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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Discussing Caitanya Caritamrita, part 6, and a concession to Jagat

Bhakta: "In Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 7.15, a quote from Laghu Bhāgavatāmṛta, the BBT edition says: 'Who other than Kṛṣṇa could give prema even to the surrendered souls?' Prof. Dimock speaks of 'even the creepers'.

Advaitadas: "The BBT version is wrong here - latāsvapi means 'even (api) to the creepers (latāsu). Besides, 'surrendered souls' doesn't make any sense - they would be the first ones to receive prema, and the word api (even) would be totally contradictory then. The verse thus loses both beauty and common sense."

Bhakta: "In Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 7.85-6, the BBT split the names Śyāmasundara and Yaśodā-nandana, while Prof. Dimock says that Śyāmasundara is an adjective of Yaśodā-nandana, and thus it is one name only.'

Advaitadas: "My Bengali edition of the Gauḍīya Maṭh also says it is two names, but it seems to me from the following Sanskrit śloka it could be one too."

Bhakta: "Should we read any significance into Yaśodā-nandana? After all, the Vallabha sampradāya (this chapter is all about defeating the Vallabhīs) worship Kṛṣṇa in vātsalya bhāva."

Advaitadas: "Who knows? The Vallabhis say that vātsalya rati is higher than mādhurya rati because the love of the mother is much more causeless than that of the lover. Lovers easily break up but the mother never gives up her child. We believe though that the taste and enjoyment of amorous love is greater. Regarding this chapter, it is often said that the meeting between Vallabha and Mahāprabhu did not take place as an historical fact. Perhaps Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja created a story of this meeting just to have an opportunity to make a contrast between the Vallabhīs' philosophy and ours. (see my blog of October 7, 2007)."

Bhakta: "In verse 7.148 it is said that Vallabha Bhaṭṭa worshipped Kṛṣṇa in vātsalya bhāva, and practised the Bāl Gopāl mantra, but in the company of Gadādhar Paṇḍit his mind changed and he got attracted to Kiśora Gopāl Mantra (fit for madhura rasa upāsanā). In verse 7.171 it is said he received all he begged for from Gadādhara Paṇḍit. Does that refer to dīkṣā? That is what the BBT translation says."

Advaitadas: "It is not literally written there, but it seems the only logical conclusion to me, based on verses 148-9. It is however, almost unthinkable that this could have taken place, for by taking dīkṣā from a Gauḍīya giant like Gadādhara Paṇḍit, Vallabha would have become a Gauḍīya himself and therefore there would automatically be no more Vallabha Sampradaya. He would have just folded his own sampradāya, but that never happened. In this way this entire chapter remains very problematic."

Bhakta: "I heard that when one Godhead appears in different forms at the same time (like Rāmānanda Rāy being both Arjun and Lalitā) one person is the soul and the others are characteristics, so there is actually only one main soul."

Advaitadas: "So many smart people are there with so many mundane conceptions. You cannot squeeze God into a small test-tube you know. advaitam acyutam anādim ananta rūpam (Brahma Saṁhitā 5.35) - "Kṛṣṇa is one, non dual entity, He is flawless, beginningless and has innumerable forms". So here you go - one and yet innumerable. Try to reconcile that with your pea brain. The Vedanta Sūtra says that the mere jīva can already assume 1,020 different siddha dehas, then what to speak of the Supreme?"

Bhakta: "Still in the same chapter, in a commentary, Prof. Dimock says that if a wife calls her husband by name it weakens the force of his/her prāṇa."

Advaitadas: "Ladies in India are usually not called by name, only by their husbands or fathers, in private, but that has something more to do with modesty and decorum rather than reducing the life air's force. It seems superstitious to me."

Bhakta: "In Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 13.37, Prof. Dimock translates that Mahāprabhu tells Jagadānanda Paṇḍit: ‘you cannot tolerate their activities’, while the BBT edition said you can not take up their activities’ (because you may misunderstand the secrets of rāga bhakti)."

Advaitadas: "Cannot tolerate their activities? That sounds strange. The BBT version ('you cannot take up') is closer to the original text loite nāribā. The reason why one should not be too close to the Vrajabāsīs is not explained in the text and Swāmījī's explanation could be one. Another one is handed in Rādhā-rasa Sudhānidhi (265) - Vrajabāsīs may appear to be sinful or cruel but still they must be held in reverence. Since sinful persons should not be associated with and yet Vrajabāsīs should be honored by birth, Mahāprabhu comes with this dual instruction to Jagadānanda Paṇḍit. kṛṣṇeti yasya giri tam manasādriyeta (Upadeśāmṛta) "Mentally honour whoever says the word Kṛṣṇa" - at the end of that verse Rūpa Goswāmī says whom we should actually really associate with - the bhajana vijña, the expert knowers of bhajana."

Bhakta: "In his commentary on this verse Prof. Dimock quotes Rādhā Govinda Nātha who says that the Vrajabāsīs are all siddha bhaktas and Jagadānanda Paṇḍit at that stage was not one and he should not stay with them because he will not understand the meaning of what they do. Their level is too high for them."

Advaitadas: "That is wrong. Vrajabāsīs deserve our respects by birth but are certainly not all siddha, it is hard to find any siddhas anywhere anyway. Nor is it right that Jagadānanda Pandit was not siddha. Rather it was the other way around - gaurāṅgera saṅgī-gaṇe, nitya-siddha kori māne - 'Consider Gaurāṅga's associates as nitya siddhas' (Narottam Thākur). Kavi Karṇapur has listed each associate of Mahāprabhu and revealed their identity in Kṛṣṇa's pastimes - they are not ordinary struggling sādhakas like us. Jagadānanda Paṇḍit (Queen Satyabhāmā) played the role of the devotee who did not qualify to live in Vraja full time, but that is just a lila, not reality. In verse 13.64 it is mentioned that he stayed in Vraja for 2 months, while Rūpa-Sanātan stayed on forever. But actually they are all nitya siddha. Most devotees should follow in the footsteps of Jagadānanda Paṇḍit and stay for a brief period only – very few are on the level of Rāpa-Sanātan. When Mahāprabhu spoke this verse to Jagadānanda Pandit, there was just a handful of Bengalis in Vraja, almost all inhabitants of Vraja were ethnic Brajabāsīs, unlike now, when perhaps 1 out of 4 people come from outside. If one wants to be sure of a successful full-time stay in Vraja, then attain stages of niṣṭhā, ruci or āsakti first. Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī defines bhāva bhakti as prītis tad vasati sthale - love for living in Kṛṣṇa's abode and nāma gāne sadā ruci, having always taste for harināma. Ruci means appreciation and absorption and that will safeguard against all the māyā that immature full-time residents of Vraja tend to get into. In verse 13.39 Mahāprabhu says śīghro āsiho, na rohiho ciro-kāla,'Return swiftly, don't stay too long!' See my blog of May 3, 2006."

Bhakta: "In his commentary on this section Prof. Dimock even considers Sanātan Goswāmī 'not a siddha yet at this point'.

Advaitadas: 'Mundane scholars cannot understand the secrets of bhakti and therefore they do not have the proper respect either. They call Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 'Caitanya' and Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmīpāda 'Rūpa'.

*************************

As for my recent comments on Jagat’s blog of March 13 on Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 3.5.2 – I discovered that Mukunda Dās Goswāmī, a secondary ācārya, in his comments on that verse, indeed does mention tapasvīs as being unfit for madhura rasa, but that might apply to māyāvādī sannyāsīs. So, although tapasvīs are indeed mentioned in that comment as being unfit, Rūpa Goswāmī certainly does not say either that one should think of oneself as Kṛṣṇa and another man’s wife as Rādhā, or, as not only Jagat, but several other persons known to me claim, that sexual indulgence helps in qualifying for madhura rasa. Again, the facts on the ground, our ācāryas having been topmost renunciates, simply refute that. Fact remains that Jagat should keep our ācāryas out of his sahajīya preaching agenda.

After writing this, I noted Jagat’s blog of March 23, which reacted to my blog about him. Two things about that, just on first sight. Jagat says -

But Advaita's quotation from Jiva Goswami is also incomplete. He and Vishwanath both say, "Nivritta means those who are have no taste for Bhagavan's madhurya rasa because they are unable to see any difference between it and material love." (nivRitteSu prAkRita-shRiGgAra-rasa-sama-dRiSTyA bhAgavatAd apy asmAd rasAd virakteSv anupayogitvAd ayogyatvAt)

That, however, is not juxtaposed to renunciation, and so this sāmya dṛṣṭi (mixing up) could as well apply to a person who has sex with another man’s wife instead of to a renunciant.

“If sex was for procreation, then Radha would be having babies all over the place.”

This is foolish of course. The gopīs’ not having babies is a part of a transcendental līlā. If they had babies it would destroy the free enjoyment of parakīya bhāva, which is of course the prerogative of Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone, not even Rām or Nārāyan, let alone Jagat and his friends.

As for the suggestion that there is some type of competition going on between Jagat and me – I think that the landslide majority of visitors to both our blogs are not only the same persons, I think they also fit firmly into the category of jijñāsu (B.Gītā 7.16), people who are just curious what we conjure up from śāstra. Neither one of us has any real followers or supporters.

4 comments:

  1. Dear Advaita-ji,

    I am one of those "jigyasus" who regularly reads you blog.

    I have a question to ask you. Today I read in Dandavats that one wonderful devotee named Letter Dadu (HG Dhiren Sen) from Vrindavana left the world and he always wanted to have Sakya relationship with the Lord (http://www.dandavats.com/?p=7117).

    My heart always goes for the Sakya-relationship the Lord but I live in a western country, I haven't received vaisnava initiation from anyone and I don't have a mantra to do any bhajana to develop my sadhana. I honestly don't know what to do. Can you please give me some directions according to Sastras? Thank you.

    Jaya Sri Krishna.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Anon,
    I spent quite some time around Vrindavan's Krishna Balaram Mandir and MVT in the last few years and I saw Dadu walking around there many times, though I never spoke with him or so. My condolences to all those who knew him.

    I suppose the prayer of BV Madhava Swami is the way out for both Dadu and your good self - pray for Kripa siddhi. Though officially 4 rasas are introduced by Sriman Mahaprabhu, practically no Guru offers an upasana for anything else but manjari bhava, as that is clearly the central purpose of Sriman Mahaprabhu's advent, as in the anarpita carim cirat verse.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dear Advaita-ji,

    Thank you very much for the suggestions.

    I was talking to a Vaisnava in this matter further and he quoted Jaiva Dharma saying that it's not mandatory to have a Guru who has the same rasa as oneself.

    Let's take an example that a disciple is in Sakya and the Guru is in Manjari-bhava, then how much the Guru can help the disciple for spiritual growth.

    Jaya Sri Krishna.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was talking to a Vaisnava in this matter further and he quoted Jaiva Dharma saying that it's not mandatory to have a Guru who has the same rasa as oneself.

    Excuse me, but I have ample reason not to accept such a book as authoritative. In this case, too, it contradicts the earlier acaryas' teachings, as Sri Rupa says svajAtiyAzayA snigdhe sAdhoH sanga svato vare (BRS) 'One should associate with a likeminded sadhu who is saintly and more advanced than oneself.'

    Let's take an example that a disciple is in Sakya and the Guru is in Manjari-bhava, then how much the Guru can help the disciple for spiritual growth.

    That is exactly where the Jaiva Dharma's theories get into trouble. See my first answer in this comment.

    ReplyDelete