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Sunday, February 05, 2012

Śrīmad Bhāgavat, Canto 11, part 4

This is the 4th and last blog on the 11th canto. More may be added in the comments page or in an appendix blog, later. First again we hark back to some earlier chapters again:

11.11.3 In connection with vidyā, avidyā and pradhāna, Bhānu Swāmi translates the word vṛtti here as ‘modes’ of nature, in the last paragraph of the commentary, which is not so good. ‘Functions‘ would be better, as the word ‘modes’ creates confusion with that other famous subdivision of māyā, sattva raja and tama.

11.11.6 in the last paragraph of the commentary, Bhānu Swāmi translates the famous Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad verse about the two birds in the tree as “Two birds who are friends embrace each other in the same tree.” But actually the text says they are both embracing the tree (of the body, vṛkṣaṁ pariṣasvajāte), not each other.

The final verses:
11.31.10 deals with Kṛṣṇa’s pastime of departure. Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī comments: “Just as the destination of lightning cannot be seen by humans, the destination of Kṛṣṇa as He left the earth could not be perceived by the devatās. But his associates could see. This is Śrīdhara Svāmī’s explanation. Having come from Vaikuṇṭha, from the Kāraṇa Ocean and the Milk Ocean, when Kṛṣṇa had appeared, the associates each now thought “I am bringing my Lord to my abode!” But each could not see the other, by the Lord’s yoga-māya. Thus the Lord went to those abodes with those associates who were delighted. It should be understood that when the Lord appeared on earth, the associates of these Viṣṇu-forms also appeared amongst the Yadus along with their masters, the Viṣṇu forms. These associates returned to their places along with the Viṣṇu forms when Kṛṣṇa departed from this world.

11.31.11 Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravarti quotes Brahmānḍa Purāṇa in his ṭīkā: anādeyam aheyaṁ ca rūpaṁ bhagavato hareḥ. āvirbhāva-tirobhāvāv asyokte graha-mocane - Nothing can be added to or subtracted from the Lord’s form. His appearance and disappearance are said to be simply coming into this world and leaving it."
Plus he adds :
"Though sometimes the Lord appears and disappears like a jīva, this is only an appearance produced by maya. It is like the actions of a magician. Though it is false, the magician can show his or someone else’s birth and death. Someone exhibits death as follows. In front of a king, a magician approaches a stack of valuable garments, jewels, coins and so forth, given by the king. Taking a jeweled necklace, the magician tells the king, “Now I am taking this necklace, and you can’t have it. Now I’m taking this gold coin, and you can’t have it. I am taking seven thousand horses, and you cannot have them.” Then the magician creates the illusion that the king’s children, grandchildren, brothers and other family members have attacked each other with weapons and that nearly all are dead from the violent quarrel. The king observes these things taking place before him as he sits in the great assembly hall. The magician says, “O King! I no longer wish to live. Just as I have studied magic, so also, by the mercy of the lotus feet of my Guru, I have learned the mystic meditation of yoga. One is supposed to give up one’s body while meditating in a holy place, I will die in front of you, who are a holy place yourself.” Thus speaking, the magician sits down in svastika āsana, fixes himself in prāṇāyāma, pratyāhāra, dhāraṇā, dhyāna and samādhi in silence. A moment later, a strong fire generated by his trance blazes forth out of his body and burns it to ashes. Then all the wives of the magician, distraught with lamentation, enter into that fire. Three or four days later, after the magician has returned to his own province, he sends a letter to the king. “O King, invisibly taking all your sons, grandsons and brothers who are in good health—along with all the jewels and other items given by you, I have come to my house in good health. Please, therefore, give me whatever you consider fitting remuneration for the wisdom of the magic that has been exhibited before you.” In this way, even by ordinary magic one can simulate death.
This example is explained in the verse. I alone have created this confusion of quarrel and fighting with weapons arising from the sages’ curse, and following that, I have entered into that scene and played with mortals for a moment by taking up the reeds. Then I withdrew from that show by my own powers and now remain separate.”

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