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Friday, August 01, 2008

Jala-brahma, prostitutes and Kṛṣṇa's eye-meals

Bhakta: "You didn't really explain the three (adhyatmika adhidaivik and adhibhautik) dimensions of the holy rivers, in your blog of February 6, 2007."

Advaitadas: "When the British came to India they considered the Hindus crazy for thronging to the rivers by the millions, thinking that a dip in them (like at Makar Sankranti or Kumbha Mela) would grant freedom from sin or even liberation. For them that was just idolatry and superstition, because they did not know the adhyatmika dimension of the holy rivers. jala brahma flows from the toe of Nārāyan - this is highly mystical. Yamunā is the daughter of the sun. Yet this is all over śāstra, including the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava śāstras. Rūpa Gosvāmī wrote a Yamunāṣṭakam praising the daughter of the sun - māṁ punātu sarvadāravinda-bandhu-nandinī."

Bhakta: "So is it the jala brahma or the material water which runs from the Himālayas?"

Advaitadas: "The tangible water sprouts from Gangotri, high up in the Himālayas, but the jala brahma sprouts from Nārāyan's toe. In the Bhāgavata (5.17.4) it is described that the Gaṅgā water is carried across the universe in billions of airplanes."

Bhakta: "Actually, all the ācāryas comment differently on this verse - they say that the travelling Ganges water and the billions of airplanes are two separate phenomena on that sky-path. You can read that also in the English translation of the Gita Press edition."


Advaitadas: "Oh thank you, that is very revealing."

Bhakta: "It is also said in one of the ācāryas' commentaries on the 5th canto that, though the (mystical) colour of Gaṅgā is pure white, because of the saffron dust of the feet of Viṣṇu, it is tainted red. Śrīdhara Swāmī writes in his commentary on the Viṣṇu Purāṇa that the Gaṅgā gets coloured saffron because of the saffron from the bodies of the goddesses bathing upstream."

Advaitadas: "That is very beautiful, thank you."

Bhakta: "In the Bhāgavata (1.11.19) it is described that there are prostitutes in Dwārakā. Is that possible?"

Advaitadas: "Only one ācārya has written a ṭīkā to this verse. He gives 'actresses' as first translation of 'vāra-mukhya'. 'veśyā' or prostitutes is the secondary meaning. But anyway, if you want my take on it - Dwārakā is a big city and just as Yogamāyā arranges for an entire backdrop of rural beauty in Vraja for Kṛṣṇa's enjoyment, so she creates a wonderful city as a backdrop for his urban enjoyment as well. Whether these prostitutes actually practise their profession I do not know. I assume that these prostitutes are for decoration only."

Bhakta: (Jokes:) "We desired the prostitute and so we fell down from the spiritual world (laughter)."

Bhakta: "It is sometimes said that Kṛṣṇa can eat with His eyes, on the altar for instance when the offering is going on?"

Advaitadas: "It is described by Jīva Gosvāmī in his comments on Brahma Saṁhitā 5.32: haste'pi draṣṭuṁ śaknoti - He can see with His hands too. cakṣur api pālayitum - he can flee with his eyes, and tathānyad andy apy aṅgam anyaṁ kalayitum, he can see with his other limbs too."
Kṛṣṇa says in the Brahma Vaivarta Purāṇa -

naivedyaṁ purato nyastaṁ dṛṣṭyaiva svīkṛtaṁ mayā
bhaktasya rasanāgrena rasam aśnāmi padmaja

"Simply with My glances I eat all food-offerings that are placed before Me. O Padmaja! I eat the flavour of the devotees' devotion only!" Kṛṣṇa is a great magician. This is, of course, aiśvarya. Madhurya Kṛṣṇa just eats with His mouth.”

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