Follow by Email

Sunday, June 15, 2008


A recent messenger-chatlog:

bhakta: "Some people, when ready, will follow all the rules of Haribhakti Vilāsa."

Advaitadas: I think that is impossible,: even in India - you need a lot of money to feed brahmins and give so many donations every fortnight.

bhakta: But I think we better just focus on Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa worship: the 5 basic ones (living in Vraj, chanting, hearing the Bhāgavat, sādhu sanga and deity worship).

Advaitadas: Right, the 5 basic ones - at least.

bhakta: Many rules are anyway rejected in rāga mārga, is that so?

Advaitadas: Not many but some, see Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda’s comment on Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.296: meditation on Dvārakā, worshiping the Queens there, mudrā, ahaṁgropāsana and nyāsa.”

bhakta: But all these rules and cautions to not make mistake will cause you just to think about them, not Kṛṣṇa, so what is the point - all the rules have to help to remember Kṛṣṇa.

Advaitadas: Well that is not really true: you don’t think about the way to hold your japa mālā or to drive your car - its an automatism: and so most rules we also follow without thinking about them.

bhakta: Right. Still, many details will spoil the main focus...what do you think?”

Advaitadas: Not really - all our daily manners like sleeping, walking, breathing and speaking so many languages are also automatisms. You can think of other things while doing them; similarly sadācāra rules don’t stop one from thinking of Kṛṣṇa, as they are automatized.

bhakta: SP (ACBS) simplified.

Advaitadas: Oh, all Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Gurus simplify, not just ACBS: we all have to. Hari Bhakti Vilāsa is for devatās, not for humans.

bhakta: It is at least very high standard. Not even from the Manu Saṁhitā you can follow everything: it is for another yuga.

Advaitadas: That especially not: that was never the śāstra of the Gosvamis anyway: Manu Samhita is for varṇāśrama : really Indian ancient varṇāśrama, karma mārg.

bhakta: Many quotes in Hari Bhakti Vilāsa are from Purāṇas that were for other yugas: I brought it to you just to compare it to Hari Bhakti Vilāsa quotes from the Purāṇas: rules for other yugas you cannot apply all to the Kali yuga people, not even devotees.

Advaitadas: That too, though Hari Bhakti Vilāsa is written just 400 years ago, it is clearly for Kali yuga.

bhakta: But the quotes are from different Purāṇas, written for other yugas.

Advaitadas: Yes: anyway, everyone agrees that it isn’t possible to follow it all, but that doesn’t mean Sanātan Goswāmī was pressured by smārtas to write that: nitya siddhas are not pressured by conditioned souls. He also did not write things to please them or flatter them: Sanātan Goswāmī was under the sole command of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu.

bhakta: Just the Vaiṣṇava comunity was criticized that they don't have set of rules: so he compiled them from the Purāṇas.

Advaitadas: That is allright with me: that is the purpose of Hari Bhakti Vilāsa: to present us as a proper sampradāya: and a sampradāya needs a smṛti.

bhakta: "The Hari Bhakti Vilāsa is the first book with elaborate rules and regulations."

Advaitadas: For Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas, yes.

bhakta: When it was written the smārtas stopped criticizing the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas.”

Advaitadas: Yes

bhakta: They saw we have something very elaborate so some became Vaiṣṇavas: but we don't follow the rules and regulations just for the sake of following them: how that śloka goes in the NOI?

Advaitadas: atyāhāra prayāsaś ca: prajalpo niyamāgraha – niyamāgraha can mean over-emphasis on rules or under-emphasis on rules, but anyway, point taken.”


  1. Hari Bhakti Vilasa is for devatas, not for humans.

    While I don't disagree, I'm curious where this statement comes from?

  2. My Gurubhai Niranjan Prasad Das said this once to me, not in relation to HBV in particular, but about the high intricacies of sadacara in general - AmrA mAnuS - debatA noy

  3. Hari Bhakti Vilasa is for devatas, not for humans.

    I mean, I hope it is clear to everyone that this was a figurative remark, not that HBV is literally written only for demigods. I meant to say that it is sky-high and it is not realistic to expect even the strictest Vaishnava to follow everything of it.

  4. Many Puranas are relatively recent works, the general consensus is that they weren't all written around the same time. I fail to see that any Purana can be for a different Yuga. Because Bhaktivedanta Swami has suggested that certain types of sadhana are for differant yugas, this doesn't necessarily mean that the Puranas that promote these are of a differant Yuga?

  5. Jagannath, I am not super expert in this topic but I do remember reading some quotations from shastras about Puranas being written for different yugas. However, the idea that the Bhagavata we are studying now is for the wrong kalpa is really absurd. The proposed date of the recording (writing down) of a Purana is yet another ballgame. That may not mean that it is also spoken at the time of recording. It is said, after all, that in previous yugas people were shrutidhara, they remembered things after a single hearing and did not require any books. The different sadhanas for different yugas are mentioned in the Bhagavata 12.3.52.