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Monday, August 04, 2008

The Lord of Goloka, pre-planned action and the Guru’s mingling

Bhakta: "I think that the comments on these rasika books are sometimes a bit far-fetched and they always draw a most erotic conclusion."

Advaitadas: "This is called a rasika vyākhyā and is really the prerogative of the rasika bhaktas and acaryas. This type of books is their exclusive domain. As far as the general prerogative of a commentator or elaborator is concerned, he need to take care of just two parameters - rasābhāsa (perverted flavour) and viruddha siddhānta (controversial theories aka bogus philosophies)."

Bhakta: "Sometimes it seems that the Vrajavāsīs know that Kṛṣṇa is God. In songs and books about Vraja lila they sometimes acknowledge that directly or indirectly."

Advaitadas: "Yogamāyā often plays a very intricate game with them. She herself appears in the form of Paurṇamāsī, who even personally arranges much of the līlā. As she is a brahmin she is considered authority in the village community and on her order alone Rādhā goes cooking for Kṛṣṇa in the morning, which otherwise would have been immoral in the eyes of the pious villagers. She is also the most learned person in the community, so from her the simple villagers hear things from śāstra. She recites the Purāṇas to the gopīs, who want to be externally known as pious girls. Then they hear all kinds of things like Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of Goloka, and later they tease Him with it, never seriously considering that He actually is the Lord of Goloka."

Bhakta: 'Speaking of which, on page 5 of your Dāna līlā padas file (see  Literature - Song Translations) there is a song where Kṛṣṇa says to the gopīs:

"I am the Lord of Goloka — don't You recognise Me? All the great demigods like Brahmā are serving My feet and humbly call Me Hari, but You don't even lift Your face to look at Me!"

Advaitadas: "Yes but this is bragging only. The next couplet says:

"Hearing Krishna's words, fortunate Rāi became delighted at heart and spoke false rasika words: "Why did You leave Goloka to herd cows in this forest? What pleasure does the Lord of Goloka find here?", and three couplets later:

"You claim to be the Lord of Goloka, but then why do You have such a (wicked) mentality? Think deeply about the moral consequences of what You're doing."

So see, this is sheer mādhurya. Even if they know Kṛṣṇa is the Lord of Goloka, then still they rebuke and ridicule Him. "

Bhakta: "But She says, 'Why did you leave Goloka?' I thought the whole area was Goloka?"

Advaitadas: "She challenges: "If you are really Kṛṣṇa (as the Supreme Lord) then why did You leave Goloka?" This proves exactly that the gopīs are not aware that they are in Goloka, and that is the fun and the sweetness of the song."

Bhakta: "Where are they then?"

Advaitadas: "They are of course in Goloka, but they think it is just an ordinary forest."

Bhakta: "The demigods in Vraja, do they think that Kṛṣṇa is Nārāyaṇa or superior to Nārāyaṇa?"

Advaitadas: "Look at the Bhāgavata: Lord Brahmā prayed to Kṛṣṇa in Vraja: nārāyaṇo'ṅgaṁ nara bhū jalāyanāt (10.14.14) "Nārāyaṇa who lies in the water is your particle only."

Bhakta: I hear many weird explanations about the verse prakṛteḥ kriyamānāni guṇaiḥ karmāṇi sarvaśaḥ (Bhagavad Gītā 3.27). Like, if you move your limbs it is not you who is doing it but the Supersoul."

Advaitadas: "My brother is a doctor and he is now also into spiritual literature, so we correspond on these things. He told me that it is scientifically proven that decisions are taken a split second after they are already carried out, which proves that our detailed movements are not really consciously decided, or not at all decided by us. Because of such discoveries he is now also seriously accepting the existence of God. prakṛteḥ means 'of material nature', and kriyamānāni means 'fully performed'. We act according to millions of automatisms, breathing, blinking the eyes, body language, scratching itches etc, without thinking about it. Although driving a car is a dangerous and responsible activity (especially with many devotees on board) we do it easily without attention even. We think about so many other things while driving."

Bhakta: "What about the demigods?"

Advaitadas: "The demigods are embodiments of the elements - air, water, fire, much of which our bodies and minds consist of. Craziness is a result of disturbed life-airs f.i. The demigods control these elements. We practise millions of automatisms, actually carried out by the demigods, so can you imagine the mega-intelligence of each of these devatās, that actually carry out the motoric functions of billions of living beings in one universe! Terabyte databases!"

Bhakta: “There is a translation of the Bhāgavata (7.12.11) which says that the gṛhastha approaches his wife in the season with the permission of the Guru.”

Advaitadas: “That is not a correct translation of that verse. The text says guru vṛttir vikalpena gṛhasthasyartu gāmināḥ.

The word vṛtti means: turning, rolling; being, existence, livelihood, maintenance; mode of being or acting, conduct, behaviour, esp. good conduct or respectful behaviour towards; devotion to or pursuit of; usage, practice, rule; nature, character, style (d.); action, activity, function or force of a word; commentary on a Sūtra. (Monier Williams)

And vikalpa means: alternative, choice between two or more; difference, variety; supposition, (false) conception; uncertainty, doubt. (Monier-Williams)

Neither of these words mean ‘permission’. guru vṛttir vikalpena means ‘the service of the Guru is optional for the gṛhastha, who is tu gāmī, approaching the wife in her season. At that time Guru service is not possible. The context of the sentence is the brahmacārī’s duty of serving the Guru, which may or may not be possible for the gṛhastha, who usually does not live with the Guru. Śrīdhara Swami, Jīva Gosvāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartī have not commented on this sentence, but the English translation of Gita press says so and the Hindi translation of Krishna Shankar Shastri too.

The above explanation has also been given by ācārya Vīra-Rāghava: gurvī vṛttir gurvānuvṛttiḥ strī saṅga rāhityādi rūpā brahmacarya vṛttiḥ gṛhasthasya tu vikalpena kadācid bhavet kadācin na syāt. kadā na bhavet? ……………ṛtu-gāmina iti. ṛtu gāmitvād guru vṛtti vikalpa iti bhāvaḥ. ṛtu-kāleṣu guru vṛttir nāstīti ca bhāvaḥ. asyā vṛttir duṣkaratvābhiprāyeṇa gurviti viśeṣaṇam upāttam. “The brahmacārī does not associate with women, so he can constantly serve the Guru, but that is not so for the gṛhastha, who can sometimes do and sometimes not do this service. When can he not do? …………. When he approaches his wife in the season. Then Guru service becomes an option. In the seasonal time the Guru is not served, for it will be difficult to accomplish.”

The point is that is not an item of Vedic culture that the Guru tells the disciple when to make a baby or that he mingles in the private lives of his disciples, period. Make no mistake, though. It is not that Sādhu Bābā did not protect his married disciples from māyā – he tought that not only the brahmacārīs, but also the gṛhasthas should beware of spilling genital fluids. It's not that anything goes.

1 comment:

  1. There are different viewpoints to see things. For some westerners it might be easier to see it that the many auomatations are controlled by the nerves and the brain of the body. This can be seen in the case of some person getting head injury, and suddenly loose an ability s/he had before.

    It is the ahankara (illusion) that makes us believe that things that goes on automatically is decided by us.

    Gaudiya Vaisnava practices are meant to break free from the automatism of actions already decided for us by either the demigods, society, or the genes from our parents, to bring us ourselves in control of our own spiritual destiny. It is also poetically called to break free from the bondage of material conditioning, or liberation.

    Prisni dasi