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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi part 1

Ujjvala Nilamani is a sequel of Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu, written by Śrī Rūpa Goswāmī because he found the topic of amorous love of Kṛṣṇa was too extensive to include in it. Naturally this is a confidential item of śāstra, yet it should be discussed, for true devotees will appreciate it in its true value. In his brief commentary Jīva Goswāmī appears to support svakīya vāda (married love of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa) and in his lengthier commentary Srī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda seems to support parakīya vāda (extramarital love). They only clash in a few places, though, not throughout the book. This scripture shows an almost endless variety of male and female lovers and the situations they may end up in.

Chapter 1 deals with the varieties of Nāyakas (amorous heroes). In his commentary of verse 1.23, Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda argues that, why Kṛṣṇa was named Govinda during His abhisekha by the Surabhi cow after He lifted Mount Govardhan? Is this name not eternal?

anyathā govindābhiṣekāt pūrvam eva pūtanā supayaḥ pānānantaraṁ bīja-nyāsaṁ kurvatyo vraja-vara-vadhvaḥ krīḍantaṁ pātu govindaḥ [ṣ.B. 10.6.25] iti guṇa-gāne ca govinda-veṇum anumatta-mayūra-nṛtyam iti kathaṁ vadeyuḥ -

Previously in the 10th canto, during the narration of the killing of Putanā, the Vrajabāsī women assigned nyāsa [seed-letters] to Kṛṣṇa,  saying ‘may Govinda protect You at play’ (though this is more likely to refer to the Vaikuṇṭha-deity Govinda) and the young gopīs praised Kṛṣṇa's flute long before the abhiṣekha-pastime, in chapter 21’s ‘Veṇu Gīta’ ‘the peacocks dance like mad, when they hear Govinda’s flute’

tena yat-karma-viśiṣṭasya yasya rūpasya yan nāma tat-karma-viśiṣṭaṁ tad-rūpaṁ nityam eva | loke paraṁ teṣāṁ bhaktānāṁ tat-tad-rasānubhavārthaṁ krameṇāvirbhāvaḥ 

“Thus the name related to a form of the Lord performing some action is as eternal as that action. They gradually manifest in the world so the devotees can experience their divine flavours.”

abhimanyu-prabhṛtiṣu pati-bhāvas tu māyika eva | cid-rūpāṇāṁ śrī-rādhādīnāṁ cid-rūpeṣu patiṣv abhimanyu-prabhṛtiṣu sārvakālika-dveṣānyathānupapattyā madhye pati-bhāva-rūpā māyā svāṁśa-bhūtā śrī-yoga-māyayaiva sthāpitā | prākṛtīnāṁ strīṇāṁ pariṇetṛṣu pati-bhāvasya prāpañcikatvād anityatvam | gopīnāṁ tu pariṇetṛṣu patibhāvasya māyā-kalpitatve bhagaval-līlā-tantra-madhya-vartitvāt māyāyāś cāsyā yogamāyānumoditatvāc ca nityatvam eveti viśeṣaḥ | mohanaṁ tu tāsāṁ yogamāyyaiva guṇātīttvān na tu māyayā

“Abhimanyu and other cowherd men’s esteem of being the gopīs’ husbands is false [māyik]. The forms of Śrī Rādhā and other gopīs are transcendental; it would be inappropriate for Abhimanyu and others like him to cherish eternal hatred towards them. Mahāmāyā is an expansion of Yogamāyā and she arranges their husband-esteem. To think of oneself as the husband of a material woman is mundane and temporary. The gopīs’ idea that these men are their husbands is also created by māyā, but since it all takes place in the context of the Lord’s transcendental pastimes it is endorsed by Yogamāyā and thus also eternal.”

Chapter 2 deals with the variety of assistants of the hero. In his commentary on verse 2.15, Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda mentions mañjarī bhāva - 

tāś ca lalitādyāḥ parama-preṣṭha-sakhy-ādaya uttarās tu tad-dvayābhāvāt kadāpi kṛṣṇāṅga-saṅga-spṛhāvatyo na bhavanti | tāś ca kastūryādayo nitya-sakhyas tatra vyākyāta-lakṣaṇaṁ pūrvāsāṁ śrī-kṛṣṇāṅga-saṅga-spṛhā-rūpam aṁśam udāhartum āha yathā veti 

‘There are parama preṣṭha sakhīs like Lalitā and others, and there are nitya sakhīs, like Kasturī Mañjarī, who never ever desire the bodily association of Kṛṣṇa.

Chapter 3 deals with the variety of Hari’s sweethearts.
Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on UN 3.2 - 


kāminīnāṁ yauvana-mada eva lalitānīti nyāyenoktir vastutas tu tāsāṁ nitya-siddhaiva sarva-vaidagdhī svāvasaraṁ prāpya udayate | dṛṣṭaṁ ca tathā rāsa-krīḍāyāṁ gāna-nṛtyādiṣu prāvīṇyam tat-tac-chāstra-kṛdbhirapi durgamam


“Pride of youth causes the attainment of all cleverness in nitya siddha girls. They learn expertise in the arts of dancing, singing, etc. during the Rāsa-pastimes, that are rarely attained even by the authors of śāstra, just by looking.” So no long studies at Bhārat Nātyam colleges or lengthy mṛdaṅga-lessons in mañjarī svarūpa. Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda writes elsewhere that to attain perfection a devotee needs to take birth first in Kṛṣṇa's earthly pastimes before being promoted to Goloka, but that is not to gain practical skills. Only to develop further prema.

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on UN 3.13

tatrāpi paroḍhānāṁ śrī-rādhādīnāṁ dāsyaḥ kāścana śrī-vṛṣabhānv-ādibhir vivāha-kāle dattāḥ kanyakā eva kāścana tad-anyā rūpa-mañjary-ādayaḥ paroḍhā eva jñeyāḥ | bimbādhare kṣatam anāgata bhartṛkāyāḥ [vilāpa-kusumāñjali 1] iti śrī-dāsa-gosvāmy-ukteḥ | arvācīnānāṁ sādhaka-bhaktānāṁ tu bhāvo yathā-ruci yathā-sampradāyaṁ vā phaliṣyatīti boddhavyam


“Some of the maidservants that were given at marriage by the fathers of the brides like Vṛṣabhānu, were not married and some, like Rūpa Mañjarī, were. The evidence for Rūpa Mañjarī being married is found in the opening verse of Śrīla Raghunāth Dās Goswāmī’s Vilāpa Kusumāñjali. The feelings of the contemporary sādhakas will bear fruit according to feeling and sampradāya.” yathā sampradāya cannot mean ‘according to sampradāya like Rāmānuja, Madhva etc.’, because only the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sampradāya has mañjarī-bhāva. Therefore it should mean according to Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sub-branch like Advaita- and Nityānanda parivāras. Ironically Sādhu Bābā quoted exactly the same verse to me to prove that Rūpa Mañjarī is not married, as anāgata means ‘not come’; in other words Rūpa Mañjarī’s husband was not yet found. Anyway, Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda reconciles it neatly afterwards by saying yathā ruci yathā sampradāya, it is accomplished according to one’s own taste and lineage.

3.19 kanyakāś ca paroḍhāś ca parakīyā dvidhā matāḥ

Verse by Rūpa Goswāmī – “there are two kinds of parakīya relationships – not only of a married girl with another man but also of an unmarried [maiden] with a man.”

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on UN 3.19: 
kāścit tadānīṁ deśāntarāt samāgatyāpi samātṛkāḥ sthitā iti jñeyāḥ : 

“Some unmarried gopīs came from outside of Vraja, with their mothers.”

3.21 yatra niṣedha-viśeṣaḥ sudurlabhatvaṁ ca yan mṛgākṣīṇām tatraiva nāgarāṇāṁ nirbharam āsajjate hṛdayam

“When a woman forbids a man to approach her and is hard to attain, it increases the attachment of the heart for the amorous hero (suitor).”

Rūpa Goswāmī condemns sahajīya imitationists in UN 3.24: 
vartitavyaṁ śam icchadbhir bhaktavan na tu kṛṣṇavat -

“Those who desire their own welfare should act as devotees, not as Kṛṣṇa.”

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on UN 3.33:

gopīnāṁ gopair vivāhasya māyikatve’pi nitya-satyatvam eva jñeyam | manyamānā ity abhiprāya-mātraṁ na tu māyā-kalpitānām api tāsāṁ patibhiḥ sambhoga iti tāsāṁ tad-ākāra-tulyākārāṇām anya-sambhuktatvasyānaucityāt | ata eva sva-pārśva-sthān iti | na tu talpa-sthān ity uktam | tac ca samādhānaṁ yogamāyayaiva tat-patīnāṁ puṁstve’pi kāma-vikārān udbhāvanāt | ata eva tan-mātrādibhiḥ prārthitānām api teṣāṁ teṣāṁ gopānāṁ gopālānāṁ śālli-kṣetrādāv eva śiśayiṣā prāyo na tu sva-gṛheṣv api svīya-tad-bhāvasya prākaṭyābhāvāyeti jñeyam –

“Though the gopīs’ marriages with the gopas are false they are also eternally real. The cowherds did not enjoy those forms made of māyā as it would be inappropriate to enjoy other forms that looked just like them. Hence it is said (in this Bhāgavat-verse 10.33.38 quoted here) ‘they thought their wives to be by their sides’, not ‘they thought their wives to be in their beds. The solution was provided by Yogamāyā: though the husbands were potent they had no male transformations in the presence of their gopī-wives. Though their mothers asked them (to sleep with their wives) they slept in the cow-barns, because they did not have that bhāva (desire) for their wives.”

3.37 aprasūtitve sati tāsām ālambanatvaṁ vairūpyeṇa dūṣyate

“The gopīs could not have delivered babies because the disfigurement would have polluted them (made them unqualified for enjoyment by Kṛṣṇa).”


ata eva duhantyo’bhiyayuḥ ityādau, pāyayantyaḥ śiśūn payaḥ ity eva śrī-śuka-vākyaṁ na tu pāyayantyaḥ sutān stanam iti | kvacit tad-vidheṣu putrādi-vyapadeśo dṛśyate yathā sāmba-kṛta-lakṣmaṇā-haraṇe śrī-baladevam uddiśya |
pratigṛhya tu tat-sarvaṁ bhagavān sātvatarṣabhaḥ |
sa-sutaḥ sa-snuṣaḥ prāgāt suhṛdbhir abhinanditaḥ || iti ||37||

"Sometimes it is mentioned that the gopīs' abandoned their children to dance with Kṛṣṇa,  but wherever there is any mentioning of them having sons it does not mean their own sons, just as when Lord Baladev rescued Sāmba (Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.68.52), Sāmba is mentioned as his son though he was not directly his son. Also the Bhāgavat mentions the gopis fed milk to children, but not their breast milk. It is said śiśūn payaḥ, they fed milk to children (cows’ milk), not ‘they breast-fed their own children’ (pāyayantyaḥ sutān stanam)."

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