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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.

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