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Sunday, January 27, 2013

More on bhūṣaṇa āyudha nityatā

In addition to two blogs I made earlier on the eternality of the Lord’s ornaments and weapons, on December 12, 2012 and July 24, 2010, here is a summary of other comments made on the issue earlier, plus added comments by the ācāryas.

Satya Nārāyan Panditjī said in the blog of 24/7/10 “Śrīmad Bhāgavat 10.3.9 says that Kṛṣṇa was born with them (His ornaments), and then they became unmanifest.” The proof of that is in Śrīmad Bhāgavat  10.3.46, vabhūva prākṛta śiśuḥ – After Vasudeva and Devakī offered their prayers to the Lord, His ornaments vanished again. In other words, Kṛṣṇa may appear without Kaustubha gem before Kāliya and then get it back, or without Lakṣmī devī before the milk ocean and then ‘get her’. Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda explains in his commentary to 10.3.46 that Kṛṣṇa’s body may be called prākṛta here, but it is always transcendental, quoting S.B. 10.9.13-14 –

na cāntar na bahir yasya na pūrvaṁ nāpi cāparaṁ
pūrvāparaṁ bahiś cāntar jagato yo jagac ca yaḥ
taṁ matvātmajam avyaktaṁ martya-liṅgam adhokṣajam
gopīkolukhale dāmnā babandha prākṛtaṁ yathā

"The Lord, who is called Adhokṣaja, He Who is not perceivable through the material senses, has no inside, no outside, no before and no after. He is pervading the world from west to east, inside and outside, and His form is the world itself, but now He allowed Himself to be bound to a grinding-mortar by His gopī-mother, just like an ordinary mortal human child."

There are many instances in the śāstra where Lord Hari receives as if for the first time his personal effects. In Viśvanātha Cakravartī's commentary on Bhāgavat 10.16.65-67, the Kaustubha is presented to Kṛṣṇa by Kāliya and his wives as part of their worship of him. Then there is the pastime of the Lord getting the conch from the sea, and many other similar episodes. The case could be the same in the churning of the milk ocean. Viśvanātha writes: 

"The Kaustubha gem which adorned Kṛṣṇa's neck from His birth was lost in the coils of Kāliya in order to create excitement in His human pastimes of fighting and struggling with Kāliya. Without anyone's notice, Kṛṣṇa made His Kaustubha gem enter Kāliya's treasury. Then, at the time of worshiping Kṛṣṇa with different jewels and ornaments, the Nāga-patnīs, unaware of Kṛṣṇa's magical trick, offered the Kaustubha gem to Him, thinking it was just one of their own jewels (maṇibhiḥ)."

He quotes Rūpa Gosvāmī's 'Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā (131):

kaustubhākhya maṇir yena
praviśya hradam auragam 
kāliya preyasī-vṛnda
 hastair ātmopahārita  

“The Lord had made His Kaustubha gem enter the serpent's lake, and then He arranged for it to be presented to Himself by the hands of Kāliya's wives." 

In that episode Lakṣmī is consecrated with a ceremonial bathing, which is re-enacted to a degree in the Vraja līlā as depicted in Mādhava Mahotsava, where Śrī Rādhikā is showered queen of Vraja. The emergence of Śrī-devī and her espousal with the Lotus-eyed Lord restored the prosperity of the three worlds to the gods, who had lost the same through Durvāsā's curse. In Rāma līlā also the lord acquires, as if newly, his eternal weapons.

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments on the Samudra Manthan story (churning of the Milk Ocean in the 8th Canto of the Bhāgavata) that Lakṣmī has two rūpas: sampad-rūpa, a personification of enjoyment and luxury (bhogaiśvarya), and hari-preyasī-rūpa, which means that she is sati (chaste) or pativrata (dedicated to the husband). These two forms become one as she chooses Nārāyaṇa, her eternal husband, for her husband, her shelter. The ultimate abode of both Lakṣmīs is Nārāyaṇa's chest. As far as her origin, Viśvanātha only says that she made Samudra, the ocean, her father. 

Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta 2.4.171, commentary: According to the Purāṇas and other scriptures, even neophytes, what to speak of mature, experienced devotees, are more favored by the Lord than is the material expansion of Lakṣmī. Why? Because Durvāsā cursed her, or on some other pretext Lakṣmī is always disappearing from one place and appearing in another. Thus at any moment she can abandon persons who have taken shelter of her. Nonetheless, because she is an incarnation of Mahā-lakṣmī, she has many of the exalted qualities of the original goddess of fortune. Thus we hear that during the churning of the Milk Ocean, when the material Lakṣmī appeared from it, Lord Viṣṇu accepted her as His wife and she took up residence on His chest. In contrast with this Lakṣmī, the original Mahā-Lakṣmī is Lord Nārāyaṇa’s dearmost servant. Always fully dedicated to His service, she remains on His chest eternally and is never fickle. The Lord’s devotees always worship her with the greatest reverence; they never neglect her as they do her material expansion."


  1. Good Day, Dear Advaita Das!

    I am not quite sure, that the very last line should be translated as "they never neglect her as they do her material expansion".

    The expression "material Lakṣmī" is not right.

    It sounds like "but Prakata-Krishna is totally different from Aprakata-Krishna, so we ignore Him". Quirky, is not it?

    Actually, the distinction between "material" and "spiritual" Shreemati Lakshmi-Devi seems to be quite out of place and bizzare.

    Shree Shreemad Sanatana Goswami uses word "Adhishvari" in the verse 2.4.170 -

    "Shree Brihad-Bhagavatamrita", 2.4.170: "Among all those Lakshmis, there is one who is the controlling Deity of
    all types of wealth and opulence. She possesses anima the other mystic perfections, and She can grant all prosperity. This particular Goddess is shunned by the seekers of liberation, those who have achieved liberation, and the devotees".

    And the dictionary says: अधीश्वर adhIzvara - a Supreme Lord or king , an emperor

    In any case, "material" expansion of Shreemati Lakshmi Devi is totally non-different from the Original Maha-Lakshmi-Devi, so there is no place for distinction at all.

    "Shree Brihad-Bhagavatamrita", 2.4.169: "Shreemati Lakshmi Devi always resides on Bhagavan’s chest, ever intent on rendering service to Him. Just as Shree Krishna and all His incarnations are nondifferent, Shreemati Maha Lakshmi Devi and all her incarnations are also nondifferent".

    As for Kaustubha Gem, it's just one of the numerous bhushanas of Shree Krishna. Why there should not be many of them?

    I agree that Shree Krishna in Converse sneakers is not a good idea, but the idea of non-ever-changing garment of Shree Krishna is not good too.

    The minds of fallen Kali-Yuga people are too narrow, that's why we have rather simplified knowledge about Krishna (especially, providing the fact that according to Mahabharata Shreemad Bhagavatam is much, much bigger in higher planets).

    In reality, Shree Krishna is like Vaidurya stone. Our world is vichitra (variegated) and Shree Krishna is variegated in uppermost degree (Vedanta-Sutra, 2.1.28).

    Shree Shreemad Baladeva Vidyabhushana says in commentary to Vedanta, 2.3.45: "Lord Kṛṣṇa is like a vaidūrya stone, which manifests different colors from moment to moment."

    So the idea of non-ever-changing Krishna with Kaustubha gem is narrow too and it is against Vedanta. Actually, such idea exist only for fallen and narrow-minded Kali-Yuga people.

    The idea of Vaidurya Stone and idea of innumerable, always different and infinite number of Shree Krishnas is the most genuine one. Of course, Original Krishna exists too, but He is Acintya-Tattva and can't be grasped by mere material mind.

  2. Anon, both in BB 2.4.170 text plus commentary, Sanatan Goswami does write of a material expansion of Lakṣmī. Adhīśvarī is also preceded by the adjective 'sampad' or wealth. Sanātan Goswāmī writes:

    Among those expansions of Lakṣmī is the controlling deity of all material
    opulence, who has great perfections at her command. But that bestower of
    prosperity is utterly neglected by liberated souls, by candidates for liberation, and by devotees of the Lord.

  3. As for your quote of VS 2.3.45, Baladeva comments:
    "Lord Kṛṣṇa is like a vaidūrya stone, which manifests different colors from moment to moment. In this way Lord Kṛṣṇa appears in different forms. In His various incarnations Lord Kṛṣṇa may display all or only some of His powers. That is the description of the scriptures. Lord Kṛṣṇa, the source of all incarnations, displays all of His six transcendental opulences in full."

    So the variegatedness refers to Kṛṣṇa vis a vis His avatāras, not within Kṛṣṇa's own form.