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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī upgrade, One soul per body and Samādhi Mandir

My friend Partha Dutta Bhowmick was so kind last month to send me Śrī Kandarpa Gopāl Goswāmī’s publication of the lectures on Vilāpa Kusumāñjali by his Grandfather (and Sādhu Bābā’s father) Śrī Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī. I did not know this publication existed before Tapan Dā told me so. This booklet also includes a biography of Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī and a Sūcak kīrtan, a lengthy Bengali poem to glorify a saint. This warranted an upgrade of the hagiography of Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī on, as through the booklet I learned more about Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī’s date and place of birth (not Navadwīp but Vṛndāvana), His puraścarana and other sādhanas, his charity and Nīlakānta Kuñja. 

Bhakta – Is it true that every cell of our body contains a separate soul?

Advaitadās – In his commentary on Bhagavad Gītā (13.34 or 33 according to edition) Śrīpāda Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa says there is 1 soul in each body [kṣetram], just as there is one sun that illuminates the cosmos - yathaiko ravir imaṁ kṛtsnaṁ lokaṁ prakāśayati prabhayā tathaikaḥ kṣetrī jīvaḥ kṛtsnam āpāda-mastakam idaṁ kṣetraṁ dehaṁ prakāśayati.

Bhakta: I have a question about the grantha-samādhi in the courtyard of Vṛndāvana’s Madana Mohan Temple. What kind of literature is there and why the Gosvāmīs put them there?

Advaitadas: “It is a mere monument. All Goswāmīs' books are known. It is a shrine in honor of the Goswāmīs' granthas; to my knowledge, there are no secret books there. All books of the Goswāmīs are listed in Caitanya Caritāmṛta and Bhakti Ratnākara. It is not that books are buried there because they would be too intimate for us to read. Nothing is more intimate than Stavāvalī, Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi etc. Anything more explicit than these books would be vulgar or offensive.”


  1. Sripad Satyanarayan says, "Souls are everywhere. They are not only inside a cell but also outside. In Gita (2.24) Krsna says that souls are sarva-gatah, they exist everywhere."

    As I understand Sripad Visvanath Cakravarti's statement in 13.33, *one* of these souls becomes the king of the body. Just as a city is full of many citizens, but one of them becomes the king and directs all the other citizens. Similary the universe is full of many many lights, but one of them (the Sun) is central and provides all the illumination, gravity, energy, etc. by which all the others carry out their functions.

    Thus although there are unlimited souls in every cell and more, still there is functionally one soul called Kshetra Jna who is the master of the entire field (kshetra) of other souls operating under his conscious and subconscious command.

  2. Sorry Vraja Kishor, I have both the Sanskrit and the English tika of Visvanatha to 13.33 but I cannot find that explanation you gave here. Instead I have this -

    "Using an example, the Lord shows how the Paramätmä, being the source of illumination, is not connected with the qualities of what He illuminates. Just as the sun, the illuminator, is not connected to the qualities of what He illuminates, the Paramätmä (ksetri) illumines everything and is not affected. The sruti says:

    süryo yathä sarva-lokasya caksur
    na lipyate cäksusair bähya-dosaih
    ekas tathä sarva-bhütäntarätmä
    na lipyate soka-duhkhena bähyah

    Just as the sun is the eye of all people but is not contaminated by the material faults of the eyes, so the Paramätmä within all beings is not contaminated by lamentation and suffering of the material world. Katha Upanisad 5.11

  3. Dear Advaitadasji,

    It would be a great service to all Vaisnavas if you would scan this edition of Vilapakusumanjali and make it available as a downloadable pdf file from your website. It is wonderful that Prabhupad Ananda Gopal Gosvami’s lectures on Vilapakusumanjali have been published by a member of his own family. Those of us who know Bengali and Sanskrit will benefit greatly from this book.

    Please consider this request

  4. Anonymous, I am considering posting the Bengali text.

  5. A grantha samadhi is a way to respectfully retire sacred manuscripts (punthi) when they are damaged to the point of being unusable. Printing presses with movable fonts in Devanagari and Bengali were introduced in India in the late 18th century, with wide spread usage developing in the 19th century. Before then, “hard copies” of sacred texts were rare and even considered sacred. Even now many temples will have a punthi among the Thakurs receiving worship. Punthis were loose leave manuscripts written on “country made” paper or palm leaves. Unfortunately, they were susceptible to damage from water, insect infestation, or misuse. I was told that the contents of the grantha Samadhi were damaged manuscripts. Another way of retiring damaged manuscripts is to place them in the Sri Yamuna. This is perhaps the more common way, since it does not involve the expense of construction.