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Monday, September 19, 2011

Śrīmad Bhāgavat Canto 12, part 2

12.9.25 Kṛṣṇa does not know the limit to the sweetness of His own toes as He sucks them on the Banyan leaf on the ocean of cataclysm. Kavi Karṇapur sucked Mahāprabhu’s toe as a toddler and as a result he wrote so many beautiful books like Caitanya Candrodaya, Gaur Ganoddeśa Deepika and Kṛṣṇāhnika Kaumudī. Viśvanātha’s tika : mac-caraṇāmbuje kīdṛśaṁ madhu vartate yata etad āsvādanārthaṁ bahavo mad-bhaktā yatante tasmād idam aham apy āsvādya pariceṣye - « What honey is there in My lotus-feet? Since many of My devotees try to taste it, so should I. » Though Kṛṣṇa is the vessel of all sweetness He can still not relish it. Whatever or whoever is unlimited can not reach his own limit, and it has been said earlier in the 10th canto, chapter 87, that the Lord does not know His own limits. That is why He became Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, to find the limits of His own sweetness and the love that Rādhā feels for Him. Śrī Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī said in his Vilāpa Kusumāñjali lectures that Mahāprabhu never reached that limit and He never will, and this establishes the eternality of Gaura Līlā. This form of Baṭa Kṛṣṇa,  lying on the Banyan leaf, is also eternal, like all of the Lord’s forms and He also never finds the limit to the sweetness of His own toe. Not only that, Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmī even taught ‘vibhur api kalayann sadābhivṛddhim’ – Although the bliss and sweetness of Kṛṣṇa līlā is unlimited, it is still ever-increasing.

12.10.23 In his commentary Jīva Goswāmī explains that the words devāś cetanojjhitā [lifeless statues] do not refer to deities of Lord Viṣṇu, but to statues of Indra and other devatās. Speaking of deities, there is a belief that once the deity is installed, the deity will accept all service from any and every devotee. That is a very bureaucratic vision. Śrīdhar Swāmī comments on Bhagavad Gītā 9.26 tasya prayatātmanaḥ śuddha-cittasya niṣkāma-bhaktasya tat-patra-puṣpādikaṁ bhaktyā tena upahṛtaṁ samarpitam aham aśnāmi ‘prayatātmana means that I [Kṛṣṇa] will eat offerings from a pure-hearted devotee without selfish desires’ and Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments kiṁ ca mad-bhaktasyāpy apavitra-śarīratve sati nāśnāmīty āha prayatātmanaḥ śuddha-śarīrasyeti rajaḥsvalādayo vyāvṛttāḥ ‘Even if one is a devotee, if he/she has an impure body i will not eat the offering. The body must be pure, especially from menstruation.’

12.10.26 Lord Shiva is praising Mārkaṇḍeya Ṛṣi, who can not get enough of hearing about it. According to Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda it does not mean Mārkaṇḍeya was so proud or narcistic. Rather he felt like being instructed [and encouraged] as to what type of a person he should actually be.

12.11.20 In his ṭīkā, Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda seems to say that the hlādinī śakti is represented in the happiness of swarg, which would validate the theory that material pleasure is a reflection of the spiritual hlādinī śakti:

anapāyinī eka-rūpā sākṣāt svarūpa-bhūtā śaktiḥ | asyāhlādinī-śakter vibhūtir laukikaḥ svargādy-ānanda ūhyaḥ | tantra-mūrtiḥ pañcarātrādy-āgama-rūpaḥ pañcarātrādy-āgamā viṣvaksenasya vibhūtaya ity arthaḥ | harer dvāḥsthā ye nandādayaḥ, te’pi aṇimādyā guṇā anya-gatā vibhūtayaḥ

However the word used here is vibhūti, not pratibimba or chāyā. vibhuti like in Bhagavad Gītā, chapter 10, representing Kṛṣṇa's prowess and glory only.

12.11.50 lokan avatyaja - the sun is the protector of the world, because crime – mugging, burglary, murder, rape - usually is committed at night. Daylight gives security to mankind, except in times of war or natural disaster of course.

12.12.49 Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda’s tika -
asya śāstrasya kṛṣṇa-kīrtana eva tātparyāt, tad anya-kīrtanam avigītam api na kuryāt | tat kīrtanaṁ yat paśubhir vigītatvenoktaṁ tad api kuryād ity āha—mṛṣeti | tāḥ satyā api giro mithyā eva | priyā api giro’satīr asatyaḥ kaṭūktaya eva | tathā satāṁ viduṣām api kathā asat-kathā eva | kutaḥ ? yad yato bhagavān na kathyate iti | ataḥ sa satyavādy api mithyā-vādī priyaṁvado’pi kaṭu-bhāṣī sat-kathako’py asat-kathaka ucyate iti bhāvaḥ | svakalpitatvād asatyam api bhagavad-yaśaś cet tad eva satyaṁ gṛhāśrama-vidhvaṁsakatvāt amaṅgalam api tad eva maṅgalaṁ nānyat bhagavataḥ para-dāra-haraṇādikam apuṇyatvenādhamair uktam api tad eva puṇyam | yato bhagavato guṇasyaiva na tu doṣasyodayo yasmāt tat

« The purpose of śāstra is to glorify Kṛṣṇa – others’ glorification, even if not done badly, should still not be done. However, even if animals glorify the Lord badly, that should be done. Though the words are true they are also false. Though the words are dear they are still unchaste, false and bitter. Even if the words are uttered by learned persons they are not real. Why? Because they do not describe the Lord. In this way even truthful persons are liars, sweet talkers are bitter speakers etc. If the words are false because they come from one’s imagination, they are still true if they glorify the Lord. »

This last sentence is significant. Even if the great poets who wrote so many volumes of Kṛṣṇa-kathā in the past, have just used their poetic skills of imagination [kavir kalpana], still they are all true because Kṛṣṇa is the Absolute Truth and any story which is projected upon Him will be the Absolute truth too. Mahāprabhu has proclaimed this, adding that the only rules are that there should be no apasiddhānta (wrong philosophy) or rasābhāsa (bad taste). This verse is not a glorification but actual truth.
Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda continues : « If the words are inauspicious because they destroy the householders world they are actually auspicious. »
In India the gṛhasthas invite the sādhu to lecture them and they know they will get the sauce for being materialistic and bodily conscious. They are prepared for that and they humbly accept their verdict without arguing or finding excuses.
Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda continues : « Even if fallen rascals say that the Lord’s eloping with other men’s wives is immoral, still it is virtuous [pure] »
Whatever touches the Cintāmaṇi-gem turns into gold, and similarly whatever act Kṛṣṇa performs is sacred, even if it externally appears to be sinful or immoral.

12.12.52 Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda's ṭīkā - "Just as sacred mantras are starting and ending with a bīja, this Bhāgavatam begins and ends with the same verses. From this it is clear that endings like svāhā and pracodayāt are also considered beejas."
Bhānu Swāmī incorrectly translated the words sthāne sthita in Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda's ṭīkā of SB 10.14.3, as ‘remaining in one’s social status’. Actually Viśvanātha says satāṁ nivāsa eva sthitāḥ – remain in the abode of a saint, na tu tīrthānyapyaṭantaḥ, but do not wander all over the holy places.

12.13.23 the very last verse of the Bhāgavat. In his ṭīkā Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda acknowledges that all kinds of non-dualist philosophies are included in the Bhāgavat -  ārambhe pariṇāme ca vivarte’pi na hi kṣatiḥ śrīmad-bhāgavate bhakteḥ puruṣrtha-śiromaṇeḥ - "ārambha-vāda, pariṇāma-vāda and vivarta-vāda in the Bhagavat do not harm it – it [nonetheless] propounds bhakti as the crown-jewel of life’s goals." Jīva Goswāmī has established our siddhānta as acintya bhedābheda, and abheda is an equal part of that. It is perfectly reflected in the Bhāgavat, though the ācāryas have given a pure devotional slant to the abheda-verses in their commentaries. There is no ancient śāstra which is entirely fixed on one path or the other – though the Upaniṣads stress the path of brahman it has many personalist verses too and though the Bhāgavat obviously stresses bhakti, it has impersonalist verses too. But any honest person would acknowledge that the Bhāgavat is all about bhakti to Kṛṣṇa.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Śrīmad Bhāgavat, 12th canto, part 1

Some interesting verses and commentaries from the 12th Canto of the Śrīmad Bhāgavata -

12.2.4 liṅgam evāśrama khyātā – in Kali-yuga one’s āśram is only shown by external signs. This predicts the current custom of giving and taking sannyāsa for political or economic reasons. Too often we see saintly gṛhasthas [so called fallen souls] and duplicitous sannyāsīs [so-called saints]. Time often shows that the struggling gṛhasthas had the most bhakti and the ‘great’ sannyāsīs fell flat on their faces. Veśa is after all just a few inches of textile. Only God knows what is on our hearts. Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments: prāptau liṅgam eva daṇḍājina-śikhā-tyāgādikam eva kāraṇaṁ na tu jñāna-sad-ācārādikam – “An āśram is seen by shaved heads, sannyāsa-staffs and antelope-skins, but not by knowledge or pure conduct.”
Verse 7 expands on that - ‘yaśo’rthe dharma sevanam – religion is served only for fame. In other words, devotees flag around their beadbags on the streets of holy places, with endlessly long counting-beads, to show off their huge sādhana for fame and, in extension, money.

12.2.14 śūdra prāyeṣu varṇesu - The castes are mostly converted into śūdras. Not all but most [prāyeṣu] castes will behave like śūdras. It means there will be qualified Brahmins too, especially since this verse could apply to the later stages of Kali, not the present stage.

12.2.15 yauna means related to the wife, not as Bhānu Swāmī says related to youth. He may have confused the word yauna for the word yauvana.

12.2.30 In the ṭīkā Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda writes that Kali yuga started on the moment when Duryodhana ordered the disrobing of Draupadī in the Kuru Sabhā.

12.3.20 says that in Kali yuga human qualities – the four legs of dharma – decrease gradually simultaneously, while SB, 24 and 25 say the legs of dharma disappear fully one by one in each yuga. I consulted Pandit Satya-nārāyan Dāsjī on this and he replied as follows [June 19, 2011]:

Dear Prabhuji,
Jai Śrī Rādhe Govinda!
In 1.1712 and 1.17.24 the words used for Dharma's legs are avṛścat and bhagnaḥ. Both mean broken and not cut off. The word avṛścat comes from the root ovṛścu means 'to pierce'. The word vṛścika, scorpion, comes from the same root; and you know what a scorpion does - it pierces. The word bhagnaḥ comes from the root bhaji, to break. So what it signifies is that the legs were broken but not completely removed or cut. In this chapter, because dharma is depicted as a bull so there is a little different presentation then in 12th canto where things are stated directly. Dramatic presentations may take a little lee-way to present things to
catch attention. Therfore Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments in line with the 12th canto description.
Hari om

Also the verse and ṭīkās say that cleanliness is destroyed by vigraha, which means ‘discord’, though the tika of SB 1.17.38 says cleanliness is destroyed by strī saṅga. I inquired on this also from Śrī Satya Nārāyanjī –

"My next question is on SB 12.3.20 - both the śloka and the ṭīkās speak of cleanliness being destroyed by vigraha. Vigraha is translated as 'discord' by most translators, but in his ṭīkā of SB 1.17.38, Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda says that cleanliness is destroyed by stri-sanga. I could not find 'stri sanga' in the dictionary as a synonym for vigraha. If vigraha really means just 'discord', then how is it that conflict destroys cleanliness? It is more obvious that cleanliness is destroyed by sexual activities."

Satya Narayan Panditji replied:
Dear Prabhuji
Jai Śrī Rādhe Govinda
Why do you think that stri-sanga should be a synonym for vigraha? Stri-sanga would lead to discord and thus strisanga is the cause of vigraha. So Cakravartipada is going one step deeper. Vigraha means quarrel or fight. This itself is a sign of impurity. The real impurity is not that of body but of the mind. In kali-yuga vigraha is the prominent characteristic and Sri Caitanya said the remedy is sankirtana which removes the impurity of heart – ceto darpan marjanam. So vigraha comes from impurity of heart and also leads to impurity. The most of the wars in the world has been fought because of stri sanga (sanga here means not association but attachment), even Mahabharata was rooted in stri sanga. Duryodhana, Karna, Jayadratha etc have all hankered after Draupadi who was the exquisite beauty of her time.
Satya Narayan das

Duryodhana was not even able to lift the bow during Draupadī’s Swayamvar, and Karṇa was rejected by Draupadī even though he could lift the bow. As this is already a death-blow to the male ego, let alone a Kṣatriya’s male ego, they took revenge on her by trying to strip her in the Kuru assembly and calling her a whore. In return, to revenge that, Draupadī wanted them dead and pushed for war against the Kauravas, whenever even Kṛṣṇa or Yudhisthir wanted peace. So we see that attachment to women lies at the root of conflict, including the biggest war ever fought, the Kurukṣetra war.

12.3.43 – Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments here that trouble in Kali really starts after a sandhya of the yuga has passed. The sandhya or twilight means the first 12th part and a sandhyāṁśa is the last 12th part of a yuga, in the case of Kali that is 36,000 years (see SB 3.11.18-20), so the predictions in this chapter seem to be still relatively far off.

12.3.51 This is a very famous verse – though Kali yuga is an ocean of faults, there is one good quality about it – simply by Kṛṣṇa-kīrtan one attains all perfection. That perfection [param] is glossed by Viśvanātha as prema. Kīrtan does not only mean Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra, as the BBT purport claims – there is līlā kīrtan, nāma kīrtan, padya kīrtan and even śāstra pārāyan can be considered kīrtan. Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments that just as a single powerful king can beat off innumerable robbers, similarly the one great quality of Kali, Kṛṣṇa-Kīrtan, can beat off all faults of the Kali age. It does not rely on meditation and other supportive practices, but of course if you meditate along with the kīrtan then so much the better.

12.3.52 Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments that all the sādhanas that are given in the other 3 yugas are covered by the Kali-yuga dharma of harināma. This comment is somehow missing in the edition of Bhānu Swāmījī. Harināma would have the same effect in the other three yugas, due to its timeless nature. In Kali-yuga, however, there is no other possibility (than harināma) because of the moral and mental weakness in this age.

12.5.1 Why Śukadeva spoke Brahma-jñāna as last chapter to Parīkṣit before he died of the snake-bite? Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda explains that it was to prove to the world how fixed Parīkṣit was in Kṛṣṇa consciousness – no jñāna kathā could distract him anymore from his Kṛṣṇa-meditation.

12.6.34 Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda’s tika: imaṁ sādhaka-deham āśrityeti sādhaka-daśāyām api smaryamāṇaṁ svasya siddha-deham āśritya tu smaryamāṇena sva-vipakṣeṇa saha vairaṁ na kuryād iti rāgānugīya-rasika-bhaktā abhiprāyam āhuḥ—kañcana avamantāram api 
"Taking shelter of a sādhaka body, which means taking shelter of a siddha body which is remembered even in the stage of sādhana, one should not have enmity towards even a group of gopīs of an opposing faction by remembering them. The followers of rāgānugā bhakti speak this purport.”
A very rasik purport suddenly. Here Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda acknowledges that meditation on the siddha body can and should be done within the sādhaka body. Though in siddha avasthā there is strong enmity towards the opposing faction [vipakṣa] of sakhīs, as Śrīla Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī showed when a leaf-cup of buttermilk was offered to him from Sakhīsthalī, the village of Candrāvalī, this is not to be imitated in the stage of sādhana, even if sādhana has reached the glorious level of meditation on the siddha body. Abhimanyu, Jaṭilā, Kuṭila are all pure devotees who are merely stage-performing being Kṛṣṇa’s enemies, just as demons like Hiraṇyakaśipu etc. were reincarnations of the pure devotees Jay and Vijay, but opposed Kṛṣṇa just to give Him the enjoyment of combat and adventure.

12.6.74 purport- Bhānu Swāmī mistakes the word sūryāśva to mean the horses of the sun-god, but it means ‘the sun who is [in this case] a horse.’

12.8.22 śoṣaṇa-mohana-sandīpana-tāpana-mādanākhyāni panca-mukhāni yasya tat -Stambhana seems to be missing in this list of 5 arrows by Śrīdhar Swāmī and Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda.  Also this verse mentions a five-headed arrow with all five lusty effects fixed on it while generally it is understood that Cupid has 5 separate arrows.

12.8.40prāṇa-buddhīndriyādibhis tvam eva sva-bhajanaṁ kārayasi punas tādṛśa-bhajanasya pratyupakāre’samartho ṛṇīva bhūtvā tat prema-vaśyo bhavasīty adbhutaṁ tava kṛpā-vaibhavam iti bhāvaḥ - "You [Kṛṣṇa] make us do Your bhajan, directing our life, intelligence and senses, and then again you become unable to reciprocate with such bhajan, having become subdued by our love for You. This is most astonishing – such is the force of Your mercy! »
In the Upaniṣads it is said yam evaiṣa vṛṇute tenaiva labhya – « Only he/she who was elected by the Lord can attain Him. »

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda's Tika of 12.8.46 - na yatra abhayaṁ pāta-hetuka-bhayābhāvaḥ – In the spiritual world there is no fear of falling »
This is a very clear refutation of fall-vāda, which is akin to māyāvāda, as it claims that something perfect (the sādhana siddha and nitya siddha jīvas in the spiritual sky) can become imperfect, just as the māyāvādīs say that Brahman falls in māyā.

Friday, September 09, 2011

New hagiography Sadhu Baba

A new hagiography of Sādhu Bābā is completed in English today, and posted on my website, alongside my earlier humble effort to glorify Sādhu Bābā. As Satināth Da said in the introduction of his booklet:

"Actually it is not possible for an insignificant soul like me to fully reveal Çré-Çré Bäbä’s full divine form, but I will consider my effort a success if I can show at least a drop of this ocean. His extraordinary life is pervading the knowledge of His innumerable devotees. If they are all published perhaps we can create a garland of His entire life with different flower-like narrations."

Ramacandrapur's Sadhu Baba