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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Vidyābhūṣaṇa's last words

Kṛṣṇacūḍa flowers - once grew in Sādhu Bābā's ashram

Deenanath Das posted a nice article on fall-vada on Sampradaya Sun today, which is interesting and largely acceptable, but there were some flaws in the Kuśakrath-translation of the final prose paragraph of Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa's Vedānta-commentary. The corrections are interspersed in bold below:

"In this way the scriptures explain that the Supreme Personality of Godhead will never abandon His devotee and the devotee will always ardently love the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is always truthful and His desires are always at once fulfilled. He is an ocean of love for they who take shelter of Him. He washes away the ignorance that made His devotees turn from Him [the original text says sva-vaimukhyakarīm avidyāṁ – it means that ignorance causes the conditioned soul to be turned away from God, period, not that once they turned away from Him, they simple are turned away from Him indefinite]. Once He brings back to Himself [svāntikam upānīya does not mean ‘taking back’, but ‘taking to Himself’] His dear devotees, who are His parts and parcels, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will not again let them go [kadācid api na jihāsati means ‘never even will He let them go’, the word ‘again’, [punaḥ] is not there] . In the same way the individual soul, who had been searching for happiness and who finally has turned from the pathetic, wretched, pale reflection of happiness he had for many births sought in the material world in many ways, and who now, by the mercy of the bona-fide spiritual master has understood the truth of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, of whom he is a part and parcel, who now has no desire apart from the Supreme Lord, who is now purely engaged in devotional service to the Supreme Lord, and who has now attained the Supreme Lord, whose spiritual form is filled with limitless bliss, and who is the merciful friend and master, will never desire to leave such a Lord. In this way the truth is understood from the scriptures. This truth is understood only by taking shelter of the scriptures. The words of the sUtra are repeated to indicate the conclusion of the book."

It is really astonishing that though the pūrva-pakṣa [opponent who will be refuted by the śāstra] speaks of fall from the spiritual world [see article at the link] Kuśakrath Dās still speaks of such a fall.

21 comments:

  1. I read 3 commentaries of the section of Vs you quote and from no one you can conclude that there was no primeval fall down, only that once having gone back one does not fall down again. In this way whether one supports fall-vad or non fall-vad the text have to be quoted in context.

    Actually, the quote is not a strong argument for non-fall-vad.

    Moreover, in one of your comments you said all the acaryas speak about non-fall-vad, but that 's not true.

    Whether you will juggle around somehow and so reject Ramanuja -although considered Visnu like for the Gaudiyas Caitany is Krishna - here is what Ramanuja and Vijayadhvaja say:

    ** In his commentary on Bhagavad-gita 15.3, Sripada Ramanujacarya
    indicates that the living entity's material existence does indeed have
    a beginning, but that this beginning is, literally, immemorial; that is,
    the living being cannot recall or understand it.

    **In his commentary on Bhagavad-gita 15.3, Sripada Ramanujacarya indicates
    that the living entity's material existence does indeed have a beginning
    , but that this beginning is, literally, immemorial; that is, the living
    being cannot recall or understand it.

    ** Vijayadhvaja Tirtha states in his Pada-ratnavali commentary :
    "It cannot be settled that 'in this [specific] time
    [the bondage] was begun,' thus it is called anadi."asmin kale
    prarabdham ity aniyamad anadi. ( Bhag. 6.5.11)


    **...the precise form of the soul's constitutional form was in fact
    previously known and existed in perfection.(Vedanta sara of Ramanujacarya)

    **soul's pure qualities are shrunk or contracted in material existence
    and then expanded upon liberation.(Sri Bhasya of Ramanujacarya).

    Perhaps you want that your opinion is more important that that of some other acaryas. If so please push on your view.

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  2. Anon, first of all the blog corrected the notion that we return somewhere instead of going somewhere once and for all. If we do not return we have not left either, so it is a refutation of fall-vada.

    It is my experience with translators like Gopipranadhan, Hridayananda and Kushakrath that they are prejudiced towards fall-vada [conditioned to think in such logic] and therefore, perhaps even inattentively write 'comes back to Me' while the original text says 'comes to Me'. So I do not know who translated these texts of Ramanuja and Vijayadhvaja, nor do I know the original texts they actually wrote. You only give me English translations by who knows who. So please provide the Sanskrit texts and I will have a look at them. You might have noticed that most of my recent blogs analyse Sanskrit texts in comparison with recent English translations. So please provide Sanskrit. But even if Ramanuja and Vijayadhvaja would preach fallvada, they are not Gaudiyas and they would be contradicting the Vedanta Sutra and the Bhagavat. By the way, and with all due respect, I have not seen in any Gaudiya scripture an acknowledgement that Ramanuja is Vishnu.

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  3. I choose for the the majority opinion.
    In Vs of Baladeva translated by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu

    Srubhasya translation of M Rangacharya

    Vedanta parijata saurabha of Nimbarka translated by Roma Bose

    Vs of Sankara translation by George Thibaut

    all of them say there is no return. The very word return indicates coming and going.

    As far as for sanskrit of Ramanuja, I knew you will ask for it but I will let you do your homework and before that you are certainly right.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Shankar (!), Nimbarka, and Sribhasya [Ramanuja] - none of whom are Gaudiyas. Whether the honored translators you mention here are either Gaudiyas or even sadhakas at all is totally unclear to me. As for homework, I have loads of that here - Gaudiya works, either in the original or with reliable translations. That is absolutely crucial to me, as I have very disappointing experience with a majority of English translators.

    As for return - the final sutra of the VS repeats 2x anAvRtta - 'not returning', and zabdAt - 'that is what shastra says'. That is a very strong emphasis, is it not?

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  5. Yes, no one of them are Gaudiyas but the absolute truth is ONE.

    And again, return indicates that you already came once; after that back, you don't come again or don't return.

    So, the sutra could mention return even hundreds of times but the above meaning I gave would be the same.

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  6. "Yes, no one of them are Gaudiyas but the absolute truth is ONE."

    If they are not realized devotees there is a chance of bhrama pramAda vipralipsa and karana pATava - error, inadvertence, deceit and imperfect senses. See Tattva Sandarbha 9-10.

    "And again, return indicates that you already came once; after that back, you don't come again or don't return. So, the sutra could mention return even hundreds of times but the above meaning I gave would be the same."

    Shastra> There are dozens of texts in the Bhagavat and other shastras, all confirmed by the nitya siddha Gaudiya Acaryas, that both or ignorance and our karma is beginningless. Please browse through this blog, I have quoted them often.

    Common sense> How can there be dreaming of material life/ envy of Krishna / forgetfulness of Krishna in an absolutely perfect world, of which it is said na yatra mAyA (SB 2.9.10) there is no mAyA there?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Strawman logic does not disprove the point.

    Even one proper explanation of anadi like in the quote of Vijayadhvaja is enough to change the meanings of all your references.

    There is more, but let you be glorious.

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  8. You need to prove in original text that Vijaydhvaja gives another explanation of anAdi than the only translation available in dictionaries, namely 'beginning-less'. And then Vijayadhvaja is not at all a Gaudiya anyway. Note that in his Tattva Sandarbha tika that same Baladeva Vidyabhusan pointed out no less than 9 differences between the Madhvaites and the Gaudiyas, and if Vijayadhvaja is a fallvadi then that makes 10. I won't even ask you for evidence that we become envious of Krishna and first become Brahma, or any related theory.....

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  9. "in his Tattva Sandarbha tika that same Baladeva Vidyabhusan pointed out no less than 9 differences between the Madhvaites and the Gaudiyas, and if Vijayadhvaja is a fallvadi then that makes 10."

    Let me remark, here you have indirectly proven that Baladeva was a fallvadi, having not mentioned the fallvad as a fault; otherwise you say that you are better than Baladeva.

    "If we do not return we have not left either, so it is a refutation of fall-vada."

    Well, seems you was always in illusion that you live in the spiritual world. But your illusion is not a refutation.

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  10. "Let me remark, here you have indirectly proven that Baladeva was a fallvadi, having not mentioned the fallvad as a fault; otherwise you say that you are better than Baladeva."

    No if he did not mention Fallvada as a flaw it means the translations of Vijayadhvaja's explanation of the word anAdi may be incorrect.

    "Well, seems you was always in illusion that you live in the spiritual world. But your illusion is not a refutation."

    I am not sure I understand what you refer to here. Have I ever said that I live in the spiritual world?

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  11. Anon - "Let me remark, here you have indirectly proven that Baladeva was a fallvadi,..."

    About Baladeva being a fallvadi:
    Baladeva Vidyabhusana, commenting on Bhagavad-gita [13.20] writes, evam mitho vivikta-svabhavayoranadyoh prakrti-jivayoh samsargasyanadikalikattvam, "In this way material nature and the living entity, who have a distinct nature and who are beginningless, are united together which has no beginning." He uses the word anadikalikattvam, "the beginningless union of the jiva with maya."

    Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana writes in Govinda-bhasya [that last text], na ca sarvesvarah sri harih svadhinamuktam svalokat-kadacit patyitumicchet mukto va kadacit tam jihasediti sakyam sankitum. "One cannot even doubt that the Supreme Lord Hari will ever desire that the liberated souls fall down, nor will the liberated souls ever desire to leave the Lord." He says this is because of their extreme mutual love, dvayormithah snehatisayabhidhanat

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  12. Advaitaji,

    Ask Anonymous to present us with one living representative of Ramanuja's or Madhva's who DOES believe in fall-vada, and then he will have a point.

    The fact that there are NO such Sri Vaishnavas and Tattvavadis amply proves the fact that his quotations are incorrect, and the English translations he presents dubious at best.

    And so, Anon, go back to living in YOUR illusory world of fall-vada, and stop boring the rest of us with your 'known-to-everybody' ISKCONite poppycock on the matter. We all have more pressing matters to attend to.

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  13. By the way, nowhere have I come across the slightest reference to Ramanujacarya being considered on a par with Lord Visnu per se. From any imaginable Sri Vaisnava source that is currently available, and from consulting members of that sampradaya, it is plainly clear and evident that adherents of Visistadvaita regard the great Ramanuja as an incarnation (full/partial?) of Laksmana, or Ananta Sesa, but not that of Lord Visnu directly.

    ReplyDelete
  14. http://saragrahi.org

    Helpful, informative and well-written essays on the subject matter under discussion are what the above url leads to.

    In particular, the three write-ups linked to below merit serious and careful perusal by those wishing to understand several of the points often advanced by devotees seeking to defend the traditional Vedic Vaisnava stance against the pseudo-arguments of the fall-vadi heretics.

    http://saragrahi.org/Header%20Links/Origin%20Of%20The%20Jiva/08%20The%20Meaning%20Of%20Anadi%20Part%20One.htm
    http://saragrahi.org/Header%20Links/Origin%20Of%20The%20Jiva/09%20The%20Meaning%20Of%20Anadi%20Part%20Two.htm
    http://saragrahi.org/Header%20Links/Origin%20Of%20The%20Jiva/10%20The%20Meaning%20Of%20Anadi%20Part%20Three.htm

    Apart from this, reading 'In Vaikuntha Not Even The Leaves Fall,' the famous book authored by Satyanarayana Das and Kundali Das, would aid comprehension substantially more in that regard. Last but not least, those who are able to can and, in my opinion, should consult practitioners from other Vaisnava sampradayas so as to confirm the falsehood of fall-vada as a doctrine, and one that has never been held by any line of disciplic succession in history. Such would also, doubtless, demonstrate what a pathetic excuse for philosophy the poorly-thought-out ideas and mistranslations evident in 'Our Original Position' are.

    Such confirmation from outside the Caitanya sect is of the utmost essence, as far as I am concerned, because Gaudiya Vaisnavism does not exist in a vacuum, devoid of exogenous influences. The Gosvamis alongside a number of other venerated acaryas borrowed relatively heavily from other traditions when composing their masterful works; in some cases, the input in the Gosvami granthas of material from non-Vaisnava sources is an established fact. Even Sridhara Swami, the Bhagavata commentator of the yore, whom the sampradaya so reveres, was never officially a member of any personalistic school of thought. To sum up, Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta exists and thrives not in isolation, but is a living member and an influential contemporary component in the wide scene of Indic philosophies. I therefore except to your contention, Advaitaji, that the opinions of non-Gaudiyas are not germane to this debate. They most surely are, but the anonymouses are obviously grotesquely mistaken to assert that Ramanuja, Vijayadhvaja, or even less Baladeva, were fall-vadis. The stark truth is that, in nearly every branch of the Caitanyite tree (minus the known one or two exceptions), as in other Vedantic cults, Vaisnavite and Advaitic, the accepted consensus, based on the revealed scriptures, is that whether from Goloka, Vaikuntha, or Brahman, there can be no fall.

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  15. Vikram, I dont know who wrote the essay on the first link, but one thing is very very wrong and that is that the conditioned souls come from a region called taTastha.

    "Prior to conditioned existence they were in a place described as the taTastha region. Wherever this region is, it is defnitely not in the nitya-lila in the spiritual sky. "

    First of all, taTastha is not a region, but it is an ontological position [krsnera taTastha-shakti bhedAbheda prakAza, CC]. Secondly, the word taTa-stha means situated in/on [stha] the border. For instance, an American is called 'yankee' or 'gringo' because he lives in [stha] America. So can you say 'I am living in Yankee' or 'I fall down from Yankee'?
    Thirdly, there was nothing 'prior to conditioned existence' as the author himself acknowledges that our conditioning is anAdi, beginningless.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Rämänuja's Çré-bhäñya Commentary
    on Vedänta-sütra 4.4.1*

    *idänéà muktänäm aiçvarya-prakäraà cintayitum ärabhate. idam ämnäyate:
    evam evaiña samprasädo 'smäc charérät samutthäya
    paraà jyotir upasampadya svena rüpeëäbhiniñpadyate iti
    kim asmäc charérät samutthäya paraà jyotir upasampannasya devädi-rüpavat
    sädhyena rüpeëa sambandhaù anena väkyena
    pratipädyate? uta sväbhävikasya
    svarüpasyävirbhävaù? iti saàçaye.

    "Now [the text] begins to contemplate the kind of opulence of the liberated persons. This is handed down in the çästra:
    "'Just so this blessed soul, rising up from the [material] body and approaching the supreme light with his own form achieves [the Absolute].' (Chändogya Upaniñad 8.12.2)
    "Is it understood by this statement that, having risen up from this [material] body, he who has approached the supreme light has a relationship with a form produced like the forms of demigods, etc.? [In other words, does the liberated soul achieve a body that is different from his self, just as the souls of demigods receive demigod bodies?] Or is there the appearance of a svarüpa, a constitutional form, which is derived from the very nature [of the soul]? Thus, on this doubt [we shall speak]."
    Rämänuja now presents various objections to his view. We shall give a sample of these objections to clarify that the basic issue is whether the soul, at liberation, achieves a thoroughly new spiritual body or simply manifests a spiritual form that the soul possessed all along:
    "Objection: *

    (pürva-pakña) sädhyena rüpeëa sambandha iti yuktam. anyathä
    hi apuruñärthävabodhitvaà mokña-çästrasya syät svarüpasya svato
    'puruñärthatva-darçanät.

    It is logical that [the soul has a] relationship with a form that is to be produced. For, otherwise, scriptures that teach liberation would not be teaching us about a life-goal (puruñärtha), since the soul's own form (svarüpa), [if already existing] by itself, does not show the quality of being a goal for people (puruñärtha), [i.e. that which one already possesses cannot be one's goal in life.]"*

    *It is held in the Upaniñads that in deep, dreamless sleep (suñupti) only the pure soul is functioning, since the material mind and senses are inactive.

    Rämänujäcärya now gives the siddhänta, or bona fide conclusion*:

    *evaà präpte pracakñmahe sampadyävirbhävaù-iti / ayam pratyag-ätmä arcir-ädinä paraà jyotir upasampadya, yaà daçä-viçeñam äpadyate saù svarüpävirbhäva-rüpaù, na apürväkärotpatti-rüpaù. kutaù? svena çabdät-svena rüpeëa iti viçeñaëopädänät ity arthaù. ägantuka-viçeña-parigrahe hi svena rüpeëa iti viçeñaëam anarthakaà syät. aviçeñaëe 'pi tasya svakéya-rüpatva-siddheù. kutaù?"svena" çabdät-svena rüpeëa iti viçeñaëopädänät ity arthaù. ägantuka-viçeña-parigrahe hi svena rüpeëa iti viçeñaëam anarthakaà syät. aviçeñaëe 'pi tasya svakéya-rüpatva-siddheù.

    "When [the argument] reaches this point, we declare that the [Vedänta text] sampadya ävir-bhävaù means that this individual soul, approaching the supreme light through light, etc., attains to a specific situation in the form of the appearance of the [soul's] svarüpa, not in the form of [the soul] entering a bodily shape that did not exist before. How so? Because of the word svena, [in the sense of] svena rüpeëa, 'by one's own form.' That is the meaning because of the use of the adjective (sva). Indeed, if we accept that [the spiritual body one acquires at liberation] is ägantuka [extrinsic, added on, adventitious, etc.], then certainly the adjective svena [modifying] rüpeëa would be meaningless, because even without an adjective, it would be logically clear that the form the soul attains has the condition of belonging to that soul."

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  17. Rämänuja goes on to state in his Çré-bhäñya commentary on Vedänta-sütra 4.4.2*:

    *karma-sambandha-tat-kåta-dehädi-vinirmuktaù sväbhävikena rüpeëävasthitaù atra"svena rüpeëäbhiniñpadyate" (Chändogya Upaniñad 8.12.2) ity ucyate. atra abhiniñpattir ucyate. ataù nitya-präptasyäpi svarüpasya karma-rüpävidyä-tirohitasya, tirodhäna-nivåttiù.

    "Being liberated from the connection with karma and from the body, etc., created by it, [the liberated soul] is situated with a form that is of his own nature. Here is stated [from Chändogya Upaniñad 8.12.2]:
    "'With his own form, he attains...'
    "Here 'attainment' is stated. And so there is cessation of the concealment of the svarüpa, which, even though eternally present, was concealed by ignorance in the form of karma."
    Rämänujäcärya comments further on Vedänta-sütra 4.4.2 in his Vedänta-sära ("essence of Vedänta")*:

    *ätma-svarüpa-mätrasya präg eva siddhatve 'pi karma-bandha-vinirmuktäparicchinna-jïänädi-svarüpasya hy aträvirbhäva ucyate.

    "It is said here that although the precise form of the soul's constitutional form was in fact previously known and existed in perfection, still (at the time of liberation) there is the appearance of that constitutional form, with unlimited knowledge, freed from the bondage of karma."*

    *siddhatvam means a state of perfection, or the state of being known or understood, the latter sense being characteristic of the Bhägavata Puräëa (Sanskrit-English Dictionary, Monier-Williams, p.1215).

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  18. Rämänuja's Çré-bhäñya Commentary
    on Vedänta-sütra 4.4.3

    In his Çré-bhäñya commentary on Vedänta-sütra 4.4.3, Rämänujäcärya states that the soul's pure qualities are"shrunk" or"contracted" in material existence, and then"expanded" upon liberation. Thus he emphasizes his central argument that the pure nature of the soul has always existed:
    "And so it is logical to say that upon the destruction of bondage in the form of karma, [the soul] having attained to the highest light, there is the appearance in expanded form of the qualities of knowledge, bliss, etc., which due to karma had been shrunk within the soul. Thus it is aptly stated [Vs. 4.4.1]: 'Having attained, appearance.'"*

    *ato jïänänandädi-guëänäà karmaëätmani saìkucitänäà paraà jyotir upasampadya karma-rüpa-bandha-kñaye vikäsa-rüpävirbhävo nänupapanna iti, suñöhüktaà sampadyävirbhävaù-iti.

    Rämänujäcärya's discussion of the soul's original form is remarkably similar to Lord Caitanya's statement to Sanätana Gosvämé:
    "Pure love for Kåñëa is eternally established in the hearts of living entities. It is not something to be gained from another source. When the heart is purified by hearing and chanting, the living entity naturally awakens." (Cc. Madhya 22.107, translation by Çréla Prabhupäda)*

    *nitya-siddha kåñëa-prema 'sädhya' kabhu naya
    çravaëädi-çuddha-citte karaye udaya

    In this verse from Çré Caitanya-caritämåta, Çréla Prabhupäda translates the word sädhya as"to be gained from another source."

    Rämänujäcärya has used this same term, sädhya, in his commentary on Vedänta-sütra 4.4.1, in which he asks the rhetorical question:
    "[Is it understood by this statement of the Upaniñads that (at the time of liberation) the soul comes into touch] with a form that is sädhya [to be gained, produced, etc.], or rather is there the appearance of a form that is of the soul's own nature? This is the doubt."*

    *sädhyena rüpeëa sambandhaù-anena väkyena pratipädyate? uta sväbhävikasya svarüpasyävirbhävaù? iti saàçaye.

    In answer to this question, Rämänujäcärya first presents the viewpoint of the pürva-pakña, the theological opponent who argues against the siddhänta. The pürva-pakña immediately claims that the spiritual form that the soul manifests at the time of liberation is sädhya:
    "Logically, the soul comes into touch with a sädhya form."*

    *sädhyena rüpeëa sambandhaù-iti yuktam.

    Rämänujäcärya then defeats this proposal and proves that the spiritual form of the soul is eternally present, established. Then in his commentary on the next verse of Vedänta, 4.4.2, in which he continues to argue the same point, he again uses a term (siddha) that is repeated in Lord Caitanya Mahäprabhu's statement to Sanätana Gosvämé.
    "It is said here that although the precise form of the soul's constitutional form was in fact previously known and existed in perfection, still [at the time of liberation] there is the appearance of that constitutional form, with unlimited knowledge, freed from the bondage of karma."*

    ätma-svarüpa-mätrasya präg eva siddhatve 'pi karma-bandha-vinirmuktäparicchinna-jïänädi-svarüpasya hy aträvirbhäva ucyate.

    In the above statement, the words präg eva siddhatve 'pi mean "was in fact previously known and existed in perfection." Here präg means "previously"; eva makes the word präg more emphatic, and means "actually, in fact," etc., and siddhatve means "in the condition of existing fully or perfectly," or "in the condition of being known or understood," and refers to the spiritual form of the soul and nothing else, as emphasized by the word mätra above.

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  19. Fifteenth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gétä, Lord Kåñëa states in verse 15.3:
    "And so the form of this [tree] is not perceived in this world-not its end, nor its beginning, nor its foundation."*
    In his Viçiñöädvaita-bhäñya commentary on this portion of verse 15.3, Rämänuja states:
    "The form [of this tree], as indicated here [by the Lord], is not perceived by conditioned souls (saàsäribhiù). And so this tree's end, its destruction, effected by detachment toward pleasures based on the modes of nature, is also not perceived. 'Its [the tree's] beginning (ädir), which is simply attachment to the modes, is not perceived. Its [the tree's] foundation, which is ignorance in the form of identifying the soul with that which is not the soul, is also not perceived.'"*

    *yathedaà rüpaà nirdiñöaà, na tathä saàsäribhir upalabhyate. tathäsya våkñasya anto vinäço 'pi guëa-maya-bhogeñv asaìga-kåta iti nopalabhyate. tathäsya guëa-saìga evädir iti nopalabhyate; tasya pratiñöhä cänätmany ätmäbhimäna-rüpam ajïänam iti nopalabhyate.

    Çréla Vijayadhvaja Tértha comments on SB 8.24.48

    "Then one should accept one's own color [like gold], which is the destination of the Supreme Soul and one's blissful spiritual form. Moreover, that jéva again (punar) becomes unperishing (avyayaù), uncovered (asaàvåtaù), free of covering (ävaraëa-rahitaù)."*

    *nija varëaà paramätma-gatim, änanda-svarüpaà ca bhajeta.
    kiïca sa jévaù punar avyayo 'saàvåtaù ävaraëa-rahito bhavati.

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  20. Agreed Advaitaji. I forgot to mention that I also do not accept the veracity of the particular statement you referred to. Tatastha does indeed refer to an ontological position rather than to a geographical location, as you correctly point out.

    Likewise, on the other points you make, I can but nod in concurrence, in these specific instances.

    Jaya Sri Radhe

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  21. None of these passages validates the egregious mainstream ISKCON heresy of fall from a prior state of perfection, in the company of God in his transcendental domain. Anonymous has some cheek, trying to shove his mISKCONceptions down our throats, quoting Sripada Ramanujacarya and Vijayadhvaja Tirtha in the process, when I can bet that he (he has to be a he) has never, once, directly conferred with a single adherent of Visistadvaita or Dvaitavada to try to know the Sri Vaisnava or Madhvaite understanding of these quotes.

    To hold that the soul is inherently of a blissful nature, even whilst being conditioned since eternity, and has the potential to become fully emancipated is one thing (i.e. the traditional gloss prevalent in the Ramanuja and Madhva sampradayas), and to aver that it is possible (in fact, commonplace) for quadrillions upon quintillions upon sextillions of siddhas to get illusioned in the world of no Maya and thereby be demoted to the phenomenal manifestation for countless kalpas and maha-kalpas altogether is veritably another kettle of fish.

    The general prevailing Vedic Hindu version remains that nobody falls from the Paravyoma, but that conditioned existence has been going on since time eternal. And this is the final, ultimate, last time I am ever dignifying a 'discussion' of this particular topic with a post. Should I be in want of some soporific someday, I shall surely not be hard-pressed to lay my hands on it, being given the mountain-like cornucopia of fall/no fall back-and-forth exchanges available on the web.

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