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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Begun Bhājā cleared!

Hare Krsna, prabhu!
I have a question to you if you researched it about eggplants. In Hari Bhakti Vilasa (8.158, 161-162) there are 3 slokas given about that eggplants should not be taken or offered. From Kurma Purana, from Yamala and from Skanda Purana -

athābhakṣyāṇi - kaurme 
vṛntākaṁ jālikāśākaṁ kusumbhāśmantakaṁ tathā 
phalāṇḍuṁ laśunaṁ śuklaṁ niryāsaṁ caiva varjayet

atha-now; abhakṣyāṇi-inedible; kaurme-in the Kūrma Purāṇa; vṛntākam-eggplant; jālikāśākam-plantain; kusumbha-safflower; āśmantakam-aśmantaka; tathā-so; phalāṇḍum-onion; laśunam-garlic; śuklam-sour cereal; niryāsam-tree sap; ca-and; eva-indeed; varjayet-one should avoid.

What Is Inedible (For the Purpose of Offering to the Lord)

In the Kurma Purana it is said: "One should avoid eggplant, plantain, safflower, azmantaka, onion, garlic, sour cereal, and the sap of trees."

skānde - na bhakṣayati vṛntākaṁ tasya dūrataro hariḥ

skānde-in the Skanda Purāṇa; na-not; bhakṣayati-eats; vṛntākam-eggplant; tasya-of him; dūrataraḥ-far away; hariḥ-ḷord ḥari.

In the Skanda Purana it is said: "Lord Kṛṣṇa stays far away from anyone who eats eggplant."

kiṁ cānyatra 
vārtākuṁ bṛhatīṁ caiva dagdham annaṁ masūrakam
yasyodare pravarteta tasya dūrataro hariḥ

kim- ca-furthermore; anyatra-in another place; vārtākum-eggplant; bṛhatīm-eggplant; ca-and; eva-indeed; dagdham-burned; annam-food; masūrakam-masura dal; yasya-of whom; udare-in the stomach; pravarteta-is; tasya-of him; dūrataraḥ-far away; hariḥ-ḷord Kṛṣṇa.

In another scripture it is said: "Lord Kṛṣṇa stays far away from anyone who places eggplant, burned food, or masūra dāl in his stomach."

But in Caitanya Caritāmṛta we can see what food was offered to Lord Caitanya and there are different places mentioned about fried eggplants and eggplants mixed with nimbu etc. So, it's not clear. "

Thank you for reminding me of Prabhu Sītānāth's sweet līlā (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 3.47) and in extension also Sādhu Bābā's anugamana (allegiance). I was under fire over this issue on Gauḍīya Discussions some 8 years ago, but until now I have not researched this eggplant issue in Caitanya Caritāmṛta. It gives a clear endorsement from Swayaṁ Prabhu Sītānāth- কোমল নিম্বুপত্র সহ ভাজা ৱার্ত্তাকী komala nimbu patra saha bhājā vārtākī - "He offered the Lord soft neem leaves along with fried eggplant." Following in his family- and spiritual succession, Sādhu Bābā too was fond of bhājā vartākī or began bhājā [fried aubergines]. The secret about this is that Haribhakti Vilāsa is a collection of material and spiritual rules. Only a genuine Guru can sort out which rule is to be followed and which one is not. It cannot be sorted out by oneself. In other words, whatever Guru decides is essential of the rules of Haribhakti Vilāsa, these rules apply."

This point is also added to the end of my file "In defense of the advaita vamsh" on Further references to the offering of begun bhājā are in Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 15, 213 and Antya 10, 135

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