Bhakta: "Since Durgā-devī is Vaiṣṇavī and she is a servant of Kṛṣṇa, māyā is allright."
Advaitadas: "If serving Māyā is serving Kṛṣṇa then alcohol, meat and prostitution is also devotional service? Mahāprabhu says - kṛṣṇa sūrya sama - māyā hoy andhakāra - Kṛṣṇa is the sun and Māyā is darkness. yāhā kṛṣṇa tāhā nāhi māyār adhikāra - Where there is Kṛṣṇa, māyā has no rights."
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Bhakta: "Some say Rāmānujācārya loudly chanted the secret dīkṣā-mantra and whoever heard it became his disciple. Please comment."
Advaitadas: "It is often used by some institutions to justify their extreme missionary zeal. Whether the story is true or not,
1. We are not Rāmānujaites but Gauḍīyas. We have our own doctrine, leaders and role-models.
2. śāstra is śāstra, and we must follow it. We cannot and should not imitate the great ones, being only small ourselves. naitat samācarej jātu.
3. The confidentiality and personal nature of the dīkṣā-process will be destroyed if we all acted like that."
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Recently a Facebook-friend expressed reservations about the abandonment of Sītā by Rāma, saying that this is not a God she could support. My response was:
"When you begin to criticize Lord Rāma in this way you have clearly not understood Rāma-līlā. Caitanya Caritāmṛta (Madhya 9.188-196) clearly says materialists cannot even see Sītājī, let alone touch Her. Rāvan kidnapped only a māyā- [false] Sītā. The punishment of Sītā by Rāma seems very harsh, but 3 things you must remember -
1. Although this is of course a līlā of the Lord and His eternal energy, in this līlā Sitaji was not totally innocent - She disobeyed Lakṣman by stepping out of the protective circle he had drawn for Her and She made Vaiṣṇava-aparādha to him too by claiming he did not want to leave the circle to answer to the call for help by the bogus-Rām named Marīca, because he was attracted to Her, his own sister in law.
2. Sītā is the Supreme Lord's inseparable śakti, so the abandoned Sītā must also have been a material māyā-Sītā.
3. Mahāprabhu was also very stern by rejecting Choṭa Haridās, driving him to suicide, to make a certain point very clear - vairāgīs do not dally with women. Similarly, Rāma made clear to the women of the world not to disobey their husbands or falsely accuse their brothers in law.
Bhakti means we are judged by God and not that we judge God or pick and choose what decisions of Him we will accept and what we don't. That is not surrender.
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Although Viṣṇudāsa glosses the word cīna in Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi 10.40 as 'very soft', Śrīla Jīva Goswāmī and Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda say: cīnasya tan nāma deśodbhavasya. "China is a country of that name". It is interesting that there is some knowledge of foreign countries in the writings of the previous ācāryas. That word cīna is translated as Chinese also by some in Vilāpa Kusumāñjali verse 22 - pānīyaṁ cīna-vastraiḥ etc., though, to preserve the mādhurya I think it better to gloss it as 'very soft'.
* * *
In his ṭīkā of Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.45.32, Ācārya Vaṁśīdhara quotes the Mahābhārat -
vidyāṁ śrutvā ye guruṁ nādriyante
pratyāsannā manasā karmaṇā ca
teṣāṁ pāpaṁ bhrūṇa-hatyā viśiṣṭaṁ
tebhyo nānyaḥ pāpa-kṛc cāsti loke
'A person who hears knowledge from the Guru and does not respect him or awaits on him with his mind and actions, is as sinful as an abortionist. No one in the world is as sinful as him."
This verse shows that the sin of abortion (bhrūṇa-hatyā) was already committed so many thousands of years ago, and it also shows a clear condemnation of guru-tyāgīs.
* * *
Finally, I had this interesting exchange with Dr. Satya-Nārāyan Dās about vahana tattva (the Lord's vehicles) -
Advaita Das 02 august -
"Prabhuji, Rādhe Rādhe. Every God has a vahana - Viṣṇu has Garuḍa, Brahmā the Marāla swan, Shiva the bull Nandī, Kāmadeva has a parrot, Ganesh a mouse, but Kṛṣṇa, Rām and Mahāprabhu do not have a vehicle. Is there a significance in this? Perhaps this shows their humanity?"
Satyanarayana Dasa 02 august -
"Rāma has Hanumān, and Kṛṣṇa has Garuḍa. But because their līlā is a human līlā they do not use them unless to show their aiśvarya side, like when Kṛṣṇa went to fight with Bhaumāsura and then went to heaven to return the ear-rings. So you are right "this shows their humanity".