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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cyberjoint sanga

Despite all my physical woes, Vṛndāvana is of course a place where you meet many Vaiṣṇavas. This is the gist of one such meetings, in a cyberjoint -

Bhakta: "Some say that the jīva never falls from Goloka but does fall from Vaikuṇṭha."

Advaitadas: "na yatra māyā (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 2.9.10) - Brahmā said there is no māyā, when he had a vision of Vaikuntha. He did see Vaikuṇṭha, not Goloka, and: no māyā, no fall. Can you show me anywhere in śāstra that we don’t fall from Goloka but do fall from Vaikuṇṭha?”

Bhakta: ‘Is it true that one can attain bhāva bhakti only through the personal association of a mahā bhāgavata?”

Advaitadas: ‘Such association is of course welcome but is not imperative. At least I cannot find statements in śāstra that personal saṅga is the only way to bhāva bhakti."

Bhakta: ‘Some give the example of Raghunāth dās Goswāmī, who was placed under Swarūp Dāmodar’s care by Śrīman Mahāprabhu and later he took shelter of Rūpa Goswāmī. He was never without superior guidance and empowerment.”

"1. Raghunāth dās Goswāmī was a nitya-siddha and needed no bhāva-bhakti from anyone.
2. Even if that were so, whose personal association did he get after Rūpa Goswāmī passed away? Raghunāth dās Goswāmī outlived Rūpa Goswāmī for about 27 years. So I find no practical or scriptural evidence for this personal-saṅga philosophy."

Bhakta: “It is said that taṭastha śakti means that we came from Mahāviṣṇu and then we made a choice between the spiritual and material world.”

1. ‘There is an avalanche of evidence from śāstra, beginning with the Bhāgavata, that our ignorance is beginningless, while your theory implies there was a beginning. This is contradictory. Bhagavad Gītā’s first lesson (2.12-30) is that the soul is unborn. Where was it then before this ‘beginning-scene’ which you depict here?
2. There is no evidence for the historical event you suggest here, in any śāstra whatsoever, be it the Bhāgavata, or any of the Goswāmīs’ writings.
3. It sounds like we rubbed our eyes when we came out, had a brief thought “Where shall I go now?” and then, without any reason, chose for eternal bliss with Kṛṣṇa or eternal suffering in the material world. What about the śāstras’ repeated statements that our ignorance is beginningless (anādyavidyā)?”

Bhakta: “It is also said that due to contacting material nature, our natural love for Kṛṣṇa is turned into lust.”

Advaitadas: ‘nitya siddha kṛṣṇa prema’ (CC) “Kṛṣṇa Prem is eternally perfect”, which means that once it is attained it is never lost. These are two entirely different things, though they appear to be similar. ataeva kāma-prema bahut antar, kāma andhatama prema nirmala bhāskara (CC) ‘Lust and prema are very different from each other – lust is deep darkness while prema is clear light.”


  1. First, I want to wish you all the best with your health.

    Secondly, I would like to ask you how you could harmonize the statement of the beginningless ignorance of the soul with Gita 15:7, the soul is a fragment of Me - mamaivAMzo. Would that not imply the impossibility that Sri Krishna is made of ignorance?

    Take care

  2. Dear Gerard, shastra explains:

    visnu-shakti parA prokta kSetrajnAkhyA tathApara
    avidyA karma samjnanyA tRtIya saktir ISyate

    "Lord Vishnu has 3 energies - the parA (higher, internal), the field-knower (intermediate, jiva-souls) and avidyA (ignorance)."

    All three are beginningless and exist eternally side by side.