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Saturday, July 24, 2010

bhūṣaṇa āyudha nityatā

Earlier this month I had this conversation with Dr. Satya-nārāyan Dās about the apparel of the Lord:

Rādhe Rādhe Prabhuji
I have a question again on the eternal apparel of the Lord –

1. In the Purāṇas it is said that Lakṣmī did tapasya [penance] to attain Kṛṣṇa in Vraja, but the Lord told her it was not possible, but instead she could get a place on his chest as the Śrīvatsa-mark. But the Śrīvatsa is an eternal ornament of the Lord, so how could there be an historical moment that Śrīvatsa was added to the Lord Kṛṣṇa’s chest? Is this verse an interpolation or just a glorification of the madhurya of Vraja?
2. Speaking of Śrīvatsa, why does Kṛṣṇa have the Śrīvatsa in Vraja at all? It does not seem to match with the madhurya of His Vraja svarupa.

Satyanarayana Dasa replied:
"Are bhai, mādhurya is founded on aiśvarya, it is not devoid of it. otherwise Kṛṣṇa would be like any other guy on the block. Mādhurya subjugates aiśvarya. That is the point. Therefore, sometimes the gopis are described as Lakṣmīs - lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama- to show that aiśvarya of Vraja is much superior even to Vaikuṇṭha. There is also a story of Krsna getting the Cakra [from Paraśūrām, Ad]. This has nothing to do with Historical moment. It is a matter of being vyakta [manifest, Ad] and avyakta [unmanifest, Ad] for the sake of pastime - to make it look more human-like, otherwise He always has everything."

"Yes, I agree. But what about the Lord getting the Kaustubha-gem and Lakṣmī during the Samudra Manthan (the churning of the Milk Ocean as described in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 8th canto, Ad.) then? There is no mādhurya in the samudra manthan līlā. Some say the Lord getting all these items during Samudra Manthan has all adhyātmika [symbolic] meanings? Is that so?

Satya-nārāyan Das -
"If there is no mādhurya ,there is aiśvarya. It is His līlā. Otherwise do you think that Kaustabha and Lakṣmī actually came from the ocean? Read Śrīmad Bhāgavat 6.8.32-33. It says that bhūṣaṇa āyudha (ornaments and weapons, Ad.) etc are the Lord's own Potency, sva-māyayā. As He is eternal, so is His potency. Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.3.9 says that Kṛṣṇa was born with them, and then they became unmanifest. This shows that bhūṣaṇa etc can manifest and unmanifest as per līlā but they are ever with the Lord. How then can His svarūpa-śakti be separated from Him?

(note: Jīva Gosvāmī in his ṭīkā to Śrīmad Bhāgavat 6.8.32-33 refers to Maharāj Ambarīṣa's prayers to the Sudarśan Cakra in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 9.5.3-11, where all the attributes of Bhagavān are ascribed to it. Jīva Gosvāmī also refers to Śrīmad Bhāgavat 3.28.28, where the Lord's gem is compared to the living entities, something that can obviously not be replaced by a leather jacket, Santa Claus outfit or a mobile phone as some deluded persons think nowadays. The Śrīmad Bhagavat [12.11.10] also states that the Lord carries the pure consciousness of the jīva, His own particle, in the form of the Kaustubha gem, and it is the diffusive splendour of the latter which the Lord actually wears on His [right] breast as Śrīvatsa.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Śārikā - Gracula religiosa, turdus or Mynah bird?

Following a comment on today's earlier blog by Viśākhā, I did a Google-pictures and Sanskrita-Wiki-dictionary search on the Śārikā-bird, which is usually translated as 'female parrot', but I have seen it also translated sometimes as 'Mynah-bird'. This is what came up for Gracula Religiosa, Mynah and Turdus. The first two [top row] are identical, but the turdus [bottom row] is different, it is a type of robin. It seems most likely to be the Gracula Religiosa and the Mynah:

Daṇḍātmikā Smaraṇa now in English

I found this schedule of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's eternal pastimes in the English edition of Siddha Kṛṣṇa dās Bābājī's Bhāvana Sāra Saṅgraha, translated by Bhānu Swāmī. Such schedules go around within the Bābājī-community, but is not part of the Bengali edition of the Bhāvana Sāra Saṅgraha, so it is a bit of a mystery to me where Bhānu Swāmī has this from. He might have even compiled it himself. It is often called daṇḍātmika smaraṇa. It is interesting to note that, according to this schedule, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa hardly sleep at all, either at night or in the daytime. Their schedule is too full for that.

Period One - Pastimes at the End of Night (3:36 a.m.—6:00 a.m.) Niśānta-līlā
3:36 a.m.—4:24 a.m.
The sakhīs' morning services
The birds awaken Rādhā-Mādhava
The pleasure fatigue
Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa's sweet fatigue

4:24 a.m.—5:36 a.m.
Manjaris' services and Kṛṣṇa's agitation
Female parrots speak to Rādhā
The male parrots speak to Kṛṣṇa
The sakhis' joy in seeing Rādhā; the pleasure bed

5:36 a.m.—6:00 a.m.
Forgetting to go home and Kakkhati's poetry
Rādhā's lamentation and sleeping

Period Two - Morning Pastimes (6:00 a.m.—8:24 a.m.) Prātaḥ-līlā
6:00 a.m.—6:24 a.m.
The mañjarīs activities and Rādhā's abode
Performing services for Rādhā
Dawn and arrival of Mukharā
Rādhā awakens
Talks with Śyāmalā Sakhī
Mādhurikā describes Kṛṣṇa's waking and milking cows
Milking the cows
Rādhā's condition; Śyāmalā's departure
Rādhā brushes Her teeth
Kalāvatī narrates Kṛṣṇa's cow-milking pastime

6:24 a.m.—6:48 a.m.
Rādhā's bath and dressing

6:48 a.m.—7:36 a.m.
Hiraṇyāṅgī Sakhī describes Kṛṣṇa's wrestling match
Kṛṣṇa's dress; ornaments
Kundalatā takes Rādhā to Nanda's house
Joking with the sakhīs
Tuṅgavidyā describes Nandīśvara
Seeing Kṛṣṇa at the entrance gate
Rādhā meets Yaśodā
Yaśodā's cooking instructions
Rādhā and Rohiṇī cook
Yaśodā inspects the preparations

7:16 a.m.—8:24 a.m.
Serving and eating
The breakfast joking
Kṛṣṇa loses His appetite upon seeing Rādhā
The sakhīs eat

Period Three - Forenoon Pastimes (8:24 a.m.-—10:48 a.m.) Pūrvāhna-līlā

8:24 a.m.—9:12 a.m.
Kṛṣṇa's dressing; meeting His friends
Service items for forest playing
The gopis' responses to Kṛṣṇa's leaving
Going to the forest
Yaśodā instructs Kṛṣṇa
Bidding farewell to the Vrajavāsīs
Rādhā's plans to meet Kṛṣṇa

9:12 a.m.—10:00 a.m.
Description of Kṛṣṇa and His friends
The Vṛndāvana forest and the boy's sports
The forest welcomes Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa sees Rādhā everywhere
Dhaniṣṭhā's news; Kṛṣṇa's water sports
Picnic ; Kusuma Sarovara meeting
Tulasī brings news of Rādhā
Śaibyā Sakhī deceived

10:00 a.m.—10:48 a.m.
Rupa-manjarl describes Rādhā's anguish
Rādhā goes to Rādhā-kunda
Description of Lalitananda-dā Kuñja
Period Four Midday Pastimes

Period four - Midday pastimes - Madhyahna-lila (10:48 a.m.—3:36 p.m.)
10:48 a.m.—11:12 a.m.
Rādhā's attraction to Kṛṣṇa
Power of Kṛṣṇa's flute
Tulasī-mañjarī brings news of Kṛṣṇa
Dhaniṣṭhā describes the beauty of spring
The love journey to Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa sends Vṛndā to bring Rādhā
Rādhā, Vṛndā and Kundalatā's discussion
Rādhā-Govinda's mutual vision
Kṛṣṇa's joy on meeting Rādhā

11:12 a.m.—11:36 a.m.
Conversations while picking flowers
Rādhā's ownership of the forest
A clever conversation
Kṛṣṇa embraces Rādhā
Lalitā jokes with Kṛṣṇa

11:36 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
Flute-stealing pastimes
Kṛṣṇa enters Rādhā's bower

12:00 p.m.—12:24 p.m.
Description of Rādhā

12:24 p.m.—1:12 p.m.
Service of the six seasons
Beauty of Vṛndāvana
Service of the creepers
Rādhā's pretense of anger
The Spring Forest

1:12 p.m.—1:36 p.m.
Spring festival of Holi
Summer forest pastimes
Entering the monsoon forest
Swing pastimes
The autumn forest
The winter forest
The dewy season forest
Rādhā transformations in prema
Pastimes of drinking mādhvīka nectar

1:36 p.m.—2:00 p.m.
Sleeping pastimes
Talks about Rādhā's intimacy

2:00 p.m.—2:24 p.m.
Divine water-sports in Rādhā-kuṇḍa
Dressing at the lotus pavilion
Forest lunch

2:24 p.m.—2:48 p.m.
The parrots glorify Kṛṣṇa's beautiful form

2:48 p.m.—3:12 p.m.
Parrots describe Kṛṣṇa's divine qualities

3:12 p.m.—3:36 p.m.
The sakhis praise Rādhā's elegant form
The female parrot describe the sakhīs
The gambling match
Sungod worship

Period five - Afternoon Pastimes ( 3.36 -6:00 p.m.) Aparāhna-līlā
3.36-. 4:00 p.m.
Candanakalā Sakhī relieves Rādhā

4.00 pm.—4:24 p.m.
Rādhā cooks Kṛṣṇa's favorite five sweets

4:24 p.m.—4:48 p.m.
Rādhā praises Kṛṣṇa's flute

4:48 p.m.—6:00 p.m.
The sakhīs receive the returning Kṛṣṇa
The meeting of Rādhā-Mādhava

Period Six - Dusk Pastimes (6:00 p.m.—8:24 p.m.) Sāyāhna-līlā
6:00 p.m.—6:24 p.m.
The attractive features of Kṛṣṇa
Tulasī relieves Rādhā
Yaśodā's motherly affection for Kṛṣṇa

6:24 p.m.—6:48 p.m.
Kṛṣṇa's bath
Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma's meal

6:48—8:24 p.m.
Kṛṣṇa milks the cows

Period Seven - Evening Pastimes (8:24 p.m.—10:48 p.m.) Pradoṣa-līlā
8:24 p.m.—8:48 p.m.
Induprabhā Sakhī brings Rādhā news of Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa's sleeping chamber
Kṛṣṇa describes Rādhā's beauty
Subala describes Rādhā's separation
Nanda entertains Kṛṣṇa

8:48 p.m.—10:00 p.m.
Kṛṣṇa goes to His bedroom
Rādhā's evening meal

10:00 p.m.—10:24 p.m.
Kṛṣṇa goes to meet Rādhā
Rādhā describes Kṛṣṇa's beauty
Lalitā comforts Rādhā and their departure
Description of Govinda-sthalī

10:24 p.m.—10:48 p.m.
Meeting Kṛṣṇa
Kṛṣṇa searches for Rādhā

Period Eight - Midnight Pastimes (10:48 p.m.—3:36 a.m.) Niśā-līlā

10:48 p.m.—11:12 p.m.
Vṛndā serves Rādhā-Madhava
Pastimes in the forest
Glory of the forest

11:12 p.m.—1:12 a.m.
The Rāsa dance begins

1:12 a.m.—1:36 a.m.
Rest and more dancing

1:36 a.m.—2:00 a.m.
Drinking party
Rādhā-Mādhava's intimate pastimes
Pastimes with other gopīs

2:00 a.m.—2:24 a.m.
Water pastimes

2:24 a.m.—2:48 a.m.
Dressing, eating and resting

2:48 a.m.—3:12 a.m.
The mañjarīs serve Rādhā-Mādhava

3:12 a.m.—3:36 a.m.
Rādhā-Mādhava's confidential pastimes
Mādhava enjoys the other gopīs

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Śrīmad Bhāgavat, Canto 3, part 2

Completing a quotation of my favorite commentaries on the 3rd Canto of the Śrīmad Bhāgavat-

3.16.5 Neither the Gita Press- nor the BBT-translation is complete - Bhānu Swāmi's is the only correct one -

"When the servant commits a sin using the name of his master [yan nāmāni ca gṛhnati] the master gets criticised and his fame destroyed, just as white spot on the skin gets one condemned as a leper."

Viśvanātha Cakravartī has the most interesting ṭīkā, as usual: "But how can the Supreme Lord commit an offence? Even if You do who could punish You? How can You restrict Yourself? There can be no punishment - infamy alone would be the punishment. The fame of a master is destroyed by the activities of a servant who performs sinful activities in the name of the master, just as white leprosy destroys the skin. People who see a white spot on someone's skin say: "This person has leprosy".

SB 3.16.34 The residents of Satyaloka 'cried out of disappointment' when Jaya and Vijaya fell from Vaikuṇṭha. It shows that there is no fall from Vaikuṇṭha, because if that were so, the residents of Satyaloka would be accustomed to it and not even bother about yet another one becoming envious of Kṛṣṇa and coming down, wanting to imitate Him. The Sanskrit text says hāhākāra, which is generally a cry of astonishment, not necessarily disappointment."

SB 3.23.47 Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments - pumān puṁso'dhike śukre strī bhavatyadhike striyāḥ - when the man produces more genital fluid the child will be male, if the woman produces more genital fluid the child will be female. tāṁ striyaṁ bhāvayann iti ādhāna-kāle strī-dhyānena stry-apatyaṁ syād - "Thinking of a woman during impregnation creates a female child." śāstra says women are nine or eight times lustier than men, but adhika kāma probably means 'greater sexual capacities than men'. That is why prostitution is usually done by women - they can do it over and over again, but a man is sexually exhausted after one single time sex, at most two times, a day.

SB 3.25.32-33 - Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda quotes from Viṣṇu Rahasya -

utsargān mala-mūtrādeś citta-svāsthyaṁ yathā bhavet.
ataḥ pāyur upasthaś ca tad-ārādhana-sādhanam

"Just as [because] the consciousness gets healthy by passing stool and urine, the anus and genitals are instruments of worship." See the first paragraph of my blog of October 1, 2008

SB 3.25.21 - ajāta śatrava - The saint's enemies are never born. This does not mean a saint has no enemies - look at how many enemies great saints like Haridās Thākur and Mahārāj Yudhiṣṭhira had. Both Śrīdhara Swāmī and Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda say that 'sādhu bhūṣaṇa' means they respect the sādhus. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda adds to that that they think of the sādhus dearly like ornaments.

SB 3.25.25 - From Sādhu Saṅga comes an attraction to the Lord within the mind, when one associates with the sādhus in an excellent way there will be Hari-kathā, if the companionship is not so excellent there will be only bhajan kriyā, but not kathā. From the excellent association anartha nivṛtti arises and niṣṭhā [fixation] in such kathā. Then comes genuine knowledge (samvido) of My prowess (mama vīrya). When taste (ruci) arises it will be a tonic for the heart and ears (hṛt-karṇa-rasāyanā). Attachment (āsakti) for the Lord then opens the door to liberation (apavarga vartmani), and gradually from śraddhā and āsakti there will be rati (bhāva) and bhakti (prema). In this way Viśvanātha creates a parallel between Rūpa Goswāmī's ādau-śraddhā sequence and the sequence in this famous Bhāgavat-verse.

SB 3.25.38 Is another nail in the coffin of the fall-vādīs: The residents of Vaikuṇṭha do not lose anything enjoyable. Viśvanātha confirms this: tasmin mal-loke mat-parās tad vāsino lokāḥ kadācid api na nankṣyanti bhogya-hīnā na bhavanti. He later quotes the commentary on Viṣṇu Sahasra Nāma: param utkṛṣṭam ayanaṁ sthānaṁ punar āvṛtti-śaṅkā-rahitam 'In that Supreme Abode there is no fear of returning"

SB 3.26.61 Though the head is popularly believed to be the abode of the mind, Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments on this verse - hṛdaya eva mana ādy-antaḥkaraṇa-catuṣṭayasyādhiṣṭhānam - "The heart is surely the abode of the fourfold subtle body [mind, intelligence, ego, citta], including the mind."

SB 3.29.10 - Viśvanātha comments that karma miśra bhaktas who perform horse sacrifices get sālokya mukti, jñāna miśra bhakti, where bhakti predominates results into śānta rasa and jñāna miśra bhakti wherein jñāna dominates results in sāyujya mukti. In India many poor people become sādhus to get a better material life and in the west many people join Hare Kṛṣṇa because they have some sexual hangup or some drugs-hangover. But they cannot approach Kṛṣṇa without having any bhakti at all. Despite their ulterior motives there IS bhakti too. See Bhagavad Gītā 7.16 - four types of PIOUS people come to Me. When the glass is half empty it is half full too, after all. You have all these big singers in India like Anup Jalota and Hari Om Sharan - they became very rich as singers, but they are not only in it for the money still. Without bhakti you cannot do these things. Of the four types of mukti only sāmīpya is somewhat devotional because they want to be near the Lord. See blog of December 3, 2008.

3.29.15 — nātihiṁsreṇa ati hiṁsā rahitenetyati śabdena bhagavan mandira mārjjana lepana tad arthān nādi vividha naivedya sādhanādiṣvati durvāra durlakṣya sūkṣma jīva hiṁsana śāka mūla phalādi troṭanādāvapi na kṣatir iti jñāpitaṁ. ‘Not being too violent` means that there is no harm if some violence is done to small insignificant creatures while picking roots, fruits and vegetables for the food offerings in the temple.

SB 3.31.35 Worse than associating with a woman is associating with a womanizer. When a woman is beautiful but chaste she poses no threat to the sādhaka, but even if there are no attractive women around, if the sādhaka associates with a debauch who constantly speaks about acquiring women, that is a much greater impetus to fall-down than association with a woman herself, especially a chaste and pious lady. Even if the debauch does not speak about women, his mere presence can be contaminating due to his mentality spilling over into your mind. In his ṭīkā Madhvācārya quotes the Varāha Purana:

sat-puṁsu ca tathā strīṣu na saṅgo doṣam āvadet

'There is no fault if saintly men and saintly women [innocently] associate with each other."

SB 3.31.40 — yā ca puruṣaṁ viraktaṁ jñātvā svīya niṣkāmatāṁ vyañjayanyī śuśrūṣādi miṣeṇa upayāti sāpi anartha-kāriṇītyāha yopayātīti. atra tṛṇācchādita kūpasya mayi janaḥ patatviti bhāvanābhāvāt kasyacit pārśve'pyanāgamāt sarvatrodāsīnā vā bhakti jñāna vairāgyādimatī vā unmādād acetanā nidrāṇā vā mṛtāpi vā strī sarvarthaiva dūre parityājyā iti vyañjitam
 "Women are a kind of illusion created by God, and it is very difficult to be released from the grip of this illusion. Hence a person who desires his own welfare should not associate with women. A woman may approach a man only for the sake of rendering service to him, thinking him to be very renounced, and he may consider himself to be very renounced also, but still he should consider her to be his wholesale destruction — he should consider women to be death personified, like a well covered over by grass. Even if a woman is devoted, full of spiritual knowledge, renounced, in a swoon due to hysteria, sleeping, or even dead, still he should not come near her — he should always stay far away from her."

SB 3.33.6 Jīva Goswāmī says in his ṭīkā on the famous verse that says that even a dog-eater can instantly perform fire sacrifices by even casually remembering Bhagavān, that tatra yogyatāyāṁ labdhārambho bhavatīty arthaḥ. tad-anantara-janmany eva dvijatvaṁ prāpya tad-ādy-adhikārī syād -
"This describes the beginning of qualification, but he is eligible to become a brahmin only in the next life"

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda seems to disagree: soma-yāga-kartā brāhmaṇa iva pūjyo bhavatīti durjāty-ārambhaka-prārabdha-pāpa-nāśo vyañjitaḥ  "He becomes worshipable like a brahmin who performs Soma-sacrifices, it indicates the destruction of his prārabdha karma that caused his bad birth."

He does not literally or practically say that dog-eaters can perform sacrifices but they become worshipable like them (brāhmaṇa iva pūjyo) as Śrīdhara Swāmī says too by the way. In other words, where Jīva Goswāmī is practical Viśvanātha is more emotional and follows the line of glorification in the original verse, stressing the glories of bhakti. There is never any contradiction between the ācāryas, at most a different stressing of viewpoint (dṛṣṭikoṇa).

Destruction of prārabdha karma does not mean you get a new material body. When you enter the initiation-arena with one eye or with one leg, it is not that after dīkṣā suddenly you now have two eyes or two legs. The body remains the same, even though sins have been destroyed through dīkṣā or a sādhana process. Similarly one does not become a brahmin without first taking birth as one. The fact that brahmins are needed in the west to perform weddings and funerals, does not warrant making brahmins artificially out of mlecchas - the scriptural rule cannot be made subservient to practical demands. The same with Guru-successors - many famous Gurus go without a great successor - it simply did not happen for one reason or the other. The time was not ripe for a spiritually mature successor when the Guru's physical body expired. So organisations who need initiators as part of their preaching and on-the-job-training programmes go ahead and appoint unqualified dīkṣā Gurus anyway, for practical purposes, of course with disastrous results. Sometimes one just has to wait for a successor to mature and sometimes also a lineage just stops at a certain ācārya.

In the next verse, 3.33.7, Viśvanātha continues to follow the glorifying hyperboles of the śloka in his ṭīkā, saying: ataeva sa śvapaco garīyān atiśayena gurur bhavatīty anyān api nāmātmaka-mantram upadeṣṭuṁ yogyatāṁ dhatte iti bhāvaḥ - 'What to speak of a full pronunciation, if the dog-eater even hold the holy name on the tip of the tongue he becomes qualified to be a dīkṣā-guru." If this were to be taken literally, then any prostitute or pimp in a brothel called Porno-rama would be qualified to give dīkṣā (the name Rama is there)?