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Saturday, July 29, 2006

ā-laya

I checked the tikas to the Bhāgavata-verse 1.1.3 today, the verse which includes the words "pibata bhāgavataṁ rasam ā-layaṁ", "drink the nectar of the Bhāgavata until laya comes". Śrīdhara Swāmī and Jīva Gosvāmī both translate laya as 'until liberation comes', but Viśvanātha Cakravartī goes further and points out that laya refers to pralaya, or swoon, the 8th and last of the sāttvika vikāras mentioned by Rūpa Gosvāmī in Bhakti Rasamrita Sindhu (2.3.58-60) as:

(8) atha pralayaḥ — pralayaḥ sukha-duḥkhābhyāṁ ceṣṭā-jñāna-nirākṛtiḥ atrānubhāvāḥ kathitā mahī-nipatanādayaḥ (58)

"Pralaya means a swoon caused either by happiness or distress.The symptom is falling to the ground." (That is why Satya-nārāyan Dāsjī quoted the 'drink till you drop'-verse).

tatra sukhena, yathā — milantaṁ harim ālokya latā-puñjād atarkitam jñapti-śūnya-manā reje niścalāṅgī vrajāṅganā (59)

Swoon due to happiness: "When Hari unexpectedly emerged from the vines, the gopīs' senses became numb and they lost consciousness out of joy."

duḥkhena, yathā śrī-daśame (10.39.15)—anyāś ca tad-anudhyāna-nivṛttāśeṣa-vṛttayaḥ nābhyajānan imaṁ lokam ātma-lokaṁ gatā iva (60)

Swoon due to sorrow: In the Bhāgavata-story of Kṛṣṇa leaving for Mathurā it is said: "Due to constant meditation on Kṛṣṇa  some gopis eyes, and other senses, stopped functioning. They were not aware of anything anymore in this world, like persons who have attained the Paramātmā."

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