matam idaṁ tatrādaro naḥ para

“The worshipable Lord is Kṛṣṇa, the son of king Nanda of Vraja. The abode in which we worship Him is Vṛndāvana. The delightful method of Worship is that of the cowherd wives of Vraja (the gopīs). The holy scripture the Bhāgavata is the spotless authority. The greatest pursuit of human life is prema, love of God. This is the opinion of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu. This deserves our highest respect, care and love.

(By Śrīnātha Cakravarti, disciple of Śrī Advaita ācārya and guru of Kavi Karṇapura, giving a synopsis of sambandha, abhidheya and prayojana).

gurau goṣṭhe goṣṭhālayiṣu sujane bhū-sura-gaṇe
sva-mantre śrī-nāmni vraja-nava-yuva-dvandva-śaraṇe
sadā dambhaṁ hitvā kuru ratim apūrvām atitarāṁ
aye svāntar bhrātaś caṭubhir abhiyāce dhṛta-padaḥ 

O mind! O brother! I hold your feet and I pray to you with flattering words:
Always give up hypocrisy and develop wonderful love for your Guru, the abode of Vraja, the people of Vraja, the saintly devotees, the brāhmaṇas, my initiation-mantra, the Holy Name of Kṛṣṇa and the shelter of the eternally youthful Couple of Vraja, Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa! (Manaḥ Śikṣā – 1)

We cannot see Kṛṣṇa while we are sādhakas, but we can recognize Him in and find Him through the above divinities. It is also the synopsis of the whole Manaḥ-śikṣā.

tṛṇād api sunīcena taror iva sahiṣṇunā;
amāninā mānadena kīrtanīyaḥ sadā hariḥ

“One should chant the Holy Name of Lord Hari in a humble state of mind, being more humble than a blade of grass, as tolerant as a tree, giving all respect unto others and not expecting any honor for oneself." (Śrī Caitanya-śikṣāṣṭakam – 3)

janmādy asya yato’nvayād itarataś cārtheṣv abhijñaḥ svarāṭ
tene brahma hṛdā ya ādi-kavaye muhyanti yat sūrayaḥ
tejo-vāri-mṛdāṁ yathā vinimayo yatra tri-sargo’mṛṣā
dhāmnā svena sadā nirasta-kuhakaṁ satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi

The essential definition of Bhagavān comes in the opening śloka of Śrīmad-Bhāgavat, 1.1.1 – “We meditate on the Supreme Truth, from whom all this is born, Who is both present in everything and aloof from it, Who is omniscient and independent. It is He who revealed the Veda to Brahma, the first sage, within his heart. He deludes even the great gods, makes this threefold unreal world seem real, just as the sun’s rays are mistaken for water (in a mirage), water for earth or earth for water, but who is Himself forever free from illusion due to His divine energy (dhāmnā).”

barhāpīḍaṁ naṭa-vara-vapuḥ karṇayoḥ karṇikāraṁ
bibhrad-vāsaḥ kanaka-kapiśaṁ vaijayantīṁ ca mālām 
randhrān veṇor adhara-sudhayā pūrayan gopa-vṛndair
vṛndāraṇyaṁ sva-pada-ramaṇaṁ prāviśad gīta-kīrtiḥ

The essential Kṛṣṇa-meditation is in Śrīmad-Bhāgavata (10.21.5) –
“A peacock feather crown (on His head), His body shaped like the best of dancers, Karṇikāra-flowers on His ears, wearing a garment colored gold and a garland of (five kinds of) victory flowers, filling the holes of His flute with the nectar of His lips, and the cowherd boys singing His glories, He entered the forest of Vṛndā, making its soil lovely with His footprints.”

smartavyaṁ satataṁ viṣṇor vismartavyo na jātūcit
sarva vidhi niṣedha syur etayor eva kinkarāḥ

“Always remember Kṛṣṇa and never forget Him – all other rules and prohibitions are subservient to this.”

anarpita carīṁ cirāt karuṇayā avatīrṇa kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala rasa sva bhakti śriyaṁ
hariḥ puraṭa sundara dyuti kadamba sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

 “May the son of mother Śacī, who is Hari Himself, appearing in a splendid beautiful golden form, and who has descended in the age of Kali to mercifully bestow the wealth of His own bhakti, which was never bestowed before, and which is endowed with the elevated amorous flavour, always be manifest within the cave of your heart.”

This is the paribhāṣa-sūtra of Caitanya-līlā, the bottom line of Gaura-līlā – what it’s really all about, beyond His external harināma-mission. It is the opening shot of Caitanya-caritāmṛta (Ādi 1.4), comparable to the opening verse of Śrīmad-bhāgavata.

man manā bhava mad bhakto mad yāji māṁ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo’si me

“Think of Me and be My devotee. Worship Me and offer your respects unto Me. Thus you will truly and certainly come to Me. I promise you this because you are dear to Me.”

This comes after Bhagavad-Gītā 18.64, where Kṛṣṇa announces that He will now reveal the greatest secret of the Bhagavad-Gītā. This verse summarizes all the items of bhajan. Nowhere is preaching mentioned, so whence the claim that bhajan is selfish and only thinking of one’s own liberation? Secondly, Arjuna was a gṛhastha, with a large family and retinue, yet Kṛṣṇa promises solemnly that he will attain Him, simply because he is dear to Him, so whence the claim that one must be a sannyāsī to attain Kṛṣṇa? To stress the importance of these points, Kṛṣṇa speaks it twice in the Gītā.

anyābhilāṣita śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśilanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

 “The topmost devotion is devoid of other desires, not covered by practices of jñāna (for impersonal liberation) and karma (fruitive activities), and is practiced deliberately and actively for Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure.” (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.1.11)

ananyaś cintayanto māṁ ye janāḥ paryupāsate
teṣāṁ nityābhiyuktānāṁ yoga kṣemaṁ vahāmyaham

 “Whoever constantly worships Me, exclusively meditating on Me, I will provide him with all his needs and will preserve what he has.” (Bhagavad-gītā 9.22)

Devotees should just do sādhana without worrying about maintenance.

cañcalaṁ hi manaḥ kṛṣṇa pramāthi balavad dṛḍham
tasyāhaṁ nigrahaṁ manye vāyor iva suduṣkaram

“O Kṛṣṇa! The mind is so restless, agitating, powerful and obstinate – it seems harder to check than even the wind.” (Bhagavad-gītā 6.34)

īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ saccidānanda vigraha
anādir ādir govinda sarva kārana kāranam

All the points are there – Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme God, His body is sac cid ānanda, full of awareness, reality and bliss, He is beginningless, He is the greatest of all and He is the cause of all causes.” (Brahma Samhitā 5.1)

ananta-śāstraṁ bahulāśca vidyāḥ svalpaśca kālo bahu-vighnatā ca;
yat sāra-bhūtaṁ tad-upāsanīyaṁ  haṁso yathā kṣīram ivāmbu-madhyāt

"The scriptures are infinite and the branches of knowledge are many. Our time is limited and our lives full of obstacles. Therefore we should worship the essence, just as the swan extracts only the milk from the water." (Canakya-nīti-darpanam 15.10) 

Showing one should not waste precious time in useless and shoreless studies, but just concentrate on the śāstras’ essence.

yaḥ śāstra-vidhiṁ utsṛjya vartate kāma kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na paraṁ gatiṁ

"He who rejects scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims, will not attain perfection, nor will he become happy or attain the Supreme Abode." (Bhagavad Gītā 16.23)

Śrī Kṛṣṇa warning heterodox teachers and their followers that they are not going anywhere.

bāhya antara ihāra dui to sādhana; bāhya — sādhaka dehe kore śravaṇa kīrtana
mane — nija siddha deha koriyā bhāvana; rātri dine kore vraje kṛṣṇera sevana 

"There are two kinds of devotion in practise — external and internal. In the external practitioner's body devotional practices of hearing and chanting Kṛṣṇa's glories are performed, and internally, in the mentally conceived spiritual body, one renders mental service to Kṛṣṇa in Vraja day and night." (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 22.155-156)

Śrīman Mahāprabhu teaches here that siddha deha-meditation is not just for liberated souls, but is a sādhana, showing also that there is more to sādhana than just external things like chanting, practical external service etc.

vṛndāni sarva mahatām apahāya dūrāt vṛndāṭavīm anusara pranayena cetaḥ
sattāranī kṛta subhāva sudhā rasaugham rādhābhidhānam iha divya nidhānam asti

Prabodhānanda Saraswati teaches how to live in Vraja (Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi – 9)-
cetaḥ! “Oh mind! Dwell in Vṛndāvana! (mental residence in Vraja is essential).
sarva mahatām – “All Vraja’s residents are saints”, but…
apahāya dūrāt – “Keep them far away.”
Q: Is that not an offence?
A: No it isn’t, otherwise the word mahatā (“great souls”) would not have been used.
Q: Why then keep them at bay?
A. 1. In order not to find faults in them and to continue to appreciate them.
2. In order not to get entangled and to peacefully do bhajan.
3. No mutual hurt will arise if there is any difference of opinion or style of worship.
“There is a great divine treasure there named Rādhā, a vast ocean of nectar-rasa and good feelings that redeems the saints!”

śanakair bhagaval-lokān nṛ-lokaṁ punar āgataḥ.
vimṛjya netre viduraṁ prītyāhoddhava utsmayan

"Gradually Uddhava returned from Bhagavān's world to the human world. Rubbing his eyes, he lovingly told Vidura in amazement..." (Quoted from Śrīmad-bhāgavat 3.2.6 in Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha 106) showing that Goloka is not a ‘planet’ but a world. It is not attainable by material travel through space with a rocket. Uddhava’s return was a mental one, not a physical one.

krome krome pāye lok bhava sindhu kūla

“Slowly and gradually the people will reach the shore of the ocean of material existence.” (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 16.237) 

Against fanatic dreaming and instant liberation-vāda of neophytes passionately imagining themselves to be able to attain perfection or liberation in 5 minutes or less. Of all people, Śrīman Mahāprabhu spoke it to the greatest vairāgī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī. Even he was told to wait.

dhyāyaṁs taṁ śikhi piñcha maulim aniśaṁ tan nāma saṅkīrtayan
nityaṁ tac caraṇāmbujaṁ paricaraṁs tan mantra varyaṁ japan
śrī rādhā pada dāsyam eva paramābhīṣṭaṁ hṛdā dhārayan
karhi syāṁ tad anugraheṇa paramodbhutānurāgotsavaḥ

“I always meditate on Kṛṣṇa, who wears a crown of peacock feathers, I always sing His name in saṅkīrtana, I always serve His lotus feet (the deity) and repeat His best of mantras, holding the desire for the supremely cherished service of Śrī Rādhā's lotus feet in my heart. When will that great festival of divine love arise in my heart by His grace?”

Śrīla Prabodhānanda Saraswatī explaining (in Rādhā-rasa sudhānidhi 259) why there is no need for separate rādhā-kīrtan and rādhā-mantra…

ataeva gopī-bhāva koro angikāra

“Therefore, accept the mood of the gopīs.”

Showing that gopī-bhāva is not sahajiya, otherwise Caitanya Mahāprabhu, who spoke this (in Caitanya-caritāmṛta Madhya 8.228), would also be a sahajiya.

dīkṣā-kāle bhakta kore ātma-samarpaṇa; sei-kāle kṛṣṇa tāre kore ātma-sama
sei deha kore tāra cid-ānanda-moya; aprākṛta-dehe tāṅra caraṇa bhajoya

Mahāprabhu vāṇī (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Antya 4.192-193) “At the time of initiation the devotee surrenders his very self – at that time Kṛṣṇa makes him equal to Himself and makes His body transcendental. In such a spiritual body he can serve Kṛṣṇa’s lotus-feet.”

Showing that dīkṣā is not just a ritual, but an act of surrender and it ultimately yields the spiritual body.

rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī śaktir asmād
ekātmānāv api bhuvi purā deha-bhedaṁ gatau tau
caitanyākhyaṁ prakaṭam adhunā tad-dvayaṁ caikyam āptaṁ
rādhā-bhāva-dyuti-subalitaṁ naumi kṛṣṇa-svarūpam

"The transformations of love between Śrī Rādhā and Śrī Kṛṣṇa are manifestations of the hlādinī-śakti. These two, although one soul, have manifested in this world in separate forms since ancient times. He, who is known as Caitanya, has now manifest as Their union. Obeisances to Him, who is Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, beautifully endowed with the feelings and lustre of Śrī Rādhā!" 

Here Svarūp Dāmodar Gosvāmī offers his obeisances to Gaura’s svarūpa, explaining that Mahāprabhu is not a merger of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, but Kṛṣṇa only.

vikrīḍitaṁ vrajavadhūbhir idaṁ ca viṣṇoḥ
śraddhānvito’nuśṛṇuyed atha varṇayed yaḥ
bhaktiṁ paraṁ bhagavatiṁ pratilabhya kāmaṁ
hṛd-rogam āśvapahinotyacireṇa dhīraḥ

“Whoever faithfully and continually hears and describes the pastimes of Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa) with the brides of Vraja (the gopīs) attains the highest devotion to Bhagavān, will swiftly become free from the heart’s disease of lust and become calm.”

The phala śruti (final benediction on the reciter and audience) of the Rāsa-līlā narration in Śrīmad-bhāgavata (10.33.39). It does not contradict warnings against possible sexual agitation from hearing or chanting the Rāsa-līlā. Getting sexually agitated from this topic happens to the unfortunate sādhaka.

tavaivāsmi tavaivāsmi  na jīvāmi tvayā vinā
iti vijñāya devi tvaṁ naya māṁ caraṇāntikam

“ I am Yours, I am Yours! I cannot live without You! O Devi!  Knowing this, please take me to Your lotus feet!”

Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Goswāmī’s ultimate surrender at Swāminī Rādhikā’s lotus-feet in Vilāpa-kusumāñjali (96) – the manjari bhāva mahāmantra!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017


Vaiṣṇava – “In his Vaiṣṇava Toṣani ṭīkā of Śrīmad-bhāgavat 10.45.3 Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī says that ariṣṭa-vadha (the slaying of Ariṣṭāsura, which prompted the appearance of Rādhākuṇḍa) took place on CAITRA PURNIMA. (ekādaśasya caitra paurṇamāsyam ariṣṭavadhaḥ, ed). Does that prove then that Caitra purṇimā is the ACTUAL APPEARANCE DAY OF Rādhākuṇḍa, because Rādhākuṇḍa manifested after the death of Ariṣṭāsura? Why then are Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas bathing on Kārtika Bahulāṣṭamī if IT IS NOT THE APPEARANCE DAY OF Rādhākuṇḍa? What are they celebrating?? What is so special about Bahulāṣṭamī, that the Padma Purāṇa glorifies bath then in Rādhākuṇḍa, and our Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes that in Mathurā Māhātmyam??"

Advaitadās – In the Kārtika Māhātmya of the Padma Purāṇa, it is said:

govardhana girau ramye rādhākuṇḍaṁ priyaṁ hareḥ      
     kārtike bahulāṣṭamyāṁ tatra snatvā hareḥ priyaḥ

"Anyone who bathes in Rādhākuṇḍa, which is situated by the charming Govardhana Mountain, on the day of Bahulāṣṭamī (the eighth day of the dark lunar quarter) in the month of Kārtika becomes very dear to Lord Hari, to whom this kuṇḍa is also very dear." Possibly this statement caused the tradition of Rādhākuṇḍa snān as we know it now. When this has become mixed up I do not know, but probably not too long ago as the current shape of Rādhākuṇḍa, with concrete steps, only exists since, I believe, 1864.

Vaiṣṇava – “I heard that we are bathing then to honor the discovery day of Rādhākuṇḍa by Mahāprabhu. But I thought Mahāprabhu arrived in Mathurā on Kārtika pūrṇimā, so how could He have been here on aṣṭamī? I was told that’s Mathurā, but BEFORE going to Mathurā while Mahāprabhu was on Vraja parikramā, Mahāprabhu came here on Bahulāṣṭamī and discovered Rādhākuṇḍa. Advaitajī, it seems that Bhakti Ratnākara says the VERY FIRST PLACE Mahāprabhu saw in Vraja-maṇḍala was Mathurā… He took Viśrāma Ghāṭ bath, Keśavji darśana, AND THEN Vraja-dhāma parikramā? Is there any pramāṇa to prove that Kārtik pūrṇimā was the first day that Mahāprabhu touched Vraja-maṇḍala, be it Mathurā or elsewhere?"

Advaitadās - Not only Bhakti Ratnākara, also Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Madhya 17.155) says that Mahāprabhu first came to Mathurā, then (Madhya 17.193) He saw the 12 forests, and only then (Madhya 18.3) He came to Rādhākuṇḍa. Yes, there can also be something wrong with the traditional celebration of Mahāprabhu’s first arrival in Braja on Kārtika Pūrṇimā, as far as I know there is no mentioning of Mahāprabhu entering Vraja on Kārtika Pūrṇimā, but that would still not solve the problem with the Caitra Pūrṇimā date of Rādhākuṇḍa’s appearance.

Vaiṣṇava - Who is Bahulā, and what is her/his relationship with Kārtika Bahulāṣṭamī?

Advaitadās - Bahulā is described as Hari’s wife in Mathurā Māhātmyam 342 (quoting from Skānda Purāṇa without any details) and-

The story of Bahulā Devi is recounted in a number of Purāṇas and in some versions the details of the story vary, but the essence of the story is the same. In the Padma Purāṇa, it says that in her previous life, before attaining the position as the consort of Lord Śrī Hari, Bahulā had taken birth as a cow in the forest of Bahulāvana, and her character was severely tested by the Lord Himself. One day, Bahulā was taken to the pasturing ground by her master, a local brāhmaṇa, so that she could feed on the fresh grass of Bahulāvana forest. Suddenly a very hungry tiger appeared from the jungle and was preparing to attack and eat Bahulā. Seeing that the end was near, Bahulā requested the tiger to wait just a moment so that she could feed milk to her hungry calf waiting nearby. Bahulā promised to return as soon as the calf was fed. The tiger agreed to the proposal and waited for Bahulā to return. Within a short time, after feeding her baby calf, Bahulā returned as promised. To her amazement she found that the tiger had disappeared and Kṛṣṇa was standing there along with Yamarāja, who had appeared as the tiger just to test her truthfulness. Being pleased with Bahulā’s honesty, even in the face of death, Kṛṣṇa gave her the benediction that in her next life she would attain the position as one of the goddesses of fortune and achieve the Supreme Lord as her husband.

I guess this līlā took place on Bahulāṣṭamī and the bathing in Rādhākuṇḍa coincides with this without further mutual relationship.

Vaiṣṇava - “According to the śāstra pramāṇa of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s ṭīkā on Śrīmad-bhāgavat 10.45.3, which is rock safe evidence for Vaiṣṇavas, it seems perfectly justified and correct that all Vaiṣṇavas should honor Rādhākuṇḍa appearance by bathing at midnight on Caitra pūrṇimā in Rādhākuṇḍa?”

Advaitadās - That seems logical and fair but somehow that’s not how the tradition developed.

Vaiṣṇava - That would save a lot of crushed ribs and bruises experienced by our gentle  brothers and sisters in those rugby-match midnight Kārtika-baths.

Advaitadās - Most people who bathe in Rādhākuṇḍa at midnight on Bahulāṣṭami want good offspring, a dowry for their daughter and a new motorcycle. In all the 35 years I did rāgānugā bhakti I went in only once on such a night, in 2002. Rūpa Gosvāmī writes in Upadeśāmṛta (11) that rādhā-prema awaits a bather in Rādhākuṇḍa on any day of the year, at any time. tat premedam sakṛd api saraḥ snātur aviskaroti. Who needs a motorcycle anyway?

Vaiṣṇava – “And on the other hand to honor Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s pramāṇa for a Bahulāṣṭamī-bath in Rādhākuṇḍa, one could just bathe easily during the day in Rādhākuṇḍa. Is this true or false?” 

Advaitadās - Yes, bathing on Bahulāṣṭamī can be done in the daytime as well, as there is no mentioning of night or midnight in those Padma Purāṇa ślokas (kārtike bahulāṣṭamyāṁ, Haribhakti-vilāsa 16.207-208) at all. In his Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā to that verse, Sanātan Goswāmī also does not mention the slaying of Ariṣṭāsura or the appearance of Rādhākuṇḍa being connected with the Bahulāṣṭamī-bathing. He merely writes: śrī rādhā-prāṇa-nāthāya śrīmad dāmodarāya te; sarvaṁ caitanya-devāya gurave’rpitam eva me. tatra kuṇḍe naraḥ snātvā hareḥ priyatamo bhavet. hi yataḥ. tatra tatra snānaṁ tasya hareḥ pratosaṇaṁ prakarṣeṇa toṣayatītyarthaḥ - "This is all dedicated to the Lord of Śrī Rādhā's life, Śrī Dāmodara, to Caitanya-deva and Guru. Having bathed there, in the kuṇḍa, should be dearmost to Hari. Bathing there is most pleasing to Hari."

Monday, February 13, 2017


I had some interesting realization about the word pradakṣiṇa -

This is the dictionary meaning -

The prefix ‘pra’ means: forward, in front, on, forth, motion, or prakṛṣṭa, excellence, and 'dakṣiṇa' means: to the right.

प्रदक्षिण pradakSiNa adj. circumambulation from left to right of a person or object as a kind of worship
प्रदक्षिण pradakSiNa adj. standing or placed on the right
प्रदक्षिण pradakSiNa adj. turning the right side towards
प्रदक्षिण pradakSiNa adj. to the right side
प्रदक्षिण pradakSiNa adj. respectful
प्रदक्षिण pradakSiNa adj. auspicious
प्रदक्षिन pradakSina n. circumambulation  [ in clockwise direction ]
प्रदक्षिणम् pradakSiNam ind. so that the reverential side is turned towards a person or object

In the story of the lifting of mount Govardhana, in chapter 24 of the 10th canto of the Bhāgavata, the supreme pradakṣiṇa, or Girirāja parikramā, was introduced -

10.24.29 pradakṣiṇaṁ ca kuruta go-viprānala-parvatān

Kṛṣṇa said - "Keep the cows, brahmins, fire and the mountain [Girirāja Govardhana] on your right as you go round them."

10.24.33 go-dhanāni puraskṛtya giriṁ cakruḥ pradakṣiṇam

“The Vrajavāsīs kept Girirāja Govardhana to their right during their parikramā."

As also after the completion of the Uddhava Gīta at the end of the 11th Canto:

11.29.45  sa evam ukto hari-medhasoddhavaḥ  pradakṣiṇaṁ taṁ parisṛtya pādayoḥ

“Uddhava went round the Lord, keeping Him always to his right.”

In Vedic culture the superior is on the right and the subordinate on the left.

śrīdāma subalau vāme puro'sya madhumangalaḥ
dakṣiṇe śrī balascānye paritaḥ samupāviśan

(Govinda Līlāmṛta 4.22)

"(During Kṛṣṇa's breakfast) Śrīdāma and Subala sat on Kṛṣṇa's left, Madhumangala faced Him and Balarāma sat on His right........”

Balarāma, Kṛṣṇa's superior, sits on the right, and Śrīdāma and Subala, His subordinates, on the left.

dakṣiṇe'syāgrajau vāme'nujau putrau puraḥ sthitau; 
subhadrādyā harer vāme baṭavo bala dakṣiṇe

(Govinda Līlāmṛta 20.44)

(During supper) "Nanda's older brothers (Upananda and Abhinanda) sat on his right, his younger brothers (Sananda and Nandana) on his left and Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma faced him. Subhadra and others sat on Kṛṣṇa's left and the brāhmaṇas sat on Balarāma's right."

I first learned the principle of junior to the left and senior to the right during my initiation from Sādhu Bābā in Vṛndāvana in 1982. I was asked to sit to Sādhu Bābā's left during the private ceremony.

The most famous verse mentioning pradakṣiṇa is: yāni kāni ca pāpāni brahma hatyādikāni ca tāni tāni pranaśyanti pradakṣiṇa pade pade (Which I cannot find in Haribhakti Vilāsa)

There is also a pradakṣiṇa māhātmya (glorification of pradakṣiṇa) in the 8th vilāsa of the Haribhakti Vilāsa.