Follow by Email

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Haridas, Shiva and Govinda Candra


Bhakta: Shiva is said to be so renounced as he withstood the temptation of Devī in Kumāra Sambhava, but he fell down and lost his vital fluid when he saw Mohinī."

Advaitadas; 'One needs to deal with this cautiously. Citraketu ridiculed Shiva for having Pārvatī on his lap in an assembly of sages and he was cursed to become a demon as a result (see Canto Six Bhāgavat). Secondly, Shiva's seed created fields of gold and silver - hardly something that arises from an ordinary 'falldown', huh? We must thus conclude that this is a highly esoteric story with perhaps a sectarian edge, glorifying Viṣṇu at the expense of Shiva."

Bhakta: "In some books it is said that Haridās Thākur took birth as a Muslim as punishment or as atonement for his aparādha of stealing Kṛṣṇa's calves and boys, and yet it is also said 'gaurāṅgera saṅgī-gaṇe nitya siddha kori māne' - Gaurāṅga's associates are eternally liberated perfect souls."

Advaitadas: "I cannot find an answer to that in śāstra, but look at the example of Droṇa and Dharā, demigods who did tapasya to get Kṛṣṇa as their son - they eventually merged with the eternally perfect mother Yaśodā and Father Nanda, so this is most likely the case with Brahmā vis a vis Haridās Thākur too. Since not every universe's Brahmā is a pure devotee, it seems to me that the nitya siddha Haridās Thākur is superior to the Brahmā that may have merged with him as a partial expansion."

Bhakta: "And if Gaura-līlā travels around the universes, does that mean that Haridās is always born a Muslim and that there is Islam in all the other universes too?"

Advaitadas: "Hard to say. One of the chief services of Haridās Thākur is to show the examples of forbearance and humility. Perhaps he is oppressed by others in other universes. One nitya siddha can perform different activities even in one universe, in one avatāra, let alone in other universes and avatāras."

Bhakta: "In Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta it is described that Shiva wears a garland of bones of departed Vaiṣṇavas. If He lives in Vaikuṇṭha how can there be dead Vaiṣṇavas there, since there is no death in the spiritual world?"

Advaitadas: "They never died. The body and apparel of Shiva are eternal and beginningless. It is as inconceivable as the fact that our conditioned existence is beginningless."

****

My friend Karunamayi recently reported on Facebook that Govinda Candra Dās (Gilles Dubois) has passed away at the age of 55, due to heart failure. Govinda Candra was a French disciple of Madrasi Krishnadas Baba and was the painter of the famous painting of Kunjera, the elephant made entirely up of gopīs, for Kṛṣṇa to ride on (see picture on this blog). He also made a large painting of Śrīman Mahāprabhu for his Guru. I met him once at Rādhākund, around 1985, he had a devotee sister too, whom I also met at Rādhākund around the same time, she was very pure. Once, in 1997, he offered me to make illustrations for my books but unfortunately we lost contact after that. I offer my condolences to his friends and family.

11 comments:

  1. But the question from Bhakta, which you removed from the blog, still is there regarding whether Lord Brahma, being addict to sense gratification, can be guru to tapasvis. Could it be that, as you showed in the incident involving Lord Shiva, there is similarly a sectarian edge to the comment on Lord Brahma so to glorify sadhakas?

    "Shiva's seed created fields of gold and silver - hardly something that arises from an ordinary 'falldown', huh?"

    Gold and silver are indeed hard to come about, but at the same time these elements are not of much value from the spiritual point of view. So of course Lord Shiva isn't ordinary, but gold and silver are. And they may even be the pay off for all kinds of falldowns in the world today, unfortuantely. Actaully, the 'falldow' (spilling of seed) industry is one of the most profitable in the world these days.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "But the question from Bhakta, which you removed from the blog, still is there regarding whether Lord Brahma, being addict to sense gratification, can be guru to tapasvis. Could it be that, as you showed in the incident involving Lord Shiva, there is similarly a sectarian edge to the comment on Lord Brahma so to glorify sadhakas?"

    Actually this bhakta is an ethusiastic brahmacary, that colored the mood of his questioning. I need to explain the context of Brahma's statement, too - in that verse he was humbly placing himself below Shiva, posing as someone attached to sensuality. It was not a put-down of Brahma by Sanatan Goswami.

    "Gold and silver are indeed hard to come about, but at the same time these elements are not of much value from the spiritual point of view. So of course Lord Shiva isn't ordinary, but gold and silver are. And they may even be the pay off for all kinds of falldowns in the world today, unfortuantely. Actaully, the 'falldow' (spilling of seed) industry is one of the most profitable in the world these days."

    That is an interesting symbolism you propose there. I checked the tikas to the verse (8.12.33) - Visvanatha says in the tika to the following verse:

    tena munibhir yogarudhair api vijitam api sva-mano yuvatisu na visvasaniyam iti siksanam anudhvanih

    'The lesson is here for the munis who may have reached the peak of their yoga practise and may have conquered their minds, not to trust young ladies."

    ReplyDelete
  3. "'The lesson is here for the munis who may have reached the peak of their yoga practise and may have conquered their minds, not to trust young ladies.""

    Hmm. And this then seems to require yet further branching out of explanations on account of "young ladies" not being necessarily all uniformly unworthy of trust. In fact, some young ladies have made the difference between going to Vaikuntha instead of hell for more than one muni out there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If I strictly upheld my own blog-rules I'd have blocked this comment, since it challenges shastras and acaryas. However, I feel I should explain that this is not a personal critique of young ladies, but rather of the temptations they may create.

    ReplyDelete
  5. when and if they create, right?

    ReplyDelete
  6. "I'd have blocked this comment, since it challenges shastras and acaryas. "

    Well I am sorry but read it again and see that I did NOT challenge the shastras and acaryas. I just showed how shastra on occasion may need additional explanation from the person bhagavat. In this case you gave the explanation clarifying things further and so where is the problem?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I published it to give myself a chance to explain that statement of Visvanatha (not that I am a 'person Bhagavat' or so....)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bhakta: "And if Gaura lila travels around the universes, does that mean that Haridas is always born a Muslim and that there is Islam in all the other universes too?"

    ---------------
    I recently read Laghu Bhagavatamrtam in English translation, available from Iskcon. In that book Sri Rupa Goswami explains in detail about the anomoly that if Jai/Vijai only fall down once from Vaikuntha and then experience just three births in the material creation, how is it that in millions of universes and yugas Lord Nrsimha is killing the demon Hiranyakasipu. It is explained there that in one instance Jai/Vijai fell down, but generally the souls who become Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa are normal asuras who take birth in a sequence of three lifetimes. When the asura involved in this 3-birth progression reaches the "Sisupala" birth he meditates on Krishna constantly, and as a result he goes to Vaikuntha when he is killed by Krishna.

    Interestingly, in this Iskcon publication we read Sri Rupa Goswami's various arguments explaining that noone falls from Vaikuntha.

    - Muralidhar

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi this is indirectly related to your blog,and I was hoping that you would be so kind as to help. I discovered your beautiful picture of Krishna and the gopis forming an elephant on here when I was looking on google and was hoping that if you had a larger copy you could share it with me please. Could you possibly please email it? Thanks Ali

    ReplyDelete
  10. Radhe Radhe
    As you can read, the painter has passed away, and the owner of the painting, Krishna Das Madrasi Baba, already expired in 1998. I do not know where the original painting is, perhaps in the ashram of Ananta Das Babaji. Alternatively, you could enter this picture into Photoshop and magnify it.

    ReplyDelete