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Monday, April 11, 2011

Accidental ascension and female Govardhana

To the spiritual sky by accident?

Bhakta: "In śāstra there are so many quotes giving evidence that by worshiping śilās or chanting the holy name at the last moment of life, one will immediately go to the spiritual world after death, like śālagrāma śilā vinur hatyā koṭi vināśanam "Any person who offers a Tulasī-leaf while worshiping the Śālagrām Śīlā gets salvation and can stay in Vaikuṇṭha", or from Śrīmad Bhāgavat 12.3.44 :"Terrified, about to die, a man collapses on his bed. Although his voice is faltering and HE IS HARDLY conscious of what he is saying, if he utters the holy name of the Supreme Lord he can be freed from the reaction of his fruitive work and achieve the supreme destination". On the other hand Bhagavad Gītā and other śāstras say that the destination ones will achieve depends of the state of consciousness at the time of death, as in Bhagavad Gītā 8.5 and 8.6.
1) How to harmonize those "apparent" contradictions.
2) Just if someone does not reach a pure consciousness during his life, he will get it instantly in the last moment of life and reach the Spiritual world, just by worshipping a Śilā with Tulasī-leaves or pronouncing the holy name? This is very amazing.
I appreciate so much your answers.
Radhe Radhe!!

"There are different ways and reasons to attain the spiritual world - one is called sukhaisvaryottara, prompted by a desire to have happiness and luxury there, and the other is prema sevottara, to love and serve the Lord. Please see Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu 1.2.56 : sukhaiśvaryottarā seyaṁ prema-sevottarety api, sālokyādir dvidhā tatra nādyā sevā-juṣaṁ matā. In his commentary Jīva Goswāmī quotes Śrīmad Bhāgavat 3.29.13, wherein Kapila-deva says that a pure devotee does not accept any kind of liberation, even if the Lord offers them, if they are not accompanied by devotional service (vinā mat sevanaṁ janaḥ).
So it is possible to ascend to the spiritual sky without pure devotional service. The examples you quoted refer either to the sukhaiśvaryottara motivation-stage or to Śvetadwīpa, a realm in the upper echelon of the mundane cosmos, where one can dwell temporarily due to some great deed or event. So the statements in śāstra that anyone who dies in the holy dhāma attains Hari-loka are true but it does not necessarily mean in a pure devotional relationship with the Lord. In his writings, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda says that the prema sevottara-devotees are elevated to Kṛṣṇa's prakaṭ līlā (manifest pastimes on earth) for further training."

Blue cows at Mount Govardhan

Govardhana female?

Bhakta: "Rādhe Rādhe! Have you ever heard about the conception that Mount Govardhan belongs to śakti-tattva? It was told to me by one bhakta during our discussion of worship of Govardhan-śilās as Śrīmatī Rādhikā. Personally, I do think that Giri Govardhan is śaktimān and His ādi śakti is always with Him. Thank you in advance,

To my knowledge, Girirāj is neither śakti tattva nor Śrīmatī Rādhikā -

1. In Sanskrit, Govardhan is a male name, not a female name.
2. I know of no evidence in any śāstra for Him being Rādhikā or Śakti.
3. Girirāj is called Kṛṣṇa's kalevara [body] by Śrīman Mahāprabhu [Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 6]
4. Kṛṣṇa said 'śailo'smi' - I am the mountain [Govardhan] in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.24
5. The gopīs call Girirāja Haridāsa Varya, not Hari Dāsī varya, in Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.21.18
The Ādi Śakti with Govardhan is the Guñjā Mālā [Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 6]

Bhakta: Sometimes this verse is quoted to prove Govardhan is female:

manasaḥ prakṛter jāto girir govardhano mahān
divyaṁ vṛndāvanaṁ dṛṣṭvā paramānandam āpa saḥ

“The magnificent Govardhana mountain appeared from Rādhikā’s mind. Govardhana became supremely blissful upon seeing effulgent Vṛndāvana” (Bhaviṣya Purāṇa, pratisarga 3.25.165).

The word manasaḥ (“from the mind”) can also mean “from the heart.” Some senior Vaiṣṇavas say that this verse of Bhaviṣya Purāṇa proves that Govardhana has the svarūpa of a sakhī also."

Advaitadas: "The verse just says that Govardhan emanates from the mind of prakṛti, which means 'nature'. Śrī Rādhikā is not mentioned in this verse, which, I heard, can also not be found in any library-edition of the Bhavisya Purana. Most probably it was interpolated a few centuries ago, but even if it wasn't, it says nothing about Govardhan being female, a sakhī or Śrī Rādhikā. I know of no other reference either in śāstra that Govardhan is female or a sakhī. Among Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas there is this popular slogan:

āmār īsvarī hon vṛndāvaneśvarī
tār prānanāth boli bhaji giridhārī

'My mistress is Vṛndāvaneśvarī (Rādhikā) and I worship Giridhārī because He is Her prāṇa-nātha (Lord of Her life)."

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