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Friday, May 25, 2007

alpāṁśa and sarvāṁśa


After reading Anādi Dās’ interpretation of the last sentence of Paragraph 338 of Jīva Gosvāmī’s Bhakti Sandarbha, I consulted my friend Kṛṣṇa Dās on it.

Dear Kṛṣṇadas,
Rādhe Rādhe
I have here two translations of Jiva Gosvami’s Bhakti Sandarbha 338’s last sentence:

rahasyatvaṁ ca tasyāḥ kvacid alpāṁśena kvacit tu sarvāṁśeneti jñeyam.

(note: Bhakti Sandarbha 338 contains the quotation of the last verse of the Rāsa līlā in the Bhāgavata, promising readers of the Rāsa-līlā they will be freed from lust. After that, however, Jīva Gosvāmī cautions that one should not study or meditate on this if one gets male transformations – puruṣa vikāra. The Sanskrit sentence quoted above follows that warning)

Translation of Kuśakratha Dās:

“In one sense, some parts of these pastimes are especially confidential. In another sense, all of these pastimes are very confidential.”

Translation of Anādi Dās, Germany:

“They misuse the meaning of the word intimate or confidential – rahasya, and they forbid any devotee which is not at least on the level of niṣṭhā from hearing any of the pastimes of the Lord with the gopis. In the quoted Bhakti Sandarbha (338) these words kvacid alpāṁśena kvacit tu sarvāṁśeneti jeyam, you didn`t translate, are also important, because they convey the meaning given by Jīva Gosvāmī to the word rahasya in connection to the gopī līlā, and they say that in this connection confidentiality refers to the fact: in which extent (complete- all, sarvāṁśeneti or less, alpāṁśena) the limbs of the hero and heroin touch. The meaning is that if līlā contains descriptions of touching of all the limbs, than it is confidential.”

I think both are wrong, especially the second one. My Gauḍīya Maṭh Bengali translation says that ‘in some places the pastimes are partially (alpāṁśa) rahasya (confidential) and in other parts completely (sarvāṁśa).” I feel that is the right one. I guess that the siddhānta here is that distinction must be made between adhikāra for hearing/reading partially intimate and fully intimate pastimes. What is your opinion?
advaitadas

Kṛṣṇadās replied:

Dear Advaita,
"I agree with you that neither Kuśakratha's or Anādi's translation are accurate. Kuśakratha evidently mistranslates the word kvacit and Anādi reads things into the sentence that aren't there. The Gauḍīya Maṭh translation makes sense to me. And it seems probable that Jīva Goswāmī wants to say, as you wrote, that a distinction must be made between adhikāra for hearing/reading partially intimate and fully intimate pastimes. The word nopāsya used in the previous sentence indicates adhikāra."
kd

Advaitadas: “What is actually the conclusion of this alpāṁśa and sarvāṁśa? That some stories can be read even with puruṣa vikāra as long as they are alpāṁśa rahasya? Seems hard to draw the line here... Any clues?

Kṛṣṇadās:
"As far as I have understood, it can happen that if people who have material nature (bhāva), ie. they consider the material body as their self and oneself as the enjoyer, and consequently do not see themselves as servants of Kṛṣṇa, if they read the descriptions of rahasya-līlā, their material bhāva gets excited. This is obviously something that should be avoided. However, it is natural for bhaktas to taste the rasa of bhakti in such descriptions. Those who have material bhāva will experience only their own material saṁskāras. They miss the whole point of the lila. Therefore, it is better if they don't read about rahasya-līlā. Sexual bhāva is dominant in man and requires very little to be stimulated. Nevertheless, nowadays, after the sexual revolution, it seems to me that the descriptions of rahasya-līlā are quite innocent in comparison to what can be found in contemporary literature (which, of course, is mostly devoid of rasa).

As we were talking back then in Vrindaban, previously, people had to learn vyākaraṇa and Sāhitya śāstra to be able to read all the wonderful books about Kṛṣṇa-līlā. At present, when there are translations it has become very easy for anybody to read them without proper training. Thus, it can also happen very easily that they become misunderstood. Therefore, proper education is very important. The problem which I see as quite important in relation to reading Kṛṣṇa-līlā is that devotees lack the understanding of the poetics that underlies the līlā-descriptions. The main purpose of those descriptions is rasa but very few know what rasa is and look for something else. They read books about Kṛṣṇa-līlā but are hardly able to read them over and over again. And even if so, they are, so to say, looking for information (details of the transcendental world or whatever) in the books and not for rasa. They are excited about them, no doubt, but I am not sure if they read them for the feeling of devotion they enable one to experience which is their purpose. The Upaniṣad teaches raso vai saḥ. The experience of rasa is for us the actual sākṣākāra of Kṛṣṇa who is beyond mind and speech. That is why, we, as Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, make such a big fuss about rasa. I hope this answers the question,
kd

Advaitadas: “Yes I agree with the general point you made there about adhikāra but it doesn't answer my particular question about the alpāṁśa and sarvāṁśa. This is what intrigues me in the last sentence of Bhakti Sandarbha 338. Problem is that Jīva and Rūpa often scribble down sūtras and leave us to realize these things for ourselves, to fluff them out so to say. And there is no ṭīkā to the Sandarbhas..... So what is your opinion on alpāṁśa and sarvāṁśa? You think that partially erotic pastimes would be allowed to persons with puruṣa vikāras and fully erotic ones wouldn't be?"

Kṛṣṇadas: "I think my general point answered the question. If one gets puruṣa-bikāra it means that one is just exciting his material bhāva. Such reading of Kṛṣṇa-līlā is not encouraged, regardless of alpāṁśa or sarvāṁśa. If sarvāṁśa (fully erotic pastimes) is too much for somebody, he should read just alpāṁśa (partially or slightly erotic pastimes). If one is so obsessed with sex that even this is too much for him, he should completely give up reading about Kṛṣṇa's erotic pastimes. The bhāva that should be excited is bhakti. If this does not happen when reading about the pastimes, something is wrong with the person. The conclusion is that there is no license for reading about Kṛṣṇa's rahasya-līlā when one has puruṣa vikāra. It goes against the general principle. The vikrīḍitam verse (the final verse of the Rāsa līlā) says that those who listen to or describe the pastimes of Viṣṇu with the gopīs will get rid of kāma. This is not possible if one is exciting one's sexual nature. It is rather likely that the opposite will happen. One can even become more lusty. The verse says that one must be śraddhānvitaḥ. Puruṣa-vikāra, exciting one's sexual bhāva, or whatever we call it, occurs because of lack of śraddhā.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who is Vijay Krishna Goswami?


I received this query from Anurādhā from Netherlands as a comment to a previous blog, but it warrants a separate blog, so here are the questions and answers:

Anurādhā: "I came across one personality in the book "Saints of Bengal" by O.B.L. Kapoor called Śrī Vijaya Kṛṣṇa Goswami. His appearance was somewhat similar to that of your respected Guru."

Advaitadas: It is very similar indeed.

Anurādhā: "Of course that is just appearance, but I also vaguely recall that you mentioned somewhere that you studied some of his works."

Advaitadas: "No, it goes further than appearance. Their lives and attitudes were very similar too, to the extent that my Guru brother Rākhā Haridās even called Sādhu Bābā 'a reincarnation of Vijay Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī'."

Anurādhā: "Hence I think of you to pose my question.I came across the same picture in a book about Rāmakṛṣṇa and Vivekānanda that someone gave me. He was somehow affiliated according to them. Similarly with the Brahma-Samāj as mentioned in OBL Kapoor's book."

Advaitadas: Vijay Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī was secretary of the Brāhmo Samāj until Rāmakṛṣṇa talked him out of it.

Anurādhā: Who is he ?

Advaitadas: Like Sādhu Bābā, he was a direct descendent of Advaita Ācārya, in both birth and quality.

Anurādhā: "What was his purpose?"

Advaitadas: "Like Sādhu Bābā, he had an independent, living mind. He didn't take the status quo of being a Gosvāmī, privileged born Guru, for granted, but wanted to explore the truth on his own. Like Sādhu Bābā, he came to the devotional conclusion on his own strength, after lengthy exploration, and became ācārya on his own strength."

Anurādhā: What do you know about him ? His life-story as told by OBL Kapoor is very intriguing, inspiring, but also confusing.

Advaitadas: The confusion can arise when we fail to acknowledge the effect of being a direct descendant of Advaita Prabhu, who is Lord Shiva in Gaura līlā. Lord Shiva is the Lord of the yogis and that attribute appears in some of his descendants too, like Vijay Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī and Nikuñja Gopāl Gosvāmī.

Anurādhā: Can you shed some light and give some more insight on this remarkable Vaiṣṇava ?

Advaitadas: "There are many wonderful hagiographies of Vijay Krishna Gosvami on the internet. Google Vijay Krishna Goswami or Bijoy Krishna Goswami, you will find a lot there.

If, when you ask how to harmonize this, you refer to the yoga thing, let me say this: You may say "It is not pure bhakti" - perhaps so, but Vijay Kṛṣṇa Gosvami is singled out for mentioning in 'Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Jīvan' by Haridās Dās and in 'The Saints of Bengal' by OBL Kapoor, and Nikuñja Gopāl Gosvāmī's disappearance-day celebration is mentioned every year in the Gauḍeśvara Pañjikā, the annual Vaiṣṇava calendar of commemorations, unlike his rasika bhakta brothers and even his famous father Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī. That says something about the great admiration they harvested from the great Vaiṣṇavas."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu audio



After making a long review and study of Bhānu Swāmī's translation of Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu and all its comments last winter, by Kṛṣṇa's arrangement I got an audio version of the text too - 4 CDs of Satya Nārāyan Prabhu's lectures on Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu's eastern (first) division, dealing with general bhakti, sādhana bhakti, bhāva bhakti and prema bhakti. Like Bhānu Swāmī's book this quartet of CDs also discusses every verse and every original purport to each verse, and as a bonus the questions-and-answers session after each class is also included, providing a deeper perspective of the verses and their commentaries. Needless to say Satya-Nārāyan provides his own translation, quoting all the original Sanskrit texts along with them. Hearing (śravaṇam) is considered the first and foremost devotional practise so it was very nice to get an 'audio-confirmation' of the book I just read.

Hearing usually is a more powerful means of learning than reading. Like Bhānu Swami, Satya-Nārāyan Prabhu does not add to or twist Śrī Rūpa's teachings, so hearing the CDs is a very purifying and instructive experience. Plus he has a great sense of humour, so that during this audio-course of bhakti tattva you can have lots of laughs as well. While lecturing on rāgānugā bhakti, Satya-Nārāyan Prabhu apparently became inspired to lecture from Viśvanātha Cakravartīpada's Rāga Vartma Candrikā inbetween, and these lectures can be heard in the 6th decade of lectures, though they are named BRS lectures. Another wonderful bonus. The CDs are a bit costly but it is worth every cent of it. Both the quality and the quantity are enormous - 68 lectures of 90 minutes each makes a whopping 100 hours of pure bhakti tattva! Hearing the 4 CDs took me about 2 months in total.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Beltalāy - under the Bilva tree......


This is a picture of the Bael or Bilva-tree under which Sādhu Bābā delivered his powerful sermons in his ashram in Prāchīn Māyāpur, Navadwip, and with whose leaves and flowers he cured his followers' ailments. Lord Shiva lives under a Bilva- or Bael tree too.

The following description of Bilva is from yogamag.net:

Bilva – Lord Shiva’s Tree
Swami Vibhooti Saraswati
lakṣmyāś ca stana utpannam 
mahādeva sadā priyam,
bilva vṛkṣam prayacchāmi 
eka bilvaṁ śivārpanam

darśanaṁ bilva vṛkṣasya
sparśanaṁ pāpa-nāśanam
aghora pāpa saṁhāram 
eka bilvaṁ śivārpanam.

"Born from the breasts of Goddess Lakshmi, the Bilva tree is ever dear to Mahadeva. So I ask this tree to offer a Bilva leaf to Lord Shiva. To have darshan of the Bilva tree, and to touch it, frees one from sin. The most terrible karma is destroyed when a Bilva leaf is offered to Lord Shiva." - Śrī Bilvāṣṭakam (v. 6–7)

Indians believe that the knowledge of medicinal plants is older than history itself, that it was gifted hundreds of thousands of years ago to the original inhabitants by Brahma, the divine creator himself. Thus when the sages of the Ayurveda sought to heal human suffering, they were able to draw on knowledge that had already been evolving for millennia in the forests of India. One tree about which they had a very deep knowledge was the Bilva tree. The science of Ayurveda values the Bilva highly for the medicinal properties contained in its root, fruit and leaves. According to Swami Sivananda, it is a healing tree which cures all diseases caused by vata (wind) and gives strength to the body.

About the Bilva tree
The Bilva tree grows in almost all parts of India, irrespective of the nature of the soil, and is bitter, astringent and dry by nature. Tall and austere, with a stern aspect, gnarled trunk and sharp thorns, the Bilva is undoubtedly Lord Shiva’s tree. Shiva is always worshipped with its leaves, and it is said that this tree is much loved by him. It is to be found in all Shiva temples throughout India. The Bilva is also found in Devi temples, where it is worshipped. At midnight, on the evening before Durga and Kali pooja (worship), a tantric ritual called Bel Varan is performed with the appropriate mantras. A particular energy is taken from the tree and placed in a kalash (pot). This energy is then transferred to the statue of Durga or Kali to charge or empower it for the coming pooja. The process is called prana pratishtha, the establishing of the life force in the statue. When the pooja is over, the energy is released, a process called visarjan. The English name for Bilva is Bael, also called ‘stone apple’ as its rather large fruit is like pale yellow suns when ripe. The Hindi appellation is Bel or Bael Sripal. In Sanskrit it is also called Bilva or Sriphal. The botanical name for this tree is Aegle Marmelops, and it belongs to the Rutaceae family. In the Atharva Veda it is described as being so sacred that its wood may not be burned for fuel. It is still worshipped today as a totemic deity by the Santhal tribes in India.

Medicinal properties
The fruit has a hard wood-like rind, which is pale green when unripe, turning pale yellow to brown as it ripens. Its pale tawny flesh is sweet and astringent, containing tannin, which acts as an astringent to the bowels. It has a pleasant, agreeable and aromatic flavour, and provides an excellent dietary supplement. This fruit contains gums, vegetable acid and a very small quantity of sugar. It also contains white seeds and a tenacious transparent gel. The pulp of the dried Bilva fruit, powdered and mixed with arrowroot, is called ‘dietetic Bel’. It is both a sustaining food and a curative medicine, and is traditionally called by Indians ‘the fruit of plenty’. Puranic legend calls it ‘the breasts of the goddess of plenty’. The unripe fruit is roasted with a covering of mud, and the softened pulp mixed with water and sugar or buttermilk. It is more medicinal than the ripe fruit, particularly if dried in the sun. According to Swami Sivananda, “This is highly beneficial in sub-acute and chronic dysentery or diarrhoea, and is particularly useful in irregularity of bowels in children, because it acts as a mild stimulant to the intestinal mucus membrane and therefore stops diarrhoea, acting as a laxative when there is constipation. The unripe fruit cures excess vata and kapha, indigestion, stomach ache and dyspepsia.” A confection is made out of the pulp with amrita and honey, which stops vomiting. The half-ripe fruit is astringent, digestive and anti-diarrhoeal; it binds the bowels. The ripe fruit acts as a laxative, and is aromatic and cooling. The juice is an appetiser and blood purifier.

The leaves.
The dark trifoliate leaves symbolize the three eyes of Lord Shiva, and contain a small percentage of Shiva’s alchemical substance – mercury. These leaves have a very pleasant aroma, are used in the worship of both Shiva and Devi, and form an essential ingredient in tantric rituals. It is said that offerings of water sprinkled on these leaves at any shrine will always remain fresh. Sri Bilvāṣṭakam (v. 5) states, ‘


dāntī koṭi sahasrāni 
aśvamedhaṣṭāni ca
koṭi kanyā mahā-dānam 
eka bilvaṁ śivārpanam’

“Donating a thousand elephants, and horses, and giving daan (offering) of crores of kanyas (virgin girls) is equivalent to offering one Bilva leaf to Lord Shiva.”

The consumption of Bilva leaves alleviates diseases caused by excess vata and kapha (mucus). They are also useful in diabetes mellitus. For this a few leaves should be chewed daily and their fresh juice drunk. They are diaphoretic (producing more perspiration), thus reducing temperature and lowering fevers, and an aphrodisiac. A decoction of leaves is a favourite remedy for ailments that often occur during seasonal changes, such as fever, flu and fatigue. There are sadhus who sustain themselves on Bilva leaves alone. According to Swami Sivananda, “The fresh juice of the leaves is given with the addition of black pepper in cases of jaundice, and when diluted with water or honey, this is highly praised remedy in catarrh and feverishness.” The root is the most important part of the tree medicinally, after removing the outer skin. A preparation made from the root with ginger and toasted rice cures vomiting. For the treatment of piles, dysentery and diarrhoea, a preparation is made from the root mixed with the tuberous root of Padha. The oil extracted from the Bilva root, boiled with the juice of Bilva leaves and applied to the head is excellent for nasal catarrh and diseases of the ear. The confection Vilvadi Lehiam is also made from this root. The flowers cure diarrhoea, vomiting and thirst, while the gum of the inside pulp of the fruit is an aphrodisiac (kama-vardhani).

The Bilva tree in the Shiva Purana
According to the Shiva Purana the Bilva tree is the manifest form of Lord Shiva himself, while all the great tirthas (pilgrimage places) are said to reside at its base. One who worships the shivalingam while sitting under the Bilva, claims this great epic, attains the state of Shiva. Washing the head by this tree is said to be the equivalent of bathing in all the sacred rivers. One who performs Bilva pooja with flowers and incense achieves Shiva loka, the abode of pure consciousness, and has happiness and prosperity bestowed upon them. The lighting of the deepak (lamp) before this tree bestows knowledge and enables the devotee to merge in Lord Shiva. The Shiva Purana also claims that if the devotee removes the new leaves from one of the branches of that tree and worships the tree with them, they will be freed from vice, while one who feeds a devotee under the Bilva will grow in virtue.

The hunter and the Bilva tree
The Shiva Purana also relates the following story or myth. Once there was a cruel-hearted hunter by the name of Gurudruh who lived in the lonely forest. On the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri he had to go out hunting because his family had nothing to eat. Maha Shivaratri (the great night of Shiva) is the most sacred time for fasts, prayers and offerings, when even the most involuntary acts, if pleasing to Lord Shiva, are made holy. By sunset Gurudruh had not been successful in the hunt. Coming to a lake, he climbed a tree and waited for some unsuspecting animal to come and drink. He did not notice that the tree he had climbed was the Bilva tree. Neither did he notice the shivalingam beneath it, nor the water pot hanging in the branch just above it. After some time a gentle deer came to quench her thirst, and Gurudruh prepared to shoot. As he drew his bow, he accidentally knocked the water pot hanging in the tree and some water fell down on the shivalingam beneath, along with a few Bilva leaves. Thus, unknowingly and unwittingly, Gurudruh had worshipped Shiva in the first quarter of the night. As a result his heart was a little purified by this act performed on such an auspicious night. Meanwhile the deer, startled by the movement in the tree, looked up and saw the hunter about to release his arrow. “Please do not kill me just yet,” pleaded the deer. “I must first take care of my children, and then I will return to be food for your family.” The hunter, whose heart had been softened a little by the accidental worship, on noticing the beauty of the deer, let her go on condition that she would return on the morrow to give her body as food for his family. Later that same night, the sister of the deer came looking for her. Once more the hunter took aim and once more, without his being aware, the water and the Bilva leaves fell down upon the shivalingam. Again, unknowingly, the hunter had worshipped Shiva in the second quarter of the night. The effect of this was that Gurudruh’s heart was further purified. His pranas softened a little more, and he allowed this animal to also go and tend to its young, provided it returned the next day to provide him and his family with food. In the third quarter of the night, the mate of the first deer came in search of her, and again the strange worship took place as the hunter took aim for the third time. But the hunter’s heart was beginning to melt due to the worship, and he let the deer’s mate go also for the same reason and under the same conditions. Later when the three deer met together, they discussed who should go and offer themselves for the hunter’s food. Even the children offered to give their lives. Finally the whole family decided to surrender to the hunter together, for none of them could bear to live without the others. Thus they set off towards the lake with heavy hearts. When they arrived at the Bilva tree, Gurudruh was very pleased and relieved to see them, and he immediately prepared for the kill. He took aim for the fourth time, but in the same accidental manner as before, worship in the fourth quarter of the night took place unknown to him. This final action of Gurudruh brought about a complete change of heart and, as he was about to release the first arrow, his heart overflowed with pity for the innocent deer. Tears filled his eyes at the thought of all the animals he had killed in the past, and slowly he lowered his bow. Greatly moved by the selfless action of these animals, he felt ashamed and allowed the whole family of deer to leave unharmed. Such is the purity and spiritual power of the Bilva tree that, even without his knowledge or conscious effort, the cruel-hearted hunter had been transformed into a man of compassion and understanding, and was delivered from his past bad karma by the grace of Shiva and the Bilva tree."

I do believe western Vaiṣṇavas must study these things and not reject them as 'demigod worship' since we don't really know anything yet about Hinduism, not even after 30 or 40 years of practise. It will not compromise the exclusivity of our Radha-Kṛṣṇa worship at all. It needs to be known in general, and in particular for Radha-Kṛṣṇa worship also, because so many stories about different gods are mentioned in Gaudiya Vaiṣṇava literature that we often don't know anything about due to our lack of Vedic/Hindu upbringing.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Dhaniṣṭhā's comprehensive role

Dhaniṣṭhā is much more than just a maidservant of Mother Yaśodā at Nandagrām. She brings Kṛṣṇa His meal and messages from Mother Yaśodā and Nanda Mahārāja at Govardhana late in the morning (Govinda Līlāmṛta 6.32), Kṛṣṇa sees her as His best support for meeting Rādhikā (6.35) and consults her along with others about how to meet Her (6.40-43). She goes with Him to Kusum Sarovara where Kṛṣṇa plans His milan with Rādhikā (6.48-82), She makes the beautiful comparison between Kṛṣṇa and Girirāja to Rādhikā in the pūrva-rāga (GL 8.21-37) chapter of madhyāhna līlā, She walks ahead of Rādhikā when She goes on abhisāra (journey to meet Kṛṣṇa, GL 8.40) and on the way, in loving delusion, Rādhā calls Her a cheater (GL 8.55-64). Dhaniṣṭhā is ordered to stay behind at Sūryakuṇḍa with the pūjā-ingredients (8.70), yet a little later she does take part in the Smara Yajña (Cupid's sacrifice) in chapter 10, in which she plays the star Jyeṣṭhā (10.33); Dhaniṣṭhā is once again singled out for a rebuke by Rādhikā during Her second delusion, the ecstatic prema vaicittya-delusion (GL 14.6-10) and is Her cheerleader during the jala keli (midday water pastimes at Rādhākuṇḍa, Govinda Līlāmṛta 15.53), though she is usually described as being in Kṛṣṇa's camp. She takes Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's prasād in the padma mandir (at Rādhākuṇḍa at midday, GL 15.141) and is sent by Jaṭilā to get Kṛṣṇa for the Sūrya Pūjā (18.62-63). In the evening she is sent by Yaśodā to ask Rādhikā to cook Kṛṣṇa's supper (20.2-10). After Kṛṣṇa dined, "Dhaniṣṭhikā collected the remnants of Kṛṣṇa's meal and secretly gave it to her friend Guṇamālā to bring it to Śrī Rādhā" (20.17). Finally she sends Rādhikā that prasād through Tulasī (GL 20.57-61, as well as Vilāp Kusumāñjali verse 48).

In Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī's Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā (240) and Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi (3.56-58) she is listed among the principal gopīs. She appears to be a maidservant (she is listed as such too in the Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā), nāyikā (heroine) and dūtikā (messenger) all rolled into one.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Śyāmā and Śyāma

Regarding the ongoing discussion on vilasakunja about the non-difference between Durgā and Kṛṣṇa, the following:

Sādhu Bābā, being a direct descendant of Advaita Prabhu (=Shiva) and having long jaṭās (matted locks) naturally occasionally attracted visitors from Prāchīn Māyāpura's Ārdha Bārī (Kālī-temple), and he even brought a Kālī-deity for them from Jaypur during his last Vraja trip in 1985. Once such a group of devotees came for Bābā's darśan and Bābā turned to me personally and said, to reconcile: 'We are the greatest śāktas - rādhā pūrṇa śakti kṛṣṇa pūrṇa śaktimān (C.C.) ("Rādhā is the full śakti and Kṛṣṇa the full energetic"). Rādhā is Kālī because Kṛṣṇa is Kālā (the black boy)." He also used the following rhyme : 'śyāmār kole bose śyām-ke ḍākbi' - "Sit on the lap of Śyāmā (Kālī or māyā) and cry out for Śyām (Kṛṣṇa)." In other words, live a normal material (Śyāmā or Durga is māyā or matter) life, but in that situation cry out for Śyām (Kṛṣṇa)." He was an ekānta bhakta of Rādhā and Madangopāl, more than anyone else. He even forbade us to keep pictures of the Pañca-tattva or the Six Gosvāmīs on our altars because that would compromise our one-pointed attention to Rādhā and Madangopāl, and He always hammered on Śrīnāth Cakravartī's verse 'ārādhyo bhagavān vrajeśa tanaya' - "The worshipable God is the son of the king of Vraja."