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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Akrūra yātrā and bhajanānandī vs goṣṭhyānandī


Bhakta: Some doubt the Bhāgavat because it says, in chapter 38 of the 10th canto, that Akrūra left Mathurā to pick up Kṛṣṇa from Gokula, uṣitvā (10.38.1), without even having broken Ekādaśī, viz. early in the morning,  and only arrived in Gokula at dusk. Gokula is very close to Mathurā – he should have reached it in half an hour only.”

Advaitadās – “These are persons with narrow, mundane intellect only. The land of Vraja contains all the brahmāṇḍas in a mere corner, the Goswāmīs say. Laws of time and space do not apply there. The opposite scenario is also depicted in Govinda Līlāmṛta (21.105) – 

nidhāya yantrārpita yāna sannibhe mano-jave hṛt kamala nināya 

 “The soil of Vraja held Kṛṣṇa on her lotus-like heart, so He went as swift as the mind.” 

Kṛṣṇa lives in Nandagrām and Rādhikā in Yāvat – 55 km from Vṛndāvana – even by running there it would take them the whole night – how can They reach it in a flash? mano-jave – by the speed of the mind. You are now in Vraja but you were born in, say, America. If you think of America in Vraja you are there instantly. And that is just travelling with the mundane mind, what to speak of with a spiritual body!


Is there really such a duality between bhajanānandī and goṣṭhyānandī? Apart from the fact that such terms do not appear in śāstra, the eternal associates of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and contemporary ācāryas following in their wake, spent their valuable time doing both. Look for instance at Śrī Haridās Ṭhākur. In Śāntipura Śrī Advaita Ācārya gave him a solitary cave for doing bhajan, but he also taught the devotional purports of Śrīmad Bhāgavata and Bhagavad Gītā –

gaṅgā-tīre gophā kori nirjane tare dilā
bhāgavata gītāra bhakti artha śunāilā

(Caitanya Caritāmṛta, Antya 3.216)

There is 24 hours in a day and it is neither necessary to sit down and do bhajan or run around preaching all these 24 hours. They can and should both be done.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rādhārāni (the word) not in śāstra

Recently I had this discussion on Facebook with Hari Pārṣada Dās:

Hari Pārṣada Dās:  
You wrongly spelled radharani in your last blog.

Advaita Dās:
“ṇ should be like that.”

Hari Pārṣada Dās
“No its not RĀṆĪ it should be RĀNĪ - राधारानी its not राधाराणी. I think the word may not be found in ancient Sanskrit dictionaries. It will be found in the Hindi dictionaries. The Sanskrit word is rājñī. I found it on It is rānī not rāṇī.”

Advaita Dās:
“It is not in Apte’s Sanskrit dictionary. Yes, I see it in spoken Strange. I thought the n was Hindi and the ṇ was Sanskrit.”

Hari Pārṣada Dās
“Well as I said Apte is a Sanskrit dictionary and rānī is a later prākṛta or śūrasenī word. Some Hindi words become mixed in Sanskrit. The Goswāmis never use rānī.”

Advaita Dās:
Very interesting. I never thought of that. It is rājñi in Vilāpa Kusumānjali (14): vṛndāraṇya rājñi

Hari Pārṣada Dās:
"Indeed. There are some words like these which confirm my suspicion that some languages have found some way in Sanskrit."

Advaita Dās:
"Yes I know. Most online Sanskrit dictionaries even include the suffix 'ji', which is Muslim."

Hari Pārṣada Dās:
"Yes. The word jī has come from jī huzoor. jī sāheb."

Advaita Dās:
"It is so deeply engrained in Indian usage that it even crept into the Sanskrit lexicon. How about pātarāni or patta-rāṇī? This is also Muslim?"

Hari Pārṣada Dās:
"Yes. Should we not be surprised if some Muslim styles of playing harmonium have crept in our kīrtanas? Paṭarānī is not in which means it’s not in Amarakosa or the old lexicons. rājñī is the standard word for ‘queen’. The Gosvāmīs’ inspiration for poetry have been Bilvamaṅgala Ṭhākura and Jayadeva Gosvāmī, so i doubt that they'll use those words. And Rūpa Gosvāmī is thoroughly trained in nāṭya śāstra, so he will stick to pure Sanskrit.

End note:

I went through all my e-files of śāstra with Word Search - the Bhāgavata and all the Gosvāmīs’ books, and the word rāṇī is indeed mentioned nowhere at all. Nice studies are the 108 names of Rādhā or Visākhānandada Stotram by Srīla Raghunātha Dās Goswāmī (Advaitadas.)