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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Laghu Bhāgavatāmṛta (2)

LB 5.223 glosses the words śaśvatasya dharmasya in Bhagavad Gītā 14.27 as 'bhagavad dharma', hearing and chanting according to Baladeva, and aikantikasya sukhasya as 'of one filled with prema bhakti rasa'. Devaki-devi is described as para prakṛti sūkṣma " subtle spiritual energy".

In 5.235, Rūpa Gosvāmī glosses the word sadhvasam in SB 2.9.9 as 'the residents of Vaikuṇṭha being free from the fear of falling". Another direct hit for the fall-vādīs.

In LB 5.247-283 Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes from the Sixth Canto of the Padma Purāṇa about the yogapīṭha, the mystical seat of Viṣṇu.

In 5.286, tripād vibhūti is shown indeed not to refer to size but to quality. "Vaikuṇṭha is called tripāda vibhūti because it possesses 3 parts of power. All the power of the material realm are called only one portion. It means that the powers of the material realm do not exist in Vaikuṇṭha."

The story of Brahmā seeing countless Brahmās in Kṛṣṇa's audience-room is narrated in LB 5.320-323.

LB 5.344 quotes SB 10.15.8. Kṛṣṇa used Balarāma as a substitute, for it's inappropriate to say that Lakṣmī desired Balarām's chest. Kṛṣṇa would not reveal His intimate affairs to Balarāma, He was speaking in sakhya-rasa. The story of Lakṣmī desiring Kṛṣṇa, and Kṛṣṇa eventually granting Her a place on His chest as a golden line, is quoted from Padma Purāṇa in LB 5.351.

In LB 5.429-433 Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes various Purāṇas wherein Kṛṣṇa's pastimes are described in the present tense, and establishes the doctrine, later taken over by Jīva Goswāmī in the Sandarbhas, that present tense indicates eternity (vartamānasyanatvenoktis tan naitya vācika, 432)

In LB 5.450 Baladeva writes a long ṭīkā, quoting from various śāstras that Kṛṣṇa is the son of Yaśodā and Devakī. Later, in 455-460, Rupa confirms this with Bhāgavata-verses.

In LB 461-2, the famous vṛndāvanam parityajya verses, Baladeva argues that if Kṛṣṇa had really never left Vraja, there would be no separation for the Vrajavāsīs, no need for sending Uddhava to Vraja, or meeting in Kurukṣetra.

In LB 5.463 Rūpa Gosvāmī says that Kṛṣṇa went to Mathurā in a manifest form, hiding the fact He was Nanda's son to delight the people of Mathurā.

In 5.467 Rūpa Gosvāmī says the Vrajavāsīs were separated for three months in prakaṭa līlā. A visphurti (semblance of an appearance) of Kṛṣṇa kept them alive.

In verse 468, Rūpa Gosvāmī mentions two kinds of meeting with Kṛṣṇa: āvirbhāva (sudden appearance through Uddhava's message f.i.) and āgati (actual return). To prove that Kṛṣṇa actually returned to Vraja, Rūpa Gosvāmī quotes the same Bhāgavata-ślokas as Jīva later did in the Sandarbhas. That madhūn in SB 1.11.36 doesn't refer to Vraja, but Mathurā, is explained by Rūpa Gosvāmī (5.480): Vraja is within Mathurā, and Kṛṣṇa had anyway no friends left in Mathurā, having taken them all to Dvārakā (SB 10.50.57).

In 5.482 Rūpa Gosvāmī also quotes the Padma Purāṇa-text, saying that Kṛṣṇa returned to Vraja. This too was later taken over by Jīva Goswāmī in the Sandarbhas.

In 5.491 Rūpa Gosvāmī proves from Skanda Purāṇa that the Lord and the siddhas (nitya- or sādhana) can not only merge into an aṁśī (original form, like Droṇa and Dharā merging into Nanda and Yaśodā), but also re-emerge from them.

Commenting on 5.501, a quotation from Brahma Saṁhitā 5.56, Baladeva says that there is no time in the spiritual sky, meaning 'in other abodes of the Lord the divisions of time are present, but not in Goloka.'

On 5.503-5 he comments that 'vaikuṇṭha' in the famous verse 'vaikuṇṭhācca garīyasi' means ' Gokula'. It is eternal, though situated in the material world.

On 519 Baladeva comments that knowledge of time is covered by the līlā-śakti of the Lord (one imagines time to be passing).

The second part of the book, describing the glories of the devotees, is very brief - just 46 verses - culminating in:

trailokya pṛthivī dhanyā yatra vṛndāvanaṁ purī
tatrāpi gopikāḥ pārtha tatra rādhābhidhā mama

"O Arjuna! In the three worlds, the earth, where Vṛndāvana town is, is most fortunate. There the gopīs live, including My Rādhā."

I bought this book in Bengali in 1991, but its in my house in Holland, so I cannot cross-check the translation, but it seems yet another great presentation of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī's work by Śrīpād Bhānu Swāmī.

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