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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Garga Saṁhitā and personal desires

I recently had these two interesting exchanges with Śrīpād Satya-nārāyan Dāsji

January 10, 2009
Revered Prabhuji
Please accept my Rādhe Rādhe
Hope this message reaches you in blissful Vṛndāvan Vāsa.
What is your opinion on the Garga Saṁhitā? It has some controversial passages about all the Kaurava demons coming from the heavens (5.30-31) and about Shiva getting a place in the Rāsa-dance (25.8), whereas Shiva is like a yogi who qualifies at best for aiśvarya bhakti. The book is never quoted by the Gosvāmīs in their books and is not mentioned either in the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Abhidhāna. Should we take this book seriously?
Thanks in advance

Dear Advaita Prabhuji
Jai Sri Rādhe Shyāma
I think this book is good to tell stories to people in general. It is not for siddhānta. So do not take it seriously.

Kṛṣṇadasji had this to add on the Garga Samhitā -
Dear Advaitaji,

I have not read the book but I think that it is a later work since the ācāryas do not mention it. However, it is difficult to know for sure only on the basis of absence of quotations. It does not seem to me to offer anything theologically because it does not feature in anyway in any serious piece of writing I have read.

Then I asked Śrīpād Satya-nārāyan Dāsji the following :

20 january 2009
Revered Prabhuji
Please accept my Rādhe Śyām
In Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi, ch.14, it is said that consorts with samañjasā and sādhāraṇī rati have a certain amount of personal desires. But how is that possible? Can they live in the spiritual world with personal desires, while I have always thought that one cannot enter the spiritual world without giving up all personal desires? I have checked the ṭīkās of Śrī Jīva and Viśvanātha and they just confirm the meaning of the original verses of Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī. Can you explain this mystery please?

Dear Advaita Prabhuji
Jai Śrī Rādhe Shyāma
A living being has the natural tendency to seek pleasure. The difference between spiritual and material life is on the basis of the desire to enjoy. In material life a person wants to enjoy independently from Kṛṣṇa, and in spiritual life with Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In spiritual life the enjoyment can come in two ways- either by seeking pleasure for oneself with Śrī Kṛṣṇa,  or by getting pleasure through giving pleasure (in other words, by not thinking of one's own pleasure at all, which is Vraja-bhakti or uttamā bhakti). Both of these are called 'not having personal desires' from the material point of view because there is no desire to enjoy independently at all.
There are various grades of devotees in Vaikuṇṭha, and their level is known by how much percentage of either of these two one has. śānta bhaktas are at the bottom because they are not interested in doing personal service and Gopīs are the topmost on the ladder because they even hate to sit and just meditate- they render only favorable service for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa. Then there are devotees in between.
A sādhāraṇī-devotee has interest in having pleasure for oneself from Kṛṣṇa, not independently. Samañjasā is a khichari and samartha is pure love.


  1. Hare Krishna Advaita Dasji. About Garga Samhita I got something from the internet, kindly check it and tell me whether it is valid or not...........

    “The confidential science of pure devotional service is taught explicitly only in a few Vedic scriptures little known to the public. Amongst these rare texts are the Gopala-tapani Upanisad, the Narada-pancaratra, the Garga-samhita, the Visnu Purana, the Hari-vamsa Upapurana, the Uttara-khanda of the Padma Purana, and the Bhagavata Maha-purana.”

    — (Srila Sanatana Gosvami’s Dig-darsini Commentary on Brhad-bhagavatamrta: 1.1. 21-23)

    “Parvati said, ‘O lord Siva, Please describe to me the most wonderful character and confidential activities of the One on whom you meditate and adore with great devotion. Previously I heard from your mouth the thousand names of Lord Krsna, now please tell me His story.’
    Siva (Mahadeva) replied, ‘O Goddess who provides welfare to all, the life story of Lord Krsna has been included in the Garga-samhita.’”
    —(Garga-samhita Mahatmya, taken from Sammohana-tantra)

  2. I dont have the Sammohan Tantra, but that quotation from Digdarshini is wong. In the Sanskrit tika only the Narada Pancaratra is mentioned.

  3. Garga Samhita is not even mentioned in the Gaudiya Vaisnava Abhidhana at all, though this awesome encyclopedia mentions all shastras, genuine or otherwise. Go figure.

  4. If the Garga Saṁhitā is 5,000 years old, how come it mentions Rādhākuṇḍa, which was discovered by Caitanya Mahāprabhu only 500 years ago?