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Friday, April 18, 2008

Question on smaranam

On Vilasakunja a devotee asked how Kṛṣṇa, who is transcendental, can enter into the mind, which is one of the 3 subtle material elements. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī writes in his Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu: ataḥ śrī kṛṣṇa nāmādi na bhaved grahyam indriyaiḥ : “The name etc. (this includes the form) of Śrī Kṛṣṇa cannot be grasped by the senses.” sevonmukhe hi jihvādau svayam eva sphuratyadaḥ  “But it is automatically revealed on the tongue etc. (the other senses) of those who are inclined towards (His) service.”

In his ṭīkā Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī mentions Bharat, the deer, and Gajendra, the elephant, who were not impeded by their animal bodies to utter the name of the Lord. Kṛṣṇa, though transcendental, descends into the mind through mantra and nāma-practise. Perhaps meditating on a really beautiful deity or picture could help, but ultimately Kṛṣṇa will reveal to you what He really looks like in sphurti, or transcendental visions.

In Bhakti Sandarbha 275 Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī says ‘nāma-kīrtanāparityāgena smaraṇaṁ kuryāt – “Smaranam should be done without giving up nāma kīrtana” and in the next paragraph (276): nāma smaraṇaṁ tu śuddhāntaḥkaraṇatām apekṣate “But nāma smaraṇam (let alone rūpa- or līla-smarana) is dependent on a pure heart”. Hence the link Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī makes here between smaraṇam and kīrtanam - kīrtanam means instant purification, which creates qualification for smaraṇam.

In his Sāraṅga Raṅgadā-ṭīkā to Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta (3), Śrīla Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja Gosvāmī says, rāgānugā mārge anutpanna rati sādhaka bhaktair api svepsita siddha dehaṁ manasi parikalpya - 'On the rāgānugā-path even a sādhaka bhakta who has no rati yet can think of his own desired siddha deha." This is clearly non-revealed vision. Then he continues: jāta ratīnāṁ tu svayam eva tad deha sphūrteḥ. “When rati arises, then that body will be automatically revealed."

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī has proven from the Padma Purāṇa that one who always serves Lord Hari mentally has direct association with He who is otherwise not perceived with (material) words and mind:

mānasenopacāreṇa paricarya hariṁ sadā
pare vāṅ manasāgamyam taṁ sākṣāt pratipedire

Meditating on tangible godheads, like Gurudeva, Rādhākund, Girirāja and Vṛndāvan also serves as a gateway to seeing Kṛṣṇa face to face. At any rate, smaranam is not a cheap thing. It takes a bit of a 'miracle of revelation'...

1 comment:

  1. The mind of the conditioned soul is considered to be "material" because the jiva is identifying with the mind. When the jiva is free from illusion then the mind reveals it's true nature.

    Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.26.28

    yad vidur hy aniruddhākhyam
    hṛṣīkāṇām adhīśvaram
    saḿrādhyaḿ yogibhiḥ śanaih

    The mind of the living entity is known by the name of Lord Aniruddha, the supreme ruler of the senses. He possesses a bluish-black form resembling a lotus flower growing in the autumn. He is found slowly by the yogīs.

    To understand the mind and "material" nature one should study the teachings of Kapiladev in the Bhagavatam. Something is material depending on perception. For example articles even though prasadam or other sancified things connected to bhakti are considered to be not material, in fact their is no actual difference between sanctified things and mundane things when it comes to their composition. An apple is no different in it's composition before and after offering it to the Lord. Therefore Kapiladev says

    Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.26.25

    sahasra-śirasaḿ sākṣād
    yam anantaḿ pracakṣate
    sańkarṣaṇākhyaḿ puruṣam

    The threefold ahańkāra, the source of the gross elements, the senses and the mind, is identical with them because it is their cause. It is known by the name of Sańkarṣaṇa, who is directly Lord Ananta with a thousand heads.

    Ahankara is causing the "material" world because it is the delusion of the jiva which causes him to not see the Lord as manifesting everything. Once the jiva is free from ahankara then he lives in the spiritual world, then he sees the Lord everywhere, including the mind. Kapiladev says

    Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.28.35

    muktāśrayaḿ yarhi nirviṣayaḿ viraktam
    nirvāṇam ṛcchati manaḥ sahasā yathārcih
    ātmānam atra puruṣo 'vyavadhānam ekam
    anvīkṣate pratinivṛtta-guṇa-pravāhah

    When the mind is thus completely freed from all material contamination and detached from material objectives, it is just like the flame of a lamp. At that time the mind is actually dovetailed with that of the Supreme Lord and is experienced as one with Him because it is freed from the interactive flow of the material qualities.

    Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 11.13.24

    manasā vacasā dṛṣṭyā
    gṛhyate 'nyair apīndriyaih
    aham eva na matto 'nyad
    iti budhyadhvam añjasā

    Within this world, whatever is perceived by the mind, speech, eyes or other senses is Me alone and nothing besides Me. All of you please understand this by a straightforward analysis of the facts.


    When you are totally free from illusion then you will have everything revealed to you about God and about your relationship with God through the mind, because the mind is in reality Paramatma.

    Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.28.36

    so 'py etayā caramayā manaso nivṛttyā
    tasmin mahimny avasitaḥ sukha-duḥkha-bāhye
    hetutvam apy asati kartari duḥkhayor yat
    svātman vidhatta upalabdha-parātma-kāṣṭhah

    Thus situated in the highest transcendental stage, the mind ceases from all material reaction and becomes situated in its own glory, transcendental to all material conceptions of happiness and distress. At that time the yogī realizes the truth of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He discovers that pleasure and pain as well as their interactions, which he attributed to his own self, are actually due to the false ego, which is a product of ignorance.