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Thursday, June 19, 2008

More on the rasas of the inert

Bhakta: "Do clouds have consciousness? They are living entities?"

Advaitadas: "In both the material world and the spiritual world. There was the Samvartaka cloud that was sent by Indra to Vraja to shower the Vrajabāsīs so that Kṛṣṇa had to lift Girirāja. parjanyād anna sambhavaḥ  (B.Gītā 3.14)

Bhakta: Is the cloud in dāsya rasa? What is his attitude?

Advaitadas: Look at Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.21.16 - sakhyur vyadhāt - The clouds are in sakhya rasa. They rendered loving service to Kṛṣṇa by shading Him like an umbrella. Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments on this verse that the cloud is in sakhya rasa because it shares Kṛṣṇa's complexion with Him and they both remove others' distress with a downpour of rasa (rain in the cloud's case). svīya vidyud garjanābhyāṁ pīta-vastra veṇu-nādayoḥ sāmyaṁ dṛṣṭvā ca sakhibhāvam abhimanyamānaḥ “Seeing he is equal to Kṛṣṇa with the rumbling sounds he makes, with his lightning (in the form of Kṛṣṇa's yellow cloth) the cloud identifies himself in sakhya-rasa.” hanta hanta sakhya-bhāva-vanto’pyātmānaṁ kṛtārthayantītyāhuḥ – The gopIs lament about the clouds “Alas! Alas! Even those who are in the mood of friendship with Kṛṣṇa (sakhya bhāva) have become blessed by serving Him.”

The cows are also not in śānta rasa, but in vātsalya rasa, according to Viśvanātha Cakravartī's commentary on S.B. 10.21.13 - na ca tatrāpi vātsalya-bhāva eva mohane hetur astīti vācyam “The cows (not the calves) are in vātsalya rasa", and sva manasaḥ kroḍe eva vātsalyāt sthāpayantyas tasthuḥ  “The cows stand still as they take Govinda within their hearts through their tear-filled eyes and embrace Him out of vātsalya bhāva..."

Bhakta: Speaking of clouds, what līlā is Kṛṣṇa playing in the rainy season? Some Rāsa-līlā?

Advaitadas: Jhulan, in August. He sits on the swing with Rādhikā and gets all soaked from the rain."

Bhakta: "That sounds unpleasant."

Advaitadas: Nothing is unpleasant in Kṛṣṇa-loka, it is warm and the rain is like nectar. Though we are in Nara līlā (human like pastimes) ultimately Yogamāyā does have to perform all kinds of tricks. For instance, it is really impossible for a married girl to spend every night 7 hours with a paramour, every single night, even in western culture, let alone the strictly controlled Vedic culture, how come the gopīs never get pregnant etc. etc. So many miracles are still happening in the human-like līlā."

Bhakta: "In Surata Kathāmṛta (54) it is said: "...the bees, that are like panegyrists, sing Your glories." Are they fully conscious? But they don't talk....

Advaitadas:" Same thing here - on the one hand these are human pastimes, in which bees do not speak, but on the other hand the spiritual sky is full of consciousness. In Vraja Vilāsa Stava (72) Raghunāth Dās Gosvāmī offers a long śloka to the bees of Vraja alone. They do a great service, causing great romantic incitement. In Govinda Līlāmṛta (14.1-4) a bee brings Rādhikā into the divine madness of prema vaicittya, in which She falsely thinks that Kṛṣṇa has left Her though He is right there with Her! She speaks like mad to a bee in the Bhāgavata (bhramara gīta, 10.47.12-21) - bees have the same complexion as Kṛṣṇa and nature too (going from flower to flower as He goes from gopī to gopī) - ye bhṛngāḥ paritas tayoḥ sukhabharaṁ vistārayanti - the bees always give great joy to Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. The bees actively assist in the most intimate pastimes, in the above-mentioned manner and also by buzzing dangerously close to Rādhikā so that She jumps into Kṛṣṇa's arms, afraid to be stung by them. In a sense they are much closer than Nanda and Yaśodā, in all their simplicity. Their humming is called 'the kettledrums of Cupid" by the ācāryas."

Bhakta: "How does one ultimately end up with Mañjarī bhāva?

"1. In the course of studying the Gosvāmīs' books you will eventually come across the books of Raghunātha Dās Gosvāmī.
2. You may receive it from Śrī Guru.
3. You may hear about it from a sādhu.
4. Rādhikā will reveal it to you from within.

Some intellectuals come cross it in their systematic studies and feel some attraction and may even take initiation into this sādhana, but since their main drive is intellectual curiosity (jijñāsu, Bhagavad Gītā 7.16) they later change the topic of their studies and leave the practise behind just as easily."

Bhakta: "Rādhikā says in Surata Kathāmṛta (77) "My body vomits sweat-drops" - I thought there was no jugupsa rasa (sub-mellow of disgust) in mādhurya rasa?"

Advaitadas: "In Vedic aesthetics this is somehow used often without aiming at the effect of disgust. There are many instances of this in the Gosvāmīs' books, I can only now think of tavodgīrnaṁ bhojyam in Vilāpa Kusumāñjali (56) wherein Tulasī covets the food vomited out by Rādhikā. I think this should more be seen as spitting out, and even then there is no disgust or horror involved - it is just an expression Vedic poets use often, like that."

Bhakta: 'And then there is all the mentioning of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa's long nails..."

Advaitadas: "Yes well as you know nails (bones) and hairs are impure according to sadācāra vidhi, but such rules do not apply to the spiritual world. In Vilāpa Kusumāñjali (18) Tulasī offers to wipe Rādhikā's toilet with her hair and Kṛṣṇa has long nails so He can claw open the ropes used to tie up the calves, or to scratch Rādhikā with during Their amorous pastimes. Everyone also has long hair in the spiritual world, though materially that is also not considered so pure."

Bhakta: "Someone I know has seen Kṛṣṇa's eyes and says they are brown."

Advaitadas: "One should not impose one's imagination upon an eternal, transcendental and immutable form. Kṛṣṇa's pupils are dark-blue like a bee, the eyeballs are a bit lighter blue, then there is the eye-white and finally He has red borders around the eyes. This is in śāstra."


  1. Prabhu

    What's your comment on Srimati Radhika's name not directly mentioned in Srimad Bhagavata?

    Radhe Krishna

  2. Anon, the Acaryas give 3 explanations -

    1. She is mentioned in a hidden way in the Rasa lila's verse anayArAdhito nUnam bhagavAn harir isvaraH (10.30.28)
    2. Sukadeva Gosvami was too ecstatic to pronounce Her name.
    3. Sukadeva Gosvami considered it too confidential to mention her.

  3. Radhe Radhe

    Please read from SB:10.30.28 - 41

  4. Radhe Radhe

    I guess what I want take up in citing the inclusive verses is that in those verses are the cream of the G V siddhanta -- shakti-shaktiman, hladini sakti, vipralambha, and parakiya rasa.

    My question though is: at what point in written history did the name Radha first get introduced or revealed and to whom was it first revealed?

  5. An appendix of the Rik Veda says rAdhayA mAdhavo devo mAdhavenaiva rAdhikA. This is probably the oldest reference. It is quoted in the Sandarbhas by Jiva Gosvami.

  6. Radhe Radhe

    I got interested in this discussion so I did a bit of research on the net.

    Do you mean to say the Rig Veda? An online translation in full is on this site I didn't see any appendix to the mandalas. I skimmed through the books and couldn’t find reference to the phrase you quoted which Sri Rupa qouted in the Sandarbhas.

    In Wikipedia its says similarly that “within the Bhagavata Purana, Radha is not mentioned by name but is alluded to within the tenth chapter of the text. It is in later texts such as the Gita Govinda by Jayadeva where we find the story of Radha given in more detail.”

    I understand, Jayadeva was a 12th century personality. Lord Chaitanya and Rupa Goswami manifested in the 16th cent.

    Does that mean that Radha’s identity became more apparent when Jayadeva had visions of her?

    So can we say that it was Jayadeva in the 12th century who revealed “that gopi’s name and identity” and Lord Chaitanya in the 16th, picked up from Jayadeva to manifest Radhika’s full glories?

  7. Srila Jiva Gosvami comes with the following references to Smt Radharani in his Priti Sandarbha, paragraph 108: Matsya Purana: rukmini dvaravatyam tu radha vrindavane vane, Brihad Gautamiya : devi krsnamayi prokta radhika para devata, Rik Veda Parisista (appendix) radhaya madhavo devo madhavenaiva radhika, and SB 10.30.28 anayaradhito nunam bhagavan harir isvarah. Why the verse does not show up in your research I do not know. These texts are very ancient and there may be differing opinions of what belongs to them and not.

    So can we say that it was Jayadeva in the 12th century who revealed “that gopi’s name and identity” and Lord Chaitanya in the 16th, picked up from Jayadeva to manifest Radhika’s full glories?

    I think devotionally we will have to see it in terms of grades of revelation. The Vaishnavas at Radhakund call Jayadeva, Candidas, Bilvamangal etc. 'the dawn of the rising sun of Caitanya's prema dharma'. Also check the famous anarpita carim cirat verse by Rupa Gosvami, where he states that Mahaprabhu came to bring something unprecedented, the amorous love for Krishna, unnatojjvala rasa sriya.

  8. Could you give an exact citation for the Rik Veda quote: radhaya madhavo devo madhavenaiva radhika. I could not find it. Thank you. Jaya Radhe!

  9. You mean within the Priti Sandarbha? I have the full Sanskrit text of paragraph here in a doc file from the Grantha Mandir, but it carries diacritics which do not spell out on these comments pages. If you want I can make a pdf of the text and send it to your e-mail addy. You can send me your addy in the next comment, which I will not post in public then. Alternatively, you can download Priti Sandarbha from the gaudiya grantha mandira and look up par.108

  10. Funnily enough, (of all people) Adi Sankara mentions the name of Radharani in his Achyutastakam – so that reference is much older than Jayadeva Goswami. According to academics, that would date back to about 788CE (of course, orthodox traditionalists opine that his date is much, much older than that).

    Acyutastakam is accepted by all scholars as a genuine composition of Sankara.

  11. Hello Sir,
    Can you please mention which shastra talks about Krishna's eye color?


  12. Govinda Lilamrita 16.99 :

    pränte'ruNimnä paritaH sitimnä madhye'sitimnä ca yute vilole

    "Krishna's eyes shine with crimson splendour on the edges, are white all over and blue in the middle."

    Madhye asitimnA refers to His eyeballs. The pupils are of a deeper shade of indigo (shyaam colour, like blackbees) I cant find a direct quote on that, if I find it I will post it here sooner or later.