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Monday, March 27, 2006

Last full day in Vraja

Vṛndāvana, March 27, 2006
The last full day of this trip to Vraja. In his Bhāgavat-pāṭh, Satya-nārāyan Dās teaches that the subtle body ages with the gross body, one feels as old or as young as one is. The ego ages along with the body, unless one is a transcendental jīvanmukta.

About tarka he says that it means one argues that there is fire wherever there is smoke, but this is flawed because rain could have extinguished the fire while the smoke is still there, or there can also be fire without smoke. Only when tarka is supported by śāstra it is acceptable - hence a tārkika is not necessarily a renegade.
The word jñāna is wrongly translated as 'mental speculation' - it is instead a highly elevated transcendental path.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Lokanātha's Guru

March 22, 2006
Sītānāth's Dol-Saptamī. I shoot a pic of Giridhārī on the wooden Brajabāsī-swing in 'my' gośālā at Rādhākuṇḍa.

Lokanātha Goswāmī's Guru, March 18, 2006:
Q: This view seems to me to be quite problematic. Why should he (Lokanath) not accept a diksa-guru? And how could he then give diksa to Narottama?
Madhavananda Das: "He may have felt it was not relevant, given his relationship with Mahaprabhu since his very childhood, and the infusion of all divine essence this relationship effected."

This is a bizarre theory for someone who, on Gaudiya Discussions, vehemently preached the need for everyone to take dīkṣā in the proper line. This is an echo of the theory of Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswati's followers. Mahāprabhu, Lord Rāma, Lord Kṛṣṇa- everyone gave the proper example by taking dīkṣā, and then Lokanāth Goswāmi did not need it? Advaita Prakāśa (12.97-100) clearly states that he did. Why Lokanātha Goswāmi's Guru is not mentioned in the different Guru-praṇālīs is a wonder to me too, since there are scriptural claims on him by both the Adwaita Parivāra and the Gadādhar Parivāra.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Holi/Gaur pūrnimā 2006

(Tulasis in Yadunath's garden)

March 14, 2006
2006 Colour Holi/Gaurpurnima
It's cloudy and windy, so no weather to be soaked by Holi-liquids. So I stay inside and give Giridhārī His abhiṣekh with just raw milk. In the evening there's such a rainstorm that I doubt if I will make it to Rohini's house, but I do reach it.

Rohini supports Jai-kṛṣṇa Dās Bābā's suggestion that a manjari's cloud-coloured dress can be white too, like an autumn cloud. It's not like a widow's dress, because it can have embroidery and ornaments. An apt discussion on a full-moon night, when Rādhikā goes out dressed all in white.

March 15, 2006
Stool-Holi begins early, at 7.45 a.m., when Brijabasis, with bags of powder, begin coloring each other. Rohini's place isn't much safer than the gośālā though - at 11 a.m. scary bands of Brijabasis with black hands (stool or paint?) are roaming around the house. When I cook for Rohini I warn him against my bad cooking. He wisely replies that (Mahāprabhu told Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī) we shouldn't eat nicely. I'll remember that next time I have guests! I suppose that if I didn't bother too much about nice dressing (the other prohibition of Mahāprabhu) I wouldn't be so terrified of stool-Holi anymore!

Sridhara Swami says that forgetting God in the famous 'bhayam dvitīyābhiniveśatah'-verse (11.2.37): bhagavataḥ svarūpāsphūrtis tato viparyayo dehāsmīti means "Not having a vision of God's own form. Hence one thinks: I am the body."

An alternative reading says: īśa vimukhasya tan māyayā'smṛtiḥ svarūpāsphūrtiḥ, 'Forgetfulness of God means that one does not perceive ones own svarūpa..." Nothing about falling from Goloka here....

About the famous 'ye'nye'ravindākṣa' verse (10.2.32) he says tvayi asto nirasto'ta evāsan yo bhāvas tasmāt bhakter abhāvād.... "Having no devotion to You" kṛcchrena bahu janma tapasā paraṁ padaṁ mokṣa sannihitaṁ sat-kula tapaḥ śrutādi."After many births of penance he attains the supreme abode, nearness to liberation, birth in a good family, learning..." 'sannihita' means "close, near, at hand, proximate, prepared to, ready or", so he's not really merged in brahman yet. This shows that no jīva falls down from Brahman, this verse having been the only option that would allow such a theory.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Waiting for the storm of Holi

(View of the gostha from Yadunath's back garden)

March 11, 2006
My western neighbor learned from his Guru that Holi was much dirtier before Kṛṣṇa's time (does he know about stool-Holi?) and that at Rādhā-ballabh temple in Vrindavan they put perfume in warm water for the syringes - kāntā yantra-vimukta-gandha-salilaiḥ siñcannimā dīvyati (Govinda Līlāmṛta 14.37)

March 12, 2006
In connection with a recent debate on a webforum about the meaning of the word 'kuṭināti', which is mentioned in Caitanya Caritāmṛta and Manaḥ Śikṣā verse 6, and which could not be found in any Sanskrit or Bengali dictionary, Haridās Dās translates it in 'Gaudiya Vaiṣṇava Abhidhāna' (vol. 2, p. 963) as kapaṭa abhinaya (masquerade, charade), chalanā (trickery) and vādānuvāda (false arguments). In his commentary on Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Madhya 19,160) Rādhā-govinda Nāth glosses it as ' sakala viṣaye kutarka' (sophistry about all issues) or kuṭilatā (crookedness).

March 13, 2006
Stool-Holi coming up on wednesday - seeking shelter in Rohini's house. This gośālā's wall is too low - Brajabasis can easily climb it!