Follow by Email

Friday, August 03, 2007

Phone sanga with Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās

As last year, Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās is in Holland for a few days in the summer and resides in Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam. Since no public transportation goes that far and it was very tough to get there last year, I decided to phone him this year instead.

Advaitadas: "How can there be samañjasa rati and sādhāraṇī rati in the spiritual world while Rūpa Gosvāmī said there are personal desires involved. Can persons with personal desires live in the spiritual world?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "The Queens are bound by certain rules, but this is all līlā. The rules are laid out by the Lord. This is following maryādā mārg, the path of protocol and is vidhi bhakti. This is their type of surrender. You have to see the rasa-scale as a rainbow. The colours don't just follow each other with a strict dividing line - they flow over into each other, and have grey zones in between. There is a large gamut, like 90% samartha / 10% samañjasa etc. Also, Vyāsadeva wanted to teach us the glories of samartha rati so he described alternatives like samañjasa and sādhāraṇī rati to give a comparison. To create a contrast."

Advaitadas: "Allright, that is in the context of the Bhāgavata, but in the spiritual world we should see it as a type of background for actual full surrender?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Kṛṣṇa is rasarāja and He enjoys all kinds of rasa."

Advaitadas: "Mathurā is considered higher than Dwārakā yet the Queens, with samañjasa rati, are considered superior to Kubjā, who has sādhāraṇī rati. How can this be reconciled?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Kubjā is not following the rules (moral codes) like the gopīs and unlike the Queens. This is how this can be reconciled."

Advaitadas: "Is there svakīya rasa in Goloka? Jīva Gosvāmī says there is only svakīya rasa there but Viśvanāth Cakravartī disputes that."

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Yes there is svakīya rasa there. It is mentioned in other Purāṇas, like the Brahma Vaivarta, not just in Jīva Gosvāmī's books. The Purāṇas give different levels of understanding and the Bhāgavata gives the highest understanding - parakīya rasa."

Advaitadas: "At the end of the Caitanya Candroday Nāṭaka Mahāprabhu tells Advaita ācārya:

dāsye kecana kecana praṇayinaḥ sakhye ta evobhaye
rādhā-mādhava niṣṭhayā katipaye śrī dvārakādhīśituh
sakhyādāv ubhayatra kecana pare ye vāvatārāntare
mayyābaddha hṛdo'khilān vitanavai vṛndāvanāsaṅginaḥ

“Some devotees are in a mood of servitude, some are fixed in a fraternal mood, some are fixed in the love of Rādhā and Mādhava, others in the Lord of Dvārakā and again others in My different descensions such as Rāma and Nṛsiṁha. I will lock you all in the chains of My love and give You attachment to Vṛndāvana!"

On the surface it seems from this verse that Mahāprabhu's associates are just conditioned souls who are being redeemed by Him, though they are supposed to be nitya siddhas. Plus there seems to be the possibility of being promoted from dāsya rasa, Dwārakā rati whatever, to Rādhā-Mādhava."

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Mahāprabhu failed to persuade Jīva Gosvāmī's father Vallabha to switch from Rāma-bhakti to Kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Nṛsiṁhānanda Brahmacārī was worshipping Nṛsiṁha, but the object of his love was Gaura. Its just like Nanda Mahārāja, who loves Kṛṣṇa but worships Nārāyaṇa."

Advaitadas: "I don't know if there are any other examples in śāstra, but my Guru's father Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī describes how Rādhākuṇḍa and Rādhārāṇī's sash-of-bells (kāñchi) talk back to Raghunātha Dās Gosvāmī. Q: It is clear from Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta (2.4.139-140) that all apparent inanimate objects in the spiritual sky are the Lord's nitya siddha pārṣads. They are items of the sandhinī śakti. Are they jīvas and nitya siddhas or even sādhana siddhas?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "They are nitya siddhas".

Advaitadas: "So if they speak they are sentient, conscious?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "They can speak, but then there is some aiśvarya, because that is superhuman."

Advaitadas: "Furthermore in this regard, in the Veṇu Gīta the gopīs pray to the clouds, trees, birds etc. Is that just poetry or all they also all sentient beings who can respond?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Both. They see them all as sentient. It is the nature of the uttama adhikārī"

Advaitadas: "So the uttam adhikārī projects his own feelings on the surroundings? Should we also see it with the bhramara gīta (Rādhārāṇī's Song to the Bee) like this?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Yes."

Advaitadas: "What about the stopover theory, that one graduates from Vaikuṇṭha to Goloka, upgrading one's sthāyi bhāva?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "sthāyi bhāva is sthāyi bhāva. If it is upgraded it was never a sthāyi bhāva. Vaikuṇṭha is not a stopover. You are quite correct with the examples of Murāri Gupta and Vallabha, who could not be persuaded to give up Rāma for Kṛṣṇa. One might to go there for sight-seeing as in an excursion, but not as a stopover."

Advaitadas: "After all, whatever you meditate on is what you will attain, right?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Right. It is called tat-kratu nyāya."

Advaitadas: "What is that? I thought kratu means sacrifice?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "No, in this case it means saṅkalpa. Whatever one vows to attain and is willing to do sādhana for, that one will attain."

Advaitadas: "I said earlier on my blog that if one meditates wrongly one can take the next birth as a material Indian girl; one can only attain gopī svarūpa while following the descriptions in the Gosvāmīs' books."

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "You were right. One needs to submissively follow the indications and descriptions given by the Guru and by the Gosvāmīs, otherwise one will get an adverse effect. There needs to be a submissive attitude."

Advaitadas: "We see persons in Gaura līlā having two svarūpas in Kṛṣṇa-līlā and vice versa. Are they different souls or the same? Like Rāmānanda Rāy being both Viśākhā sakhī and Arjuna."

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "He will be either Viśākhā or Arjuna according to the mood and the circumstance. You should not see it as Kṛṣṇa līlā transforming into Gaura līlā at some time in history. Both līlās are eternal and beginningless. They eternally run parallel with each other."

Advaitadas: "I heard a samādhi is being built for a fallen sannyāsī who passed away. Originally, for whom are samādhis meant actually?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "For those who have accepted veśa (sannyāsa). Not only in modern Vaiṣṇavism, it is an ancient custom like that. It is not extending to caste-considerations, only to sannyāsa. Other types of samādhi are jala samādhi, wherein the entire body, uncremated, is let into a holy river, or the entire body is buried, as the Christians and Muslims do. A fallen sannyāsī should not receive samādhi. He has lost his vow."

Advaitadas: "Why do we see so much opulence and luxury in the descriptions of Vraja in Govinda Līlāmṛta and Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta - palaces, jewels, gold..."

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "To attract the minds of the people and to establish the transcendental nature of the place. If the foundation of aiśvarya is not there the mādhurya may seem mundane."

Advaitadas: "So a mādhurya sādhaka can ignore such descriptions?"

Satya-nārāyaṇa Dās: "Yes."


  1. Note: Radhakrishna Goswami came in Gadadhara Pandit's parivara. His Guru Haridas Pandit was the Sevait of Radha Govinda.

    Gadadhara Pandit
    Ananta Acarya
    Haridas Pandit
    Radhakrishna Gosvami

  2. Radha Krishna Gosvami writes in his Sadhana Dipika: gopAla-dAsa-nAmA ko’pi vaizyaH zrI-jIva-gosvAmi-pAdAnAM priya-ziSyaH | tat-prArthanA-paravazena tena svakIyAtvaM siddhAntitam "There was a vaisya named Gopal, who was Sri Jiva Gosvami's dear disciple. He established the svakiya siddhanta because he was subdued by his prayer to do so."