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Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Śyāmakuṇḍa’s wine, Kṛṣṇa’s telescope, 100 steps, the eyes of the sādhaka and the eternal now

Bhakta: “In the descriptions of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa līlā there is use of musk, which involves killing of musk-deer to get the musk from their navels, or silk, which means boiling out silkworms.”

Advaitadas: “You need to remember that in the spiritual sky there is no yesterday. There is only an eternal present, so the killing has never taken place. Just like the blessings Jaṭilā gives to Kundalatā: “May you have seven sons!” Actually she will never have them because there is no tomorrow either. Similarly the blessing that Durvāsā Muni gave Rādhikā for Her cooking is in an eternal past. It does not take place in the eternal day of aṣṭakāliya līlā.”

Bhakta: “In Govinda Līlāmṛta (4.62) it is said that after their breakfast the cowherd boys take a hundred steps to their beds. What does this mean?”

Advaitadas: “Commentator Kṛṣṇapada Dās Bābājī says it is healthy to take at least a hundred steps after a meal. One should neither immediately take rest after a full meal nor perform very hard labor. Commentator Vṛndāvana Cakravartī quotes Vaidya-śāstra (Āyurveda I suppose) – bhuktvā pāda-śataṁ gatvā vara śayyāyāṁ viśrāmaḥ kāryaḥ  “After eating one should take 100 steps and take rest on a good bed”.

Bhakta: “In Govinda Līlāmṛta (4.75) Kṛṣṇa has a pearl necklace which reflects Rādhikā’s image in it which only Kṛṣṇa can see. It is a kind of telescope for Kṛṣṇa. No one else can see it?”

Advaitadas: “Vṛndāvana Cakravartī says: ātmaika dṛśyaṁ na tvanya dṛśyam, none other can see this. Obviously if the elders would also see this reflection it would blow the whistle on Them. This is only for Kṛṣṇa's relish.”

Bhakta: "In Govinda Līlāmṛta (7.119) it is said that Rādhākuṇḍa can be perceived as it really is by sādhakas, but no sādhaka can really see it the way it is described in the Goswāmīs’ books, right?

Advaitadas: “Yes, that is true. The meaning is that they don’t really see it but they have faith that it is like the śāstra says. They see through the eyes of śāstra so to say.”

Bhakta: "In Govinda Līlāmṛta (7.115) it is said that the water in Śyāmakuṇḍa is made of honey, but then bathing in it must be a pretty sticky experience for Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa..”

Advaitadas: "The word used in the verse is mādhvīka, which is not really honey but tastes like it, it is like a wine…”

Bhakta: "Did you know that in their commentaries on the Bhāgavata’s 5th canto the ācāryas say the oceans of ghee and honey look like water but taste like ghee, honey etc.?”

Advaitadas: “No, I did not know that, but it does confirm my assumption on the water of Śyāmakuṇḍa.”

5 comments:

  1. Advaita, you wrote:

    “You need to remember that in the spiritual sky there is no yesterday. There is only an eternal present, so the killing has never taken place. Just like the blessings Jatila gives to Kundalata: “May you have seven sons!” Actually she will never have them because there is no tomorrow either. Similarly the blessing that Durvasa Muni gave Radhika for Her cooking is in an eternal past. It does not take place in the eternal day of astakaliya lila.”

    There is always an eternal present everywhere, not just the "spiritual sky" -- it is always "right now" because the past is gone and no longer exists, and the future doesn't exist yet. That doesn't mean there was no past and there will be no future. Of course there "is a yesterday" in Krishna lila -- there are sunrises and sunsets, sleeping and waking, lives that are lived as normally as our own -- with the exception being no old age, disease or death.

    I have seen in another post where you talk about how pumpkins are the source of the paraphernalia the sakhis use in their "service".

    Your views on the nature of lila is based upon your literalistic approach to esoteric writings. You end up with a conception of lila where all that the people do there is some kind of repetitive hallucinatory surreal slave like service. It's absolutely nothing like that at all.

    Krishna has unlimited opulences, his pleasure pastimes are going to reflect those opulences in that the variety and quality of pleasure is going to be superior to any other pleasurable situation. Is the Vraja described in the writings of the Goswamis the most pleasurable situation possible with all of God's resources available to be used? No. This is something I wrote a while back to help explain:

    Although many devotees think that the rasa pastimes written about by the likes of Rupa, Raghunath, Krishna Das, Visvanath, etc, are like direct windows to rasa lila, as if those people were given visions of rasa lila and they just copied what they saw. The purpose of those writings is to inspire vaidhi bhaktas and as meditation tools. They are a type of myth, in the academic sense of myth: a sacred story involving symbols that are usually capable of multiple meanings. Their main purpose is attracting vaidhi bhaktas to practice bhakti yoga, i.e. vaidhi bhaktas will be attracted to try to attain to living in the heavenly rasa lila, and will then be inspired to do what is necessary to attain that heavenly reward.

    Those descriptions of rasa lila are therefore meditation tools that can aid vaidhi bhaktas or mixed vaidhi and raganuga bhaktas by giving them a vision of what they are aiming for. Just like a deity form is a meditation tool so that people can visualize God as a human person rather than just as a cosmic energy field like Brahman. As they advance they no longer need aid in their vision because they no longer need an incentive to make them practice bhakti yoga and they have a good idea of God as a person. When they reach the raganuga stage, when they are qualified, God will reveal the true nature of their bhava and rasa and establish that relationship from within (through paramatma).

    The rasa lila described in the writings of the acaryas are repetitive and relatively simple. They are just giving an idea of madhurya rasa through the rasa between Radha and Krishna, therefore there isn’t a great deal of variety going on in those descriptions. An independently wealthy person in today's world could enjoy a much more varied lifestyle of enjoyment than what is written about as rasa lila. The reality of God’s highest existence is that it is all about enjoyment, don’t think that a rich person today has more variety of enjoyment available to him or her than what is available in God’s pleasure pastimes. The actual reality of lila is very different than what has been created as meditation tools for vaidhi bhaktas. The variety and sophistication of the enjoying lifestyle of real lila is very different and vastly superior to what most bhaktas think lila to be all about. As you advance everything will be revealed directly to you.

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  2. Vrajabhumi,
    raganuga bhakti does mean freedom from 'slavery' as you present it.
    Indeed, one component of the word, 'anuga', means 'following'.
    "jiver swarup hoy krishner nitya dAs"

    Our real form [swa-rup] is that of Krishna's eternal dAs. dAs means just that, slave.

    rAgAnugA bhakti means allegiance to the eternally perfect rAgAtmikA-devotees of Vraja. Such is the teaching of Sri RUpa GosvAmI in Bhakti RasAmRta Sindhu (1.2.270):

    virAjantIm abhivyaktaM vrajavAsI janAdiSu rAgAtmikAm anusRtA yA sA rAgAnugocyate

    Furthermore, he teaches us in Bhakti RasAmRta Sindhu 1.2.295—

    sevA sAdhaka rUpeNa siddha rUpeNa cAtra hi; tad bhAva lipsunA kAryA vraja lokAnusArataH

    "A person who desires loving attraction to His beloved deity Sri Krishna in Vraja must serve in allegiance to the people of Vraja, both in the current practitioner's body as well as in the spiritual, mentally conceived body, which is fit for serving the beloved deity."

    Commentary by Sri VishvanAtha CakravartI:

    tathAca siddha-rUpeNa mAnasI sevA shrI rAdhA-lalitA-vishAkhA shrI rUpa manjaryAdInAm anusAreNa kartavyA. sAdhaka rUpeNa tu kAyikyAdi sevA tu shrI rUpa sanAtanAdi vrajavAsi janAnAm anusAreNa kartavyetyarthaH

    "Mental service must be rendered in the spiritual body in allegiance to shrI RAdhA, LalitA and RUpa ManjarI and service in the current physical body must be rendered in allegiance to Vraja-people like shrI RUpa and SanAtana." Which means that the works of 'the likes of' Rupa, Raghunath, Krishna Das, Visvanath are to be followed. This is not vaidhi but raganuga bhakti. Again, note the component 'anuga' here.

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  3. As to the word 'kartavya', which is repeated twice in Visvanath's tika:

    Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon: Search Results

    1 kartavya
    to be done or made or accomplished
    2 kartavya to be done or made or accomplished &c. n. that which ought to be done , obligation , duty , task

    PS correction, I said in my first comment

    Vrajabhumi,
    raganuga bhakti does mean freedom from 'slavery' as you present it.

    That should be 'does not mean freedom'

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  4. Advaita, you said;

    "Mental service must be rendered in the spiritual body in allegiance to shrI RAdhA, LalitA and RUpa ManjarI and service in the current physical body must be rendered in allegiance to Vraja-people like shrI RUpa and SanAtana." Which means that the works of 'the likes of' Rupa, Raghunath, Krishna Das, Visvanath are to be followed. This is not vaidhi but raganuga bhakti. Again, note the component 'anuga' here.When bhakti is done following the moods of the Vrajavasis solely due to a strong desire for being in a loving relationship with Radha Krishna -- that is raganuga bhakti.

    When bhakti is done based upon scriptural inspiration,i.e. being told that you need to do bhakti in order to be happy, become liberated, go to heaven, etc. -- that is vaidhi bhakti.

    The descriptions of lila in the writings of the Goswamis or others -- are partly inspirational and partly instructional -- they serve to inspire people to practice bhakti in order to attain eternal blissful life in Krishna lila, and they serve to instruct about bhava and rasa.

    The people who practice bhakti, even following in the mood of the Vrajavasis, who do so because they hope to attain the reward described in scripture of eternal blissful life in Krishna's heaven -- they are vaidhi bhaktas. There may be some mix of raganuga if they have some inspiration for being in a relationship with Radha Krishna.

    The main difference between vaidhi and raganuga is the inspiration, not the actual sadhana.

    My point was that the descriptions of lila in the writings of the Goswamis or others of their ilk -- are meditation tools which serve specific purposes: giving inspiration to people to practice bhakti-yoga in order to attain eternal blissful life, and also in aiding bhaktas in their development of self-realization, bhava, prema, and rasa. Real Krishna lila is very different, it's much more varied and opulent. If the real Krishna lila was revealed then it would be a distraction from the purpose of literatures like the Goswamis -- to teach about bhava and rasa -- because the real Krishna lila is unbelievably fantastical in it's variety and opulences.

    The writings of the Goswamis and similar literature from similar sources have exoteric and esoteric understandings. The literal exoteric understanding is already explained in the above. There is no need to put so much energy and thought into the exoteric descriptions of the external phenomena of the lila described in the writings of those authors -- because that is not the purpose of those descriptions. Those descriptions are not literally real as in actually happening in real lila -- real lila is different in terms of external phenomena, i.e. what the surroundings and physical activities are. The descriptions of the physical activities in those writings have an esoteric meaning, besides the exoteric literal understanding whose purpose is to inspire vaidhi bhaktas and teach about bhava and rasa.

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  5. Jai Nitai !

    During the time of Muslim invasion, especially by Aurenzeg, in Mathura many Krishna deities were taken away by goswamis, priests, devotees and kings from Mathura and Vrindavan to different parts of northern India to protect them from atrocities of these Muslim invaders. One such Krishna diety which is dated to be very very old called Shri Hardeoji was taken away by the then serving goswami to a village called Bhadauli in Auraiya district (near Kanpur) in Uttar Pradesh. This deity (Krishna Vigrah) is as important to Vaisnavs and devotees as Govindeoji or Madan Mohan of Jaipur or Sakshi Gopal of Orissa. Very few people know about it. The village where Hardeoji (Krishna) has chosen to go could not be an ordinary place. It is like a secret Vrindavan where Lord has made his abode. This could be only realized and felt by making visit to this village. There is a strange divinity in the atmosphere of this village. All through the journey, one would feel the supernatural force accompanying to this secret divine place in Uttar Pradesh. There are several pastimes that Lord has performed ever since he came to this place. One could hear all these from the local people residing there. There is also a divine pond in this village called "Mansi Kund". The mundane eye would observe it as an ordinary pond full of dirt and mud, but a drop of aachman from it would instantly give the taste of alixir (amrit). The divine and strange beauty of Lord Hardeoji could be cherished only by seeing it. One would feel strange vibrations on seeing this divine form of Lord Hardeoji. But, there is another part to all these facts. There are some people in that village who want to sell this antique diety to earn billions, but whenever such attempts have been people have faced several problems in the village. However, the fear of its getting stolen or lost still looms. Hence, one should try to have darshan of Hardeoji as soon as possible before it disappears from the access of common man

    Jai Nitai !
    URL: http://nitaigaurmantra.blogspot.com

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