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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)?


  1. Dear Advaitaji

    I know from your blogs that you always reject the acaryas of other sampradayas and now suddenly you like particularly Madhvacarya. He is so nice saying sat-puMsu ca tathA strISu na saGgo doSam Avadet - 'There is no fault if saintly men and saintly women [innocently] associate with each other."

    So, when the other sampradaya acarya allows woman association for man that is nice but in other statements you are not interested? Hmm. Just see. Sadhu sanga is not so bad. Hehe.

  2. Anon,
    1. My problem w/Madhvacarya is shared by Gaudiya Vaishnavacarya Sripad Baladeva Vidyabhusana, who lists 9 differences between Madhva and us [yes we are separate sampradaya therefore].
    2. The verse was not composed by Madhva but is a quote from the Puranas.
    3. Note that the verse speaks of saintly men and women, not random, loose and immoral association by uncultured men and uncultured women.

  3. namaste,
    this is nice post. kind of touches upon very basic but important things in the world of GV. thanks for the time in putting this together.

  4. Advaitaji, very interesting comments on the fall issue. Just to be the devil's advocate here, you say: "It shows that there is no fall from Vaikuntha, 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 Krishna and coming down, wanting to imitate Him. The Sanskrit text says hAhAkAra, which is generally a cry of astonishment, not necessarily disappointment." Could it not be that they were astonished because this was a special event - the gatekeepers were cursed to fall. It wasn't - as the fallvadis think - due to their own desires.

    Further down, "SB 3.25.38 Is another nail in the coffin of the fall-vadis: The residents of Vaikuntha do not lose anything enjoyable." The translation I have available here speaks of loosing "possessions". If that is correct, would Krishna's associates consider each other to be possessions?
    Thanks for all these interesting posts, real nectar!

  5. Malati, Radhe Radhe
    Thank you for commenting.
    Your first point is well taken.
    The second point: the word in question here is nAGkSanti, which is glossed by all acaryas - Sridhara Swami, Jiva Goswami and Visvanath Cakravarti - as bhogya-hInA na bhavanti - "they are not bereft of enjoyables". Hope that helps.