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Monday, May 11, 2009

All devotees serve in madhura rasa, the vision of the hypocrite, the source of mirages and our view of Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta.

Bhakta: Do devotees in all relationships serve Kṛṣṇa in madhura rasa?

Advaitadas: “Consciously or unconsciously. Kṛṣṇa tells Radhika, in the words of padakartā Jñāna Dās:

tomāri lāgiyā,      beḍāi bhramiyā,
giri-nadī vane vane

"For Your sake I wander through the forest, past the rivers and over the mountains!" The servants dress Kṛṣṇa up attractively for attracting the gopīs and Rādhā, though they do not realize it, the cowherd boys go with Him into the forest to herd the cows but they actually assist Him in meeting Rādhā and the gopīs at Rādhākuṇḍa, though they do not realize that (the priya narma sakhās like Subal are exceptions of course), and mother Yaśodā invites Rādhikā to cook for Kṛṣṇa twice a day, just because She is a famous as a cook – she too does not realize that by doing so she is arranging the meeting of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.”

Bhakta: “In Govinda Līlāmṛta (8.47) it is said that Rādhā sees Kṛṣṇa even in trees like the Kancana and Vidruma trees. But they don’t look like Kṛṣṇa.”

Advaitadas: “Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī says in Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu (2.1.306) that Kṛṣṇa's personal form is the ālamban (support) and His ornaments and so are the uddīpana (stimulus for remembering Him) There is uddīpana of Kṛṣṇa in a direct and indirect manner – direct, visual stimulus is experienced through Taml-trees, peacock(-feather)s, flute-songs etc., while indirect stimulus is experienced even through trees that are named Kancana (which also means ‘gold’, and Kṛṣṇa wears golden ornaments) and Vidruma (which also means ‘coral’, and Kṛṣṇa wears coral too). Of course, only really advanced devotees will experience Kṛṣṇa even in such indirect manners, whereas even ordinary devotees can easily remember Kṛṣṇa when they hear a flute or see a peacock. Ujjvala Nilamani (10.1) gives different levels of stimulus: 1. attributes, 2. names; 3. pastimes; 4. ornaments: 5. things in relation to the object of love; and 6. neutral things without apparent relation to the object of love. These items like the Vidruma and Kancana are lower down the scale, but it is really a more advanced devotee who remembers Kṛṣṇa even through such taṭastha (neutral) things.”

Bhakta: “About Bhagavad Gītā 3.6, which describes how hypocrites control the senses but think of the sense objects, how you can recognize a hypocrite, because his thoughts are internal…”

Advaitadas: “That is true, but it usually flows over into the gross world - he will act contrary to his sannyāsa dress, especially in private. Of course Kṛṣṇa knows when a sadhu is meditating on lusty and greedy things; it may be just spoken from Kṛṣṇa's own perspective, and of the hypocrite himself of course.” (Ref. blog of September 12, 2007)

Bhakta: “In Govinda Līlāmṛta (2.33) you said that the moon is the source of mirages, but shouldn’t that be the sun instead?”

Advaitadas: “Yes, you are correct, it was a mistake. The proper translation of the verse is:

“Seeing the newly risen sun, which is the source of mirages (mṛga-tṛṣṇākara), leaping into the sky like a tiger (mṛgādana, deer-eater), the moon (named mṛgāṅka, one who is marked with the sign of a deer) enters into the mountain cave of moon-set to save its own deer (sva mṛga).”

Bhakta: ‘In his commentary on Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta, Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja says that once where Bilvamaṅgala said ‘female’ he actually meant ‘male’ due to ecstasy. He seems to make all kinds of bold corrections to the book itself.”

Advaitadas: “Our primary allegiance is to Kṛṣṇadās Kavirāja, since he is a Sampradāya ācārya. He had another vision and agenda than Bilvamaṅgala, who was not a Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava. In Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu (2.1.279) Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī calls him (Bilvamaṅgala) a sādhaka, which means, in that context, a bhāva bhakta. Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta is a very famous book, and our Gauḍīya Ācāryas did not want us to be left out from its relish, though it originally does not fit well in their rasa-agenda – it appears like a male person glorifying Kṛṣṇa, while Gauḍīyas relish everything from the vantage point of a female, particularly of a mañjarī. Plus, on the surface, there seems to be quite some aiśvarya in the Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta, which needs to be explained in the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava context. To the outsider this may appear obstinate. Our ācāryas have explained Kṛṣṇa Karṇāmṛta to be spoken by a sakhī to Śrīmatī Rādhikā instead."

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