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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Phone Sanga (11)

Phone Sanga (11) Saturday, March 29, 2008 -

Bhakta: “Jīva Gosvāmī says that there is only svakīya bhāva in the spiritual World, and parakīya bhāva in the material World.”

Advaitadas: “Viśvanāth Cakravartī has said in Rāga-vartma Candrikā that there is parakīya bhāva on both realms. It would not add up anyway. What you meditate upon is what you attain, so if during lifetimes of sādhana you meditate on parakīya bhāva how could you attain only svakīya bhāva in the spiritual world? Nobody really knows why Jīva Gosvāmī preached such things, we should not cast a judgement on him.”

Bhakta: “So the body one gets after graduating from prema, taking birth from the womb of a gopī in prakat līlā, is material or spiritual?”

Advaitadas: “It needs to be suitable for attaining sneha, māna, praṇaya and all the other post-prema stages. The pre-prema body is shed because it is no longer able to contain the ecstasies of prema, so I cannot imagine that the next stage of body would be material.


sei prema nṛ-loke na hoy. 
yadi hoy tabe yoga, kabhu nahe viyoga, 
viyoga hole keho na jiwoy 

(CC Madhya 2.43)

“This prema does not exist in the human World. If it does it will be love in union, never separation, because in separation no one could survive.”

Bhakta: “Then perhaps it is a spiritualized material body?”

Advaitadas: “No, that is the current, initiated, sādhaka deha (CC Antya 4, 192-193).”

Bhakta: “It is sometimes said that there is some imperfections left in that intermediate stage in prakat līlā.”

Advaitadas: “I don’t agree. See it as graduating from perfect to more perfect to most perfect. You may compare it to graduating from high school – that’s something – and then still having to go to College to get a good job in business afterwards.”

Bhakta: “There is a new Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi out now. It is an edited version of Kuśakratha’s older one.”

Advaitadas: “With due respect to the deceased, Kuśakratha’s work is so poorly done it needs to be translated, from the Sanskrit to the English, all over again. Just editing the English without tackling the flaws in the translation of the original is just a cosmetic polish-up. Translating such texts is like opening up a PC – all the transistors and chips in them are so fine, you have to know what you are doing, or you wreck the whole machine.”

Bhakta: “In Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta (1.6) it says there are love-marks on the mañjarīs' breasts when they wake up. Doesn’t that indicate amorous involvement with Kṛṣṇa?”

Advaitadas: “No. It is explained in Ānanda Gopāl Gosvāmī’s purport of Vilāpa Kusumāñjali (1): It is a reflection of Kṛṣṇa’s love-marks on Rādhā’s body only, an external manifestation of the mañjarīs’ bhāva-tādātmya (oneness in feeling with Rādhā). That counts for this verse too.”

Bhakta: “Then in Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta 3.2 it is said that mañjarīs have to taste for the position of the Yūtheśvarīs although they are qualified for them.”

Advaitadas: “That is exactly confirming my point.”

Bhakta : “Couldn’t Kṛṣṇa have adjusted His complexion in order to fit into Mādhurya? After all it is not common or human that someone is blue.”

Advaitadas: “Black is beautiful. In regards to complexion, Mahāprabhu is the most human in that one, and Kṛṣṇa sacrificed His complexion to Rādhikā in becoming Mahāprabhu, but Śyāma is Śyāma and it is beautiful as it is.”

Bhakta: “But what would Nanda and Yaśodā think of their boy being of such an extraordinary complexion?”

Advaitadas: “Their sweet feelings cover up all awareness of Kṛṣṇa’s miracles too, so why not the complexion?”

Bhakta: “All the mādhurya must be in the Bhāgavatam, because it is said that Śukadeva is a parrot of Vṛndāvana.”

Advaitadas: “Whoever claims that is perhaps trying to be rasika and interesting; however, is there any scriptural evidence for that? The Bhāgavata instead says that Śukadeva was Brahman-realized and ran away from home, was caught by his father Vyāsa and then studied the Bhāgavata from him, and Caitanya Caritāmṛta says:

mādhurya bhagavattā sāra, braje koilo paracāra,
 tahe śuka vyāsera nandana,
sthāne sthāne bhāgavate,   varniyāche nānā mate

“Sweetness is the essence of Godhead, and it is manifest in Vraja. Śuka, Vyāsa’s son, described it in various ways in places of the Bhāgavata."
sthāne sthāne means here and there. Not everywhere.


yo brahma rudra śuka nārada bhīṣma mukhyair 
alakṣito na sahasā puruṣasya tasya

(Rādhā-rasa Sudhānidhi – 4) 

“Rādhā’s footdust is not easily attained by Brahmā, Śiva, Śuka, etc….”
All this does not point at him being a parrot of Vṛndavan, however glorious and important he is.”


Bhakta: “Then it is said in the Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta that Rādhā eats Her food lukewarm, while some say that the chapatis and the milk should be boiling hot.”

Advaitadas: “Boiling hot food is in the mode of passion according to Bhagavad Gītā (17.9, atyuṣṇa…āhāra rajasas). It burns the palate, the tongue and ultimately the mind. Cold food (yāta yāma - BG 17.10) is in the mode of ignorance and that leaves warm food in the mode of goodness. The middle of winter is a bit of an exception as regards to hot food.”

Bhakta: “In Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta (12.71) Kṛṣṇa says to Rādhā:
“Your eyes make the fishes, the wagtail-birds, the lotus flowers, the Cakora-birds, the bumblebees and other items successful with mere drops of their tastefulness (the fish), playfulness (the wagtail-birds), attractiveness (the lotus-flowers), truthful target (the Cakora-birds) and the ability to select the essence of things (the bumblebees)! (For instance, the tastefulness of Your eyes is like an ocean, of which even a drop can bless the fish completely; how can the fish then ever be compared with Your eyes? The love of a fish for the water, without which it will die, is only a drop compared with the ocean of Your love.”
The Bhagavata (11th Canto) says the fish is captured by the tongue (rasa). Can we also say: “Rādhā’s fish-like eyes are attracted to the taste of Krishna’s form?”

Advaitadas: “That is very nice, I agree with that.”

Bhakta: “While Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa thus wandered through the autumn-forest, Śrī Rādhikā pointed at the deer, the trees and the charming birds that She saw before Her and that enchanted Her mind and eyes. She pointed them out to Kṛṣṇa with Her index finger, asking Him what their names were.”(Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta 12.31) - “She is looking at the deer and the birds and not at Kṛṣṇa, who is the most beautiful?”

Advaitadas: “You see, it is romantic. She pretends not to know things. She just wants him to do something for her, to show that he cares about her and so. Actually Raghunāth Dās Gosvāmī says ‘jñāta vṛndāṭavi sarva taru latā mṛga dvija “Rādhikā knows all the trees, creepers, deer and birds of Vṛndāvana”.

Bhakta: “Sometimes it is said that Kṛṣṇa sings the glories of Rādhā with His flute. How is that possible?”

Advaitadas: rādhā rādhā rādhā boli veṇu-i ar phukāra-i – There are so many songs describing that. Śrīmad Bhāgavata’s verse 10.21.9 and its elaborate song translation in Caitanya Caritāmṛta are famous in that respect. There are also Bengali songs and I believe a passage in the Gopāl Campū in which all Vrajavāsīs hear Kṛṣṇa's flute saying something to their group in particular. The flute tells the gopīs “Come and enjoy with Me at Rādhākuṇḍa” but the cowherd boys not; they aren’t supposed to hear that. Nanda Mahārāja should do this and the gopas should do that; everybody hears their own transmission of the flute song."

Bhakta: “Some things even sound the same but the gopas may interpret one word differently from the gopīs.”

Advaitadas: “Yes - the magic of Sanskrit sandhis, that may give opposite meanings to one and the same word. I was deeply impressed when, in 1976, I first saw the picture of Brahmā getting initiated by Kṛṣṇa’s flute song – like a blue tube entering into his ear. That is only Brahmā, what to speak of Mother Yaśodā or the gopīs. The flute appears as a piece of bamboo, but is actually an ingredient of the Sandhinī śakti.”

Bhakta: “One should not just make music, there must be some words there too.”

Advaitadas: “Absolutely. harer nāmaiva kevalamharināma is the essence, not just the music. Better singing without instruments than instruments without singing.”

Bhakta: “What then do you think about attracting new devotees through modern music?”

Advaitadas: “A lofty idea, but no, I am against it. You see, it is not that music has no influence on the consciousness. Music also comes in three modes of nature. Folk and classical music is sattva, punk, blues and most metal is tamah (darkness) and most everything else (Sinatra, ‘I love you you love me’) is in the mode of passion. Sound vibration matters. You cant just chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and play the most daft frenzied punk on the background and say its all transcendental. At the very least this music must be kept out of sacred ashram communities. We have seen western Gurus making rock music in the past – this is wrong – there is a certain dignity attached to a monk and a Guru, you know. “It’s all for preaching” is of course just an excuse for your attachment to this music.

To be continued

6 comments:

  1. you quoted from CC Madhya 2.42 that in the spiritual world there is no separation (this is only in the material world), but GV astakalya descriptions and dramas are full of this mellow, including CC - so is this baby-level of bhakti when one mixes mundane and divine consciousness? What are the astakalya-lila books which are purely deal with milan only? Also VK and UV are consisting primarily of separation - the succession of viraha and milan... like the mixture of mundane and divine... any thoughts about that?

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  2. Dear Bhakta, in my opinion this tripadi from Caitanya Caritamrita depicts the stage of approaching prema, the stage above which embodied life is no longer posssible, which has been described by Visvanatha Cakravartipada in his Raga Vartma Candrika and Ananda Candrika. It does not mean there is no separation in the spiritual world. The astakaliya lila is roughly evenly divided between separation and meeting - na vina vipralambhena sambhogam pustim ashnute (Rupa Gosvami) - "Without separation there can be no nourishment of union."

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  3. thank you so much for reply, i read further this chapter and found very amazing explanation given by Sriman Mahaprabhu when He was expressing own inner feelings of divine ecstatic love (taken from http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/2/en)

    CC Madhya 2.51: If one tastes such love of Godhead, he can compare it to hot sugarcane. When one chews hot sugarcane, his mouth burns, yet he cannot give it up. Similarly, if one has but a little love of Godhead, he can perceive its powerful effects. It can only be compared to poison and nectar mixed together.

    CC Madhya 2.52: Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu spoke, "'My dear beautiful friend, if one develops love of Godhead, love of Kṛṣṇa, the son of Nanda Mahārāja, all the bitter and sweet influences of this love will manifest in one's heart. Such love of Godhead acts in two ways. The poisonous effects of love of Godhead defeat the severe and fresh poison of the serpent. Yet there is simultaneously transcendental bliss, which pours down and defeats the pride of nectar and diminishes its value. In other words, love of Kṛṣṇa is so powerful that it simultaneously defeats the poisonous effects of a snake, as well as the happiness derived from pouring nectar on one's head. It is perceived as doubly effective, simultaneously poisonous and nectarean.'"

    do you find this translation correct, or there is smth beyond that?

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  4. That translation is correct and elaborate enough.

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  5. i'm curious what the name of the second chapter of Madhya lila in Bengali?

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  6. Bhakta, it is not really a Vedic custom to name chapters. In Caitanya Caritamrita the contents of a chapter are usually summarized in the opening verse. In my Bengali edition of Saraswat Math, the chapter is named 'Antya lila sutra-kathane premonmada pralapa varnana' which means 'A summary of the antya lila, which describes (Mahaprabhu's) mad utterances'. And that is pretty much a translation of the first verse of that chapter, too.

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