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Monday, April 28, 2008

Phone Sanga (15)

Bhakta: "In Brahma Saṁhitā (5.35) it is said that all the universes are situated in Kṛṣṇa's body. I didn't realize that was in His personal form."

Advaitadas: "Yes that is correct. He has a limited form of a 16-year old cowherd boy and yet that form contains all there is. Mother Yaśodā saw the whole universe in Kṛṣṇa's mouth, what to speak of His body?"

Bhakta: "Did she also see the spiritual world in there?"

Advaitadas: "No that is not mentioned either in the Bhāgavat (10.8.37-39) or in the ṭīkās, but in his ṭīkā of Bhagavad Gītā 10.8, where Kṛṣṇa says 'I am the source of everything', Viśvanātha comments: ahaṁ sarvasya prākṛtāprākṛta-vastu-mātrasya prabhavaḥ utpatti-prādurbhāvayor hetuḥ "I am the source of all things, whether they be material or spiritual." He showed Golok, paravyoma, to the Vrajabāsīs in chapter 28 of the 10th Canto. I think it is also significant that Kṛṣṇa showed the universe in His child-body, too, just to demonstrate that size does not matter. Like He deliberately did it when He displayed a toddler's form. Śukadeva described how mother Yaśodā vainly tried to tie up toddler Kṛṣṇa:

na cāntar na bahir yasya na pūrvaṁ nāpi cāparam
pūrvāparaṁ bahiś cāntar jagato yo'jagacca yah

"In Kṛṣṇa there is no outside, no inside, no front and no rear. He exists before and after, inside and outside the universe. Indeed, He IS the universe." (SB 10.9.13)

Why was mother Yaśodā's rope always too short, while Kṛṣṇa was so 'small'? Verse 14 (dāmnā babandha prākṛtaṁ yathā) makes clear verse 13 is not about Kṛṣṇa's energies but about His personal form. paramāṇu-cayāntara-sthaṁ govindam ādi puruṣam (Brahma Saṁhitā 5.35) - 'Govinda is present in every atom." That means in His personal form. This verdict of śāstra must be accepted, the only other recourse is anumāna, mentally trying to conceive of it, or pratyakṣa, just staring with your eyes at Kṛṣṇa's child-form and wondering how it will fit in. It won't work."

Bhakta: "Some say that Brahma Saṁhitā was written by Mahāprabhu Himself."

Advaitadas: "Hahaha, in the end it would not matter at all. Mahāprabhu is Bhagavān Himself and therefore the book would become only more prāmāṇika (authoritative) - who is a bigger authority - Brahmā or his chief Nārāyan (Mahāprabhu)?"

Bhakta: "Why, after all the līlā of the 10th canto, there is again more philosophy in the 11th and 12th cantos? Why not just end the book at the 10th canto?"

Advaitadas: "Though the 10th canto is said to be the smiling face of Kṛṣṇa, above the face there is also the hair and the crown/hat/cap. The face is the most attractive part of the body (uttamāṅga). Men and women fall in love because of the woman/man's face, the rest is secondary. So also with Kṛṣṇa. But more importantly, there is a certain historical sequence as well. The 9th canto, introducing the solar and lunar dynasties, is clearly an historical introduction to the 10th canto and at the end of the 10th canto everyone was still around. Kṛṣṇa and the Yadu dynasty only disappear in the 11th canto. Perhaps the authors considered 90 chapters enough for the 10th canto and they completed the story of Kṛṣṇa at the end of the 11th canto (31 chapters). Otherwise the story would have lasted for 121 chapters. But it is never clear to me why books are divided into Cantos or chapters the way they are.....Speaking of philosophy, the 10th canto also contributes the lion's share of the Bhāgavata's main philosophical statements."

Bhakta: "How the temporary energy of Kṛṣṇa can be Kṛṣṇa?"

Advaitadas: "Satya-nārāyan Prabhu compared the material energy with hair and nails - as long as they are connected to the body (and the soul), they live and grow, as soon as they are cut off they die. Similarly the material energy originates from Kṛṣṇa but is dead due to being separated from Him (bhinna prakṛtiḥ, Bhagavad Gītā 7.4)."

Bhakta: "After Arjuna saw the universal form (Bhagavad Gītā, ch.11) he prayed to Kṛṣṇa to show His human form again, so He showed him first His 4-armed and then His 2-armed form (Bhagavad Gītā 11.50, Viśvanātha ṭīkā)"

Advaitadas: divyaṁ dadāmi te cakṣuḥ paśya me yogam aiśvaram (B.Gītā 11.8): Kṛṣṇa said 'I will give you divine eyes, so behold My spiritual majesty." For the rasikas this is actually a step back, though at first sight it looks like Kṛṣṇa gave Arjuna specs to have a closer look at Him. Actually, Arjuna's initial vision of Kṛṣṇa with 2 arms was already the highest. divya here means aiśvarya, not mādhurya."

Bhakta: "Is it distasteful to compare the mañjarīs' celibacy with the celibacy of a brahmacārī in this world?"

Advaitadas: "No it is not distasteful, but it is off the point still, because our celibacy here is a sādhana while the mañjarīs' celibacy is a part of their sthāyi bhāva. They don't struggle in any way. Just as Kṛṣṇa's spiritual sex can never be compared to material sex (as the sahajīyas do), the mañjarīs' spiritual celibacy can not be compared to our brahmacārīs' struggle on this plane. Reversely, there are a number of people who project their own lusty desires upon Kṛṣṇa and His līlā and get into this type of mundane lusty sahajīya- or Gaura-nagari Bhava. That is not real gopī bhāva. They may know so much śāstra and meditate so deeply but it is misdirected and perverted."

Bhakta: "The Śāstra says pañcaśordhvaṁ vanaṁ vrajet ("A person over 50 years of age should go to the forest")"

Advaitadas: "That text is not mentioned in the Gosvāmīs' books, as far as I know. Advaita Ācārya married at 50 and his biographer Īśān Nāgar married at 70 even. Varṇāśram dharma is not only not an essential Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sādhana, it is also relative, depending on the individual adhikāra. In his comment on the Bhāgavata 1.9.26, Viśvanātha Cakravartī writes that a naturally attached person should never renounce (because he will make the whole monk-community suffer with his attachments) and a naturally renounced person should never marry (because his wife and children will be unhappy since he doesn't care about them). Both verse 1.9.26 itself (yathāśramaṁ vairāgya rāgopādhibhyām) and that comment make a clear subdivision of āśram dharma according to rāga (attachment) and vairāgya (detachment). We are not machines that can be switched on or off on one's 50th birthday. You can see in each devotee community there are weak and strong devotees - some always come for mangal ārati some never come, some come sometimes. It is always like that. See also my blog of February 22, 2006."

Bhakta: "SB 10.1.30 calls Devakī the svasu, or sister, of Kaṁsa, whereas actually she was his niece. Kaṁsa was the son of Ugrasena and Devakī the daughter of Devaka."

Advaitadas: "Yes Devaka was the younger brother of Ugrasena, and thus Devakī is Kaṁsa's niece. Somehow that was seen as 'sister' by Vyāsa."

Bhakta: "You eat a mango in the spiritual world, so then the ingredients become spiritual blood etc. (during the digestive process). The mango was composed of different souls."

Advaitadas: "I don't believe we will be eating nitya siddha souls there and passing them out as stool again. To my understanding eating a mango and passing it out again up there is a transformation of the sandhinī śakti (Kṛṣṇa's spiritual environmental potency)."


  1. How old were the brides when Adwaita Prabhu and Ishan Nagar married at 50 and 70 respectively?

  2. Not much is known about the ages of the brides but if we read the stories of Sita and Sridevi, the two sisters who married Advaita Prabhu, they were not 5 years old or so. Ishan Nagara asked Sita devi "Who will give me his daughter at my age?" The marriages were always arranged by the parents, the girls were living with them. In medieval India girls were married in their teens.