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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Advaita's rebuttal of Advaita's reversal

On October 31 Jagadānanda Dās posted a blog in a reaction to my blog of October 5. His mundane intellectual superimpositions on transcendental śāstra have been dealt with many times by yours truly and others, but as he continues to try to defy the ācāryas and śāstra by denying that sex is for procreation, here’s an updated and extended catalog of what the ācāryas and śāstras have to say on it:

"As one in his list of definitions of what a Vaiṣṇava is, Jīva Gosvāmī in his Bhakti-sandarbha (202) cites the Skanda-purāṇa's instructions of Mārkaṇḍeya to Bhagīratha:

yathā skānde mārkaṇḍeya-bhagīratha-saṁvāde -
dharmārthaṁ jīvitaṁ yeṣāṁ santānārthaṁ ca maithunam 
pacanaṁ vipramukhyārthaṁ jneyās te vaiṣṇavā narāḥ 
atra śrī-viṣṇor ājnā-buddhyaiva tat tat kriyata iti vaiṣṇava-padena gamyate

"Those people for whom the purpose of life is religion, for whom the purpose of sexual intercourse are children, and for whom the purpose of cooking is to serve the brāhmaṇas, go by the name of 'Vaiṣṇava'."

Thus those, who act in awareness of the orders of Viṣṇu, are understood as Vaiṣṇavas. The essence of the thought here is that a Vaiṣṇava would not do something that wouldn't be pleasing to Viṣṇu, and since sexual intercourse for mere enjoyment isn't something that can be offered, a Vaiṣṇava would not unnecessarily engage in it. Then, the Bhāgavata-purāṇa repeats the concept in three locations, describing the suitable period for sexual union:

gṛhasthasya ṛtu-gāminaḥ 

"The householder have sexual intercourse only in the fertile season."  S.B. 7.12.11

gṛhasthasyāpy ṛtau gantuḥ

"However [though brāhmacarya was described], the householder may approach his wife for intercourse in the fertile season."  S.B. 11.18.43

evaṁ vyavāyaḥ prajayā na ratyā imaṁ viśuddhaṁ na viduḥ sva-dharmam 

"In the same way [as with other injunctions giving room for sensual indulgence], sexual intercourse should not be for the sake of lust, but for the sake of progeny. Regardless, people do not understand such pure sva-dharmas."  S.B. 11.5.13

The theme is brought up in Bhagavad-gita (7.11):

dharmāviruddho bhūteṣu kāmo'smi bharatarṣabha

"I am that lust, O greatest of the Bharatas, that is not contrary to dharma."

The commentaries prominent in the Gauḍīya line of thought, namely those by Śrīdhara Svāmī, Viśvanātha Cakravartī and Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa, read as follows:

śrīdharaḥ -- dharmeṇāviruddhaḥ sva-dāreṣu putrotpādana-mātropayogī kāmo’ham iti 
viśvanāthaḥ -- dharmāviruddhaḥ sva-bhāryāyāṁ putrotpatti-mātropayogī
baladevaḥ -- dharmāviruddhaḥ svapatnyāṁ putrotpatti-mātra-hetuḥ

Śrīdhara: "I am lust that is not contrary to dharma, suitable only for bestowal of progeny in one's wife."
Viśvanātha: "Not contrary to dharma means suitable only for the birth of progeny in one's wife."
Baladeva: "Not contrary to dharma means for the sole cause of the birth of progeny in one's wife."

Hence, begetting children with one's duly wedded wife is the desired application for sexual desire.

Further, in Bhagavad Gītā 10.28, Kṛṣṇa says prajanaś cāsmi kandarpaḥ “Of progenitors I am Cupid.”
Śrīdhara Swāmī comments:

prajanaḥ prajotpatti-hetu kandarpaḥ kāmo’smi na kevalaṁ sambhoga-mātra-pradhānaḥ kāmo mad-vibhūtir aśāstrīyatvāt

“I am the desire that is only for making children, the desire for sex for just pleasure is not scriptural.”
Madhusūdana Sarasvatī comments :

kāmānāṁ madhye prajanaḥ prajanayitā putrotpatty-artho yaḥ kandarpaḥ kāmaḥ so’ham asmi ca-kāras tv artho rati-mātra-hetu-kāma-vyāvṛtty-arthaḥ

“Of desires I am the desire for making children only. ca means it excludes sex just for pleasures.”
Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa comments :

prajanaḥ santānotpādakah kandarpaḥ kāmo’ham rati-sukha-mātra-hetuh sa nāham iti ca-śabdāt

“I am the desire for just making children, but I am not the desire for mere sexual pleasures.”

Hari-bhakti-vilāsa, citing Padma-purāṇa (5.9.44-47), praises a householder's abstinence except for the sake of begetting progeny as the equivalent of brāhmacarya:

ṛtu-kālābhigāmī yaḥ sva-dāra-nirataś ca yaḥ 
sarvadā brahmacārīha vijneyaḥ sa gṛhāśramī 

"One who is devoted to his own wife and approaches her for intercourse in the period suitable for fertilization is known always as a brahmacārī even though he may be in the householder-āśrama." (HBV 11.156)

iti matvā sva-dāreṣu ṛtumatsu budho vrajet 
yathokta-doṣa-hīneṣu sakāmeṣv anṛtāv api 

"Thinking this way, even if his wife is willing during unseasonable times, the intelligent person will approach her only in her fertile period. when she is free of detrimental effect, as has been explained before." 11.173

This is just śāstra. Now comes yukti (common sense): If sex were not for procreation, then why do women get pregnant of it each time? And why does one apply artificial tricks to avoid that, items of contraception that do not grow on the trees?

As for our professor's argument that sex is LOVE, the following from the śāstras and ācāryas (this is really kid stuff, it doesn't take a rocket-scientist to understand):

ātmendriya prīti vānchā tār boli kāma;
kṛṣṇendriya prīti dhare tār prem nāma

Caitanya Caritāmṛta: “ The desire to satisfy one’s own senses is called kāma (lust) and the desire to please Kṛṣṇa’s senses is called prema (love)."

ātaeva kāma-prema bahu antara;
kāma andhatama prema nirmala bhāskar (CC)

“Therefore there is a big difference between lust and love – lust is deep darkness and love is clear light.”

Let then not our friend, who was twice initiated into the sannyāsa-order of life, come with self-styled ahangropāsana theories like ‘our sex is love for Kṛṣṇa’ or ‘ it’s the same as Kṛṣṇa’s’, because the first quote I made from Caitanya Caritāmṛta is also confirmed at the end of the Bhāgavat’s Rāsa-līlā: naitat samācarejjātu manasāpi hyanīśvara ‘ Not even in one’s mind should one imitate the intimate pastimes of the Lord’ vināśatyaciran mauḍhyāt ‘ You quickly perish from such foolishness’ yathā rudro’bdhijaṁ viṣam ‘ As you can also not imitate lord Shiva’s drinking poison from the ocean’. It’s only that he knows it. In Holland we say – a warned man counts for two.’

As for svarūpa-siddha bhakti, Brajabhūṣaṇa dāsji patiently explained (in my blog of August 22, 2008), quoting from Viśvanātha's ṭīkā of Bhagavad Gītā 9.27, that as soon as overall surrender has taken place, everything is done for Kṛṣṇa’s sake. If the progeny does not show interest in bhakti, that is between Kṛṣṇa and the child – the parent can only have the best – devotional – intentions.

The 1960s' western sexual revolution-generation is turning 60 and frankly, I think it's pathetic to see a 60-year old, who has known Vaiṣṇava siddhanta for 40 years, speak of lust as love like this.

By the way, I don't agree that undue loss of seed is mass murder, as no doctor or scientist can perceive the soul in any of the millions of sperm cells released during an ejaculation. Many times a woman does not get pregnant even if approached on a fertile day.

Anyway, my final comment to Jagat and his faith-fellows is this: If illicit sex would lead to enlightenment, the whole world would have been enlightened from day 1.

7 comments:

  1. Srimad-Bhagavatam, Canto 2, Chapter 6, Verse 20:

    "The spiritual world, which consists of three fourths of the Lord's energy, is situated beyond this material world, and it is especially meant for those who will never be reborn. Others, who are attached to family life and who do not strictly follow celibacy vows, must live within the three material worlds."

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  2. Jagat commented on my latest blog about him. Jagat, I did read your comment but since I cant make heads or tails out of your sensually urged mental sophistry I decided to just give a general response. Of course I meant to say that normally, barring exceptions, women get pregnant in their fertile days. Yes, you should make your apologetic fantasies more intelligible, preferably with evidence from shastra, because this is how Vaisnavas communicate.
    And yes, we do live on other planets, as in Bhagavad Gita 16.23 and 16.24.

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  3. Advaita

    I agree with you in your argument against sahajiya theology, i.e, sex as sadhana is not going to help you become self realized. It may make you feel some type of mystical experience. There are countless tantric sex traditions which can give some mystical experience. But self realization or God realization in Gaudiya Vaisnavism is only given to the bhakta through being awakened to a true understanding of ourselves, God, and our relationship with God. No type of sexual relationship with another jiva has the potential to do that. Whatever mystical benefit there is in tantric practices, they cannot give entrance into the goal of life.

    This idea of yours is wrong:

    "If sex were not for procreation, then why do women get pregnant of it each time?"

    That is wrong.

    "Dr. Allen Wilcox of NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has studied fertility extensively.

    "The basic problem is that ovulation is so unpredictable," he says. His fertility research has shown that women are fertile only on the day they ovulate and the five days prior to ovulation, not at all after ovulation."

    Also see http://www.drmirkin.com/women/8786.html

    So, celibacy or any other prohibition in sastra serves a purpose for vaidhi bhaktas. What is that purpose? To aid them in focusing their life on bhakti, bringing them to sattva guna because from sattva guna the bhakta can come to suddha sattva and then raganuga. Sex is not inherently bad. What is bad about sex is that it is an all consuming distraction for jivas who are not bhaktas. When they attain the stage of raganuga (no longer solely motivated by sastric promises of moksa and fear of suffering in their bhakti practice) then the strict rules of vaidhi are no longer necessary because the bhakta has attained the purpose of those rules. The bhakta transcends the influence of the gunas to make him or her fall down from that platform regardless of what they do. Just like in Vraj, they are not following rules and regulations of vaidhi bhakti, they are not celibate, they are not teetotalers, they are not chanting japa or doing any sadhana. In the same way once attaining pure raganuga bhakti, the bhakta is on the level of the ragatmika bhaktas of Vraj when it comes to the necessity of rules and regulations.

    The rules of vaidhi bhaktas are not the rules of raganuga bhaktas. For example Jiva Goswami in Bhakti Sandarbha writes:

    Anuccheda 312

    21 In the Gautamiya Tantra it is said:
    "For they who are always fallen in love with the lotus feet of Lord Krsna there is no japa, no Deity worship, no meditation, and no rules."

    32 The Supreme Personality of Godhead declares (in Brahma-yamala, also quoted in texts 9 and 24 of this anuccheda):
    "The Sruti and Smrti sastras are My commands. Therefore one who disobeys the scripture disobeys Me. Such a person hates Me. He may claim to be devoted to Me, but in truth he is not."
    These words do not apply to the devotees engaged in raganuga bhakti, for such devotees are already on the right path in spiritual life. Rather, this verse is addressed to they who follow the wrong paths, the paths of heretics and atheists like Buddha, Rsabhadeva, Dattatreya and others.
    33 The scriptures declare:
    "A heretic opposed to the religion of the Vedas may worship his own deity. However, he will go to hell until the time when the universe is destroyed by floods."
    34 Even though many Vedic rules are not followed in it, raganuga bhakti is not outside the path of the Vedas. Actually raganuga bhakti is the perfection of the religion described in the Vedas and the scriptures that explain the Vedas. This is so because raganuga bhakti makes one attracted (ruci) to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Vedas are described many heretics and atheists, such as Buddha, who are opposed to the Vedas and thus are outside the sphere of Vedic religion. For example, in Srimad Bhagavatam (1.3.24) it is said:
    35 "Then, in the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in the province of Gaya, just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful theist."*
    36 Therefore raganuga bhakti is proper and correct. It is much better than vaidhi bhakti. The previously discussed rules of the scriptures are meant for merging into the existence of the Lord.

    --------------

    A raganuga bhakta is not bound by any rules. If God wants to give the raganuga bhakta pleasure, sexual or otherwise, then that will occur. It is foolish to think that God doesn't want his raganuga bhakta to enjoy pleasure, what would be the purpose of that? There is this foolish idea in many bhaktas that sensual enjoyment is seen as sinful by God. That is false. It is seen as an impediment to attaining the goal of life. Once you attain to raganuga you have reached the goal. At that stage God seeks to give you pleasure in the same mentality that you seek to give God pleasure. Anyone who says different is ignorant of God and the true nature of raganuga bhakti rasa.

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  4. To make the point about fertility clearer: The egg of a woman is viable for only one day per month. It lives for one day per month, only on that day can pregnancy occur, and then the egg dies or becomes a fetus. But, sperm can live in a women's vagina for 5 days.

    So, there are potentially 5 days a month that a woman can get pregnant because if she has sex 5 days before the egg is dropped, the semen might possibly still be viable, but is less likely then on the day of egg dropping.

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  5. Shiva, I'm in an Indian cyberjoint and forgot my back-up DVD with granthas, which I will need to study BS 312 you quoted. Visvanatha in his Ragavartma Candrika teaches exactly the opposite of what you suggest, so I will have to see the BS paragraph in its proper context. The basic point is that people are so scared that women get pregnant that they take shelter of condoms and tablets and that is certainly not dharmAviruddha.

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  6. Shiva, certainly Krishna does not want either raganuga or vaidhi bhaktas to 'enjoy' in the material world and suffer repeated birth and death forever as a result. Shastra has said repeatedly that attachment to sense objects lead neither to liberation nor to happiness. If you go to the west you don't book a flight to the east, shastra says. As to your quotation from Bhakti Sandarbha,

    21 In the Gautamiya Tantra it is said:
    "For they who are always fallen in love with the lotus feet of Lord Krsna there is no japa, no Deity worship, no meditation, and no rules."


    If a person is that advanced he/she will certainly not be interested in low carnal pleasures. Nothing in this verse says you should have woman after woman after taking sannyasa twice, as Jagat propagates.

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  7. One of the greatest contributions of India to the world is Holy Gita
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    ReplyDelete