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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Evaporation of Gaur-līlā and the mundane Name

Vṛndāvana, September 25, 2006
Yesterday-evening I had a wonderful darśan of one of the senior-most scholars and mahātmās of Vṛndāvana. I ask him two questions. First about Bhaktivinode's statement that Gaura is to be worshipped up to the stage of ruci. He says it is up to the stage of āsakti, which is a near-twin of ruci, but the most interesting thing is that he DOES confirm that Gaura-worship evaporates at a certain stage because Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa is the sādhya. Then, at bhāva and prema-bhakti it is Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-worship all the way. In a sense Gaura-līlā is nitya because Mahāprabhu thinks of Himself as a sakhī, mañjarī, or Rādhā, but for the sādhaka it dissolves (vismṛti, he forgets) at the stage of āsakti.

I then ask him about the theory that the holy name consists of mundane syllables if pronounced by mundaners. He confirms it, saying that the 10 offences also count for non-devotees, even though they don't know them, just like a child can be cured by medicine inside a sweet, unknowingly it will work anyway. He then quotes Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu (1.3.4)

āvirbhūya manovṛttau vrajanti tat svarūpatām
svayaṁ prakāśa-rūpāpi bhāsamānā prakāśyavat

"Bhāva
(created by either rāga- or vidhi-sādhana) manifests within the mind, making it attain its real form. Though it is self-manifest by nature it appears to be manifest by the mental faculties."

Bhāva does not manifest in a mundane mind. hari-nāma is similarly self-manifest but it won't sprout on the barren ground of a non-devotee's heart."

Edited (title changed) July 28, 2008

29 comments:

  1. Glad to see it answered for you.

    May I ask who this sadhu in Brindaban is ?

    Is he belonging to a traditional vaisnava line ?

    And perhaps you know as well from your own guru.. How is there\his approach towards devotees following in the line of Bhaktisiddhanta ? Do they also call it a 'broken-parampara'.
    My question is not about the color of dress, sanyasa and the differences of opinion about the time one starts lila-smaranam. My question is simple.. Do the senior traditional vaisnavas accept this line as bonafide ?

    The reason I ask is because within Gaudiya Saraswat line you will sometimes find ambivalence towards traditionals due to lack of knowledge. They are confused with other groups that follow sahajyic practices and hold mayavadic ideas. In consequence they hold the 'Pitambars' then as an example of what can happen if you associate with the traditionals.

    In return some traditionals got frustrated with the Gaudiya Sarawati's, especially when their guru's were being put on the same list as Bauls, Auls etc. Walls were build and on both sides feelings were hurt. (Strange, because on both sides there is devotees doing there ultimate to follow Sri Rupa and get the Real Thing)
    Because of this I am so very interested in the vision of an excalted traditional vaisnava on this topic. Someone who is above the mud-throwing-mentality (sometimes subconscious) that all of us have experienced.

    The more I get to know about traditional gaudiyas, the more I see that there isn't so much difference of opinion after all between the two maior groups claiming to follow Sri Rupa. One more inward (meditational) and the other more outward (preaching mission). But both bonafide and both providing the occasional appearance of a pure devotee.

    Or am I seeing it all wrong ?

    Yours in the service of Sri Radha

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  2. "May I ask who this sadhu in Brindaban is ?"

    Unfortunately me and some other bhaktas find it better to keep him shielded from the public.

    "Is he belonging to a traditional vaisnava line ?"

    Yes

    "Do the senior traditional vaisnavas accept this line as bonafide ?"

    All lines agree there are serious questions about both their diksa and their siksa, yes.

    "In consequence they hold the 'Pitambars' then as an example of what can happen if you associate with the traditionals."

    We produced one Pitambar, ISKCON produced hundreds if not thousands of them. Why they never look at all the sexual perversions, drug-scandals and fallen Gurus of themselves?

    "They are confused with other groups that follow sahajyic practices and hold mayavadic ideas."

    Some Saraswat branches conveniently call every other Vaishnava a sahajiya. The original
    concept of sahajiya was anyway different. There is a lot of ignorance about that, especially among westerners.

    "In return some traditionals got frustrated with the Gaudiya Sarawati's, especially when their guru's were being put on the same list as Bauls, Auls etc."

    Not over here. I really dont care how they think about us.

    Or am I seeing it all wrong ?

    No neither all wrong nor all right. It is an elaborate topic, its not that simple. Even among traditionalists there is a wide range of disputes, actually.

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  3. True, the critizism I am talking about mostly comes from westerners and doesn't represent more nuanced thinking in Gaudiya Saraswat circles.

    'All lines agree there are serious questions about both their diksa and their siksa, yes.'

    Is that diplomacy or do you leave it in the middle, because you do not know for sure what the final answers to these questions are ?

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  4. If that is Bhaktivinoda's opinion then how does it figure when he himself stated that dual-smarana of Gaura and Radha-Krishna is to take place so that two siddha-dehas are activated in order to participate simultaneously in the aprakat-lila of Both, and idea shared amongst the majority of (Nityananda-parivar) lines?

    It doesn't make sense (to me) to say that Gaura-worship should "evaporate" at some stage when a dual purpose and fulfilment (at least) is desired.

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  5. Good to hear of your safe arrival in Braja advaitaji...!

    Jai Radhe

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  6. Anuradha: "Is that diplomacy or do you leave it in the middle, because you do not know for sure what the final answers to these questions are ? "

    It is diplomacy. Earlier I stated that I dont want this site to be an affront to anyone - yet I can also not hush up the obvious....
    A thin line, you see?

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  7. Gaurasundara: "If that is Bhaktivinoda's opinion then how does it figure when he himself stated that dual-smarana of Gaura and Radha-Krishna is to take place so that two siddha-dehas are activated in order to participate simultaneously in the aprakat-lila of Both, and idea shared amongst the majority of (Nityananda-parivar) lines?"

    I am not a scholar of Bhaktivinode, so I cant answer that, though I heard that his writings contain many contradictions. BVT's ruci-idea I have from Tripurari Swami's Siksastakam-book, with Bengali quote. The 'two siddha-dehas' idea actually originates from Vakresvara's line, not Nityananda's.

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  8. I see.

    Unfortunatly that is where we seperate. What is obvious to you in this matter, seems ridiculous to me, having seen and lived with a few disciples of BS Sarawati energized with love coming through... parampara.

    Unfortunately sectarian consciousness makes people on all sides unable to recognize loving devotees where they appear.

    I just wish this curse will not catch me as well.

    You do not have to react to this. It's useless

    Still I wish you my very very best in your efforts to please our Lord who is dear to us all. Maybe one day somewhere we can shake hands again.

    Praying for the dust of ALL devotees of the Lord.

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  9. You have mentioned that the Vrndavana sadhu confirmed that Gaura-worship evaporates at a certain stage because Radha-Krishna is the sAdhya. Do you know if this sadhu also agrees with the idea you say originates with Vakreshvar's line that two siddha dehas serve in both Gaura lila and Krishna lila?

    Forgetting how Bhaktivinoda reconciles these points (since you say you are not a scholar of his work, and since this apparent contradition does not seeem exclusive to his work), how do you reconcile these points? How does the Vrndavana scholar you consulted reconcile these points?

    Thank you for another interesting blog!

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  10. In this case all Mahaptabhu associates must had been limited to ruci/asakti stages. Never gone to stage of Asakti I guess.

    What would be the interpretation of "Na So Raman Na hum Ramani" and why after chanting whole life "H K" mahamantra, Haridas Thakur left this world by chanting "Sri Krishna Chaitnya" ?

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  11. Dear Anuradha,
    I wasnt speaking about just parampara. What else you wanted me to do? You asked a question, I gave you an honest answer....

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  12. "In this case all Mahaptabhu associates must had been limited to ruci/asakti stages. Never gone to stage of Asakti I guess."

    That is silly. You know they are all Krishna's parikaras in Goloka, descending in prakatlila as males....

    "and why after chanting whole life "H K" mahamantra, Haridas Thakur left this world by chanting "Sri Krishna Chaitnya" ?

    Mahaprabhu stood right in front of Him, what would anyone say in that circumstance? radha-bhava dyuti subalitam naumi KRSNA swarupam....

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  13. "Do you know if this sadhu also agrees with the idea you say originates with Vakreshvar's line that two siddha dehas serve in both Gaura lila and Krishna lila? "

    I forgot to mention that he said the brahmin kishor deha evaporates at Asakti

    "How do YOU reconcile it?"

    aradhyo bhagavan brajesha tanayah - "The worshipable God is Krishna the prince of Vraja"
    radha krsna kunja seva SADHYA se pay (CC) "He will attain the GOAL of Radhakrishna's kunja-seva"

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  14. No offense intended Advaitaji, but I may suggest that such quotes, although interesting, are not extremely helpful. I cannot accept any answer as definitive without knowing the source.

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  15. I indeed belief your answer is honest.
    From a sectarian point of view that is.
    I am not troubled by other differences of opinion. "Color of dress", so to speak, seems insignificant to me.

    In Europe we all are wearing neither saffron nor white on the streets, isn't it ? Some of us even go to the temple dressed in blue ?!!! So these are relative issues.

    Doubting the integrity of pure devotees is not a relative issue to me. Advancement is checked if one continues on that path.

    For me personnally this attitude is a big dissapointment, because I like the "traditionals" and their knowledge. But if that knowledge leads to critizing Bhaktisiddhanta in his actual connection with guru and his disciples, I rather remain stupid. For what good will that knowledge do to me ?

    I hope to meet a "traditional gaudiya" one day that is able to glorify Srila Bhaktissidhanta Saraswati without ambivalance concerning relative issues and can see Chaitanya's signature in his example. I'll be happy to take instructions from such a person.

    Please, let me know if you find one, even if you disagree with him.

    Until that time I will stop visiting your blog for a while even though it
    will be hard for me and it saddens me deeply without excageration.

    Haribol

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  16. What is the meaning of a siddha deha that evaporates at a certain stage? Aren't siddha dehas eternally perfected forms?

    Are you saying that the brahmin kishor deha only exists temporarily in the mind during sadhana but is not an eternal reality? How do devotees serve Gaura lila in the spiritual world? Does Gaura lila even exist in the spiritual world?

    I must say, this is certainly shocking news!

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  17. Would you please be generous and kind enough to ask the first question at least another five Mahatma from braja and post there opinion here as well?
    If possible , if you could get to reach Navadwip and Orissa that will too great.

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  18. Anuradha, sorry you're going, but I can only stretch myself THIS MUCH to try to please everybody. One cannot please everyone all of the time. Ik heb je eerder aangeboden om prive te corresponderen. Het Bhaktisiddhanta-verhaal is lang en uitgebreid, maar dat moet je zelf weten. Zolang je niet op de hoogte bent van alle feiten kan je niet zomaar iemand 'offensive' noemen. Dat is me de afgelopen 24 jaar honderden keren overkomen, en meestal kreeg ik uiteindelijk toch gelijk. Het is allemaal angst....

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  19. Radhika Dasi: Just reverse the situation: Where in shastra will you find the opposite evidence? If there is no evidence either way, then yukti, or common sense must prevail.

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  20. Anon: "Would you please be generous and kind enough to ask the first question at least another five Mahatma from braja and post there opinion here as well?
    If possible , if you could get to reach Navadwip and Orissa that will too great. "

    There is absolutely no need for that. I have learned this basic idea from my Guru 24 years ago, and the mahatma I visited monday just filled in the blanks. Even that visit wasnt strictly necessary. The impetus was given by reading BVT's point of ruci in Tripurari Swami's book, with Bengali quotation in the endnotes. Check it out.

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  21. "What is the meaning of a siddha deha that evaporates at a certain stage? Aren't siddha dehas eternally perfected forms?"

    In my line we do not accept this brahmin kishor deha at all, the evaporation of it doesnmt take place in our practise. However, you may like to peruse the final chapters of Madhurya Kadambini, where there is a fascinating description of the identification with the material body slowly changing into an identification with the spiritual body. In our opinion the sadhaka deha is the deha in Gauralila.

    "Does Gaura lila even exist in the spiritual world?"

    Check it out in the Goswamis' books. They are fully mute about this. My Guru said that Navadwip-lila is eternal, in the sense that it travels around the material universes like Krishna-lila (the fire-brand).

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  22. Advaita Das: ...then yukti, or common sense must prevail.

    Common sense dictates that you MUST state your source when publishing information, in order for your arguments to hold weight. Furthermore, it sets a bad precedent. Anyone can cite a "mystery mahatma" and have his arguments verified in that way.

    Advaita Das: Just reverse the situation: Where in shastra will you find the opposite evidence?

    You haven't provided any evidence from shastra to support your claim. Why should we accept your assertion? No shastra and a mystery mahatma?

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  23. Gaura lila only exists out of necessity in the world of maya. Gaura lila is about the distribution of Krishna to the fallen souls. Since there are no fallen souls in the eternal vaikuntha realm therefore there is no need to save anyone there.

    While the other reason for Mahaprabhu's descent (tasting Radha's mahabhava) may seem like a reason other then saving the fallen souls, and therefore by necessity is not excluded from taking place in the eternal vaikuntha realm, in fact that is not really the case. Krishna's desire to taste Radha's mahabhava is an esoteric teaching meant for the upliftment of conditioned souls. In truth Radha and Krishna are not different.

    radha -- purna-sakti, krsna -- purna-saktiman
    dui vastu bheda nai, sastra-paramana

    mrgamada, tara gandha -- yaiche aviccheda
    agni, jvalate -- yaiche kabhu nahi bheda

    radha-krsna aiche sada eka-i svarupa
    lila-rasa asvadite dhare dui-rupa

    The worship of Gaura does fall away because the jiva's eternal bhava and rasa is with Radha Krishna. Mahaprabhu is like a bridge that the jiva crosses to reach Vraja consciousness from the world of maya consciousness. After attaining intimacy with Radha Krishna there is no reason for the jiva to relate with Mahaprabhu in private bhajan because the jiva has entered into his eternal relationship with Bhagavan. In public there may still be some Gaura related activity if that devotee is a gosthyanandi, but that is for the benefit of others. The inner life of that jiva has been transformed and he relates with Radha Krishna, not Mahaprabhu.

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  24. Just as there is 'tarko pratistha in material arguments and reasonings, there may also be a multiplicity of different opinions in the Gaudiya school. That is why apasampradayas creep up.

    If the dual-siddhadeha idea began in Vakresvara's parampara then fair enough, but it is also fair to say that Nityananda-parivaris agree with this and observe this too, right?

    I have to admit that I find all of this very strange. The point about "evaporation" is a good one, what does it mean precisely?

    About Gaura-lila being eternal, the books of several mahajans (Sri Lochan das Thakur for example) confirm that Gaurahari has His own 'loka' where He is served by both Radha and Rukmini (and their dasis). That aside, if He has His own 'loka' then that surely means that His (Gaurahari's) lila is eternal. Isn't it so that all avatars have their own lokas in the paravyoma or so?

    I suspect that this mahatma Advaitaji speaks of is a member of Advaita-parivar, am I right? It seems that all of these contradictions are contradicting each other.

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  25. "If the dual-siddhadeha idea began in Vakresvara's parampara then fair enough, but it is also fair to say that Nityananda-parivaris agree with this and observe this too, right?"

    Yes it is but I persoally doubt whether they received this in akhanda parampara from Nitai Cand...

    "About Gaura-lila being eternal, the books of several mahajans (Sri Lochan das Thakur for example) confirm that Gaurahari has His own 'loka' where He is served by both Radha and Rukmini (and their dasis)."

    Gaurahari is Krishna. That loka is obviously Krishnaloka.

    "I suspect that this mahatma Advaitaji speaks of is a member of Advaita-parivar, am I right? "

    No he isnt. I think generally this is a matter of spiritual revelation rather than factional infighting.

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  26. Advaita: "Gaurahari is Krishna. That loka is obviously Krishnaloka."

    Sorry, I should have been more specific. That part of Sri Lochan das Thakur's work actually specifies that it is Gaurahari who is being served by Radha and Rukmini, given abhishek by the both of Them. Reference is made to His golden complexion and all. So it definitely points to a 'Gauraloka' as it were. I'll have to read it again but if I recall correctly, the story is about how Narada visits 'Gauraloka' to see Gaura. Perhaps someone with Caitanya-Mangala can clarify?

    Advaita: "No he isnt. I think generally this is a matter of spiritual revelation rather than factional infighting."

    Ah well, I guess it is all subjective then. :-)

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  27. Surya always remains in the jyotiscakra. Wherever the sun comes one experiences suryodaya and wherever he goes is suryasta. The sun is always there, though. Similarly prakat-lila is always there but is experienced as Bhagavan's "coming" and "going". In relation to Gaur-lila this is repeatedly stated in Caitanya Bhagavat - "avirbhava tirobhava kohe matra veda". Caitanya Bhagavat and Caritamrita are the major Caitanya-shastras and from them it is clear there is no Gaura nitya-lila. Lochan Das' book is minor in comparison. The description there of "Gaur-loka" may be a hyperbole of glorification or poetry.

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  28. Hi,
    My name is Kunja Bihari.
    Do you speak Hungarian?

    ReplyDelete