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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pañcatattva Mantra, Gopī-bhartu, dāsānudās position, madhura sakhās and more...

Bhakta: "This mantra śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya prabhu nityānanda hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma śrī rādhe govinda, what is wrong with that?"

Advaitadas: "Nothing wrong with it so much, other than that it tries to worship both Rādhā Krṣṇa and Nitāi Gaura. Actually, the Hare Krṣṇa Mantra is already there for Radha-Krṣṇa and it should have been complemented with some full Panca Tattva mantra instead. This mantra has different strokes for different folks. The Panca Tattva mantra is for invoking their mercy for attaining and successfully worshipping Rādhā-Krṣṇa. There is nothing really wrong or offensive about this hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma mantra, but it seems to serve no special purpose."

Bhakta: "Is it not rasābhāsa?"

Advaitadas: "People use words like rasābhāsa, māyāvādī and sahajiya indiscriminately without knowing the meaning of these words, blindly taking over hearsay from other ignorant persons.  rasābhāsa is a whole intricate science - Rūpa Gosvāmī has explained it briefly in the final 41 verses of Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu. I see no grounds on which the above mantra should be called rasābhāsa, unless it can be pointed out on the base of Rūpa Gosvāmī's definitions."

Bhakta: "Is it true that if you introduce a mantra yourself that is Guru-aparādha?"

Advaitadas: "Yes it is, but note that this mantra (śrī kṛṣṇa caitanya prabhu nityānanda hare kṛṣṇa hare rāma śrī rādhe govinda) is not a mantra in the strict sense of the dīkṣā mantras which are in the 4th, dative, case and have a bīja and an ending like namaḥ or svāhā. Such mantras are secret. Hare Krṣṇa and the above mantra are in the 8th case, and are thus public. But on the whole, yes, if you add or change things that is Guru aparādha."

Bhakta: "There is this Caitanya Sahasra Nāma - is that not rasābhāsa? All names are mixed up there, of Krṣṇa and Mahāprabhu. It is said to be written by Rūpa Gosvāmī. There is a whole range of aiśvarya and mādhurya names there, all mixed up with each other - names of Gaura, Krṣṇa and Viṣṇu.."

Advaitadas: "There are 3 such sahasra nāmas - one is by Kavi Karṇapura, verse 2 in it says it was recited by Brahma Haridās to Rūpa Gosvāmī in front of Kavi Karṇapura (obviously in Puri). Such a mix up of aiśvarya and mādhurya is quite common for such Sahasra Nāma Stotras. As for mixing names of Gaura and Krṣṇa in one writing, it is done also by Rūpa Gosvāmī himself in his Caitanyāṣṭakams. That is done to preach to the public that Mahāprabhu is Krṣṇa only. Most of the names actually apply to all three (Gaura, Krṣṇa and Viṣṇu)."

Bhakta: 'This verse Mahāprabhu chanted, 'gopī bhartur pādakamalayor dāsa-dāsānudāsa - does it mean its higher to be a servant of the servant of the servant of Rādhārāṇī than to be somewhere in Viśākhā or Lalitā's camp?"

Advaitadas: "First of all this verse has nothing to do with gopī bhāva, it has to do with the superiority of bhakti over varṇāśrama. Krṣṇa happens to be called Gopī bhartu here, He might as well have been called Nanda-Nandana or so. It applies to cowherd boys just as well. Secondly, servants of Rādhārāṇī are usually either in Lalitā's or Viśākhā's camp."

Bhakta: "What I mean is, isn't it better to be the servant of the servant of the servant, instead of being so far up, so close to Rādhā-Krṣṇa?"

Advaitadas: "It is a universal verse which is both philosophical and devotional. Being the servant of the servant of the servant doesn't mean you are at the end of the line, some 25 miles distance from Rādhā-Krṣṇa. It means you are right there, massaging Their feet during the most intimate pastimes. Being the servant of the servant of the servant means just that you are always aware of your servanthood of the servants of Rādhikā - Guru Mañjarī serves under her Guru Mañjarī etc etc all the way up to Viśākhā devī. It is a statement of humility and service attitude only. It does not create even a micrometer geographical distance between you and Śrī Rādhikā. Servant of the servant means your Guru gave you the service of massaging Rādhārāṇī's feet, and he/she him/herself is right by your side, fanning Her. Servant of the servant means you never stop serving the Guru, unlike the māyāvādīs, who serve Guru up to the stage of mukti. In the liberated state Guru becomes Mañjarī and you become Mañjarī and the master-servant relationship continues from there, eternally."

Bhakta: "I think only a few people can go to Krṣṇaloka because otherwise it would have to expand so much."

Advaitadas: "Indeed, attainment of Krṣṇa-loka is very rare, but don't worry - there is place enough for everyone. Either way, both the material world and spiritual world are unlimited. Plenty of space. There is one Rādhā-Krṣṇa for each liberated soul."

Bhakta: "Perhaps only in our meditations."

Advaitadas: "In Krṣṇa-loka too, as far as we can call it a location. jīvanmukta stage means you are liberated within the body and this has a devotional purport, too. Srila Rūpa Gosvāmī says:

iha yasya harer dāsye karmanā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

"Whoever is serving Lord Hari in all circumstances, with works, the mind and speech, is called a liberated soul in this body." (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.187)"

Bhakta: "So if the spiritual sky expands like that, everything will be Vṛndāvana and there is no more material world?"

Advaitadas: "We discussed this before. Both the material and the spiritual worlds are limitless."

Bhakta: "I heard that Subal and other cowherd boys also have mādhurya bhāva, and thus their sakhya bhāva is higher than vātsalya."

Advaitadas: "That is correct. A small group of cowherd boys have thus superseded the devotees of vātsalya rasa, although normally vātsalya rasa is consired higher than sakhya rasa. A few members of vātsalya rasa also have access to mādhurya, though, like Mukharā and Paurṇamāsī, who, like Subal and other priya narma sakhās, also assist indirectly in mādhurya līlā as supporters. At Śyāmakuṇḍa, the eight chief sakhās are under the command of the eight chief sakhīs. Madhumangal is under the command of Lalitā, although in the līlā they quarrel so much. (Govinda Līlāmṛta 7.111-117) A boy is more likely to confide in his intimate affairs with his boyfriends than with his parents."

Bhakta: "Is it possible that while practising Mañjarī sādhana one comes to realize that my sthāyi bhāva is actually Rām bhakti or so? All types of bhakti are welcomed by Śrīman Mahāprabhu...."

Advaitadas: "Attraction can not be forced. Even Mahāprabhu, God Himself, could not dissuade Murāri Guptā from Rām-bhakti. If you would have no attraction to Mañjarī bhāva I can see no reason why you would take initiation into it. This is a purely theoretical question, but attraction overrides all theories. Attraction to the feelings of the Vrajabāsīs gives access to rāgānugā bhakti. na ca śāstraṁ na yuktiṁ ca (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu) - "śāstra and logic do not give access to rāgānugā bhakti." The only reason why one might become attracted to a lower rasa is offences committed to Krṣṇa or His devotees -

bhāvo'py abhāvam āyāti kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāparādhataḥ; 
ābhāsatāṁ ca shanakair nyūna-jātīyatām api (Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.3.54)

(To be continued.....)


  1. In regards to the limitlessness of the both the material and spiritual realms, what is the purpose of describing the spiritual world as comprising three quarters of the "spiritual sky" (in the words of Swami Maharaja) and the material world one quarter? Thank you!

  2. Actually the concept of tripada and eka pada vibhuti is not created by Swamiji but is a Vedic concept which is found throughout the shastras. The tripada vibhuti is a name for the entire spiritual sky, not just 75% of it. I discussed it with some friends in my blog of July 15, 2007, about halfway. One cannot measure infinity in being thrice the size of finity, right? This is obviously a metaphor describing quality instead of quantity or geography.

  3. Prabhu,

    What is your opinion on Gopala Mantra (instructed to Gopakumar; Brhad Bhagavatamrta) being freely circulated over the internet. What effect it might generate to a person chanting this mantra without getting it through a spiritual master?

    Radhe Krishna

  4. What is your opinion on Gopala Mantra (instructed to Gopakumar; Brhad Bhagavatamrta) being freely circulated over the internet. What effect it might generate to a person chanting this mantra without getting it through a spiritual master?

    This is a namaparadha called Guror avajna, disregard for the Guru. Diksa is compulsory. Visvanatha Cakravartipad gave an interesting characterization of the way this offense works in his commentary on the Bhagavata (6.2.9-10): "Some people are always engaging their senses in the sense objects like cows and asses and don't know, even in their dreams, 'who is God, what is devotion, who is the guru.' Such inoffensive persons are saved even without a guru by repeating the holy name in the manner of 'semblance of holy name' (namabhasa) like Ajamila and others. Others, however, have the discriminating knowledge: 'Hari is to be worshipped, worship is the way to attain him, the guru is the instructor of that, people of the past have attained Hari by means of the devotion taught by the guru,' and yet, on the basis of claims that 'initiation, good practice, and expiation are not needed; the mere touch of this mantra, composed of the name of Krsna, on the tongue brings the results' and on the basis of the example of Ajamila and others, think 'why should I go to the trouble of finding a guru? By kirtana of the holy name alone I will get the lord.' They, because of this great offense of neglecting the guru, will not attain the lord. In that lifetime itself, or in another lifetime when that offense becomes eliminated, they too will find shelter at the feet of a guru and reach the lord."

    In Sri Isana Nagara's Advaita Prakasa (8.118-122) it is described how Sita-devi, the consort of Advaita Prabhu, received initiation in a dream from Srila Madhavendra Puri, but that Advaita Prabhu still found it necessary to give her a concrete, audible initiation."

    sita kohe bahu bhagye toma painu dekha dehatma sodhana koro diya mantra diksa
    tabe puri sitare krsna mantra dila jagi sita mata kohe kiba camatkare
    svapnavese puriraja mantra dila more acarye kohila sita sarva vivarana tiho
    kohe bhagye tuya khandila bandhana prabhu sei mantra puna vidhi anusare subha
    ksane samarpila sva bharya sita re

    "Sita devi told Madhavendra Puri: "I am very fortunate to meet you. Please sanctify my body and soul by giving me mantra initiation." Then Madhavendra Puri gave Sita krsna-mantra after which he vanished. When mother Sita awoke, she said: "How amazing! Madhavendra Puriraja gave me mantra in a visionary dream!" Sita devi told everything to Advaita Acarya, who said: "You are so fortunate that now all your bondage is destroyed." According to the rules, and on an auspicious moment, Advaita Prabhu then gave His wife Sita that mantra again."
    In other words, despite the efficacy of the mantra, Advaita Prabhu set the standard of compulsory diksa.

    Also in his commentary on the 11th canto, though I cant seem to find the quote now because of a Windows malfunction, Visvanatha Cakravartipad says the mantra must be purified by the lips of the Guru.

  5. Ah I found the comment of Visvanatha Cakravarti here:

    SB 11.21.15 — sad guru-mukhAt yathAvat parijnAnaM mantra-shuddhiH. "Purification of the mantra is done by learning it properly from the mouth of a bonafide Guru."

  6. ¨There is one Radha-Krishna for each liberated soul."

    How is it possible then to serve side by side with the Guru, if He has his own Yugal and I have mine?

  7. ¨There is one Radha-Krishna for each liberated soul."

    How is it possible then to serve side by side with the Guru, if He has his own Yugal and I have mine?

    That is why Sadhu Baba told me to memorize only the names of the next of kin in my siddha parampara - it remains in the family, of course, otherwise how can one serve eternally under Guru manjari? In general, these things are very hard to picture within one's conditioned mind. The spiritual sky is not called Vaikuntha for nothing - it means '(the place of) no limits'.