Follow by Email

Friday, January 17, 2014

siddha praṇālī in śāstra




Often I am asked where siddha praṇālī, the revelation of the spiritual body of the disciple by the Guru, is mentioned in the śāstras, or at least in the Six Goswāmīs’ books. Many devotees know it is mentioned in the works of minor ācāryas like Gopālguru, Dhyānacandra and Bhaktivinode and it is also mentioned by Vṛndāvana Cakravartī, a disciple of Viśvanātha Cakravartī, in his commentary on Govinda Līlāmṛta (23.94 – manobhāvena yogya vapuṣā śrī gurvājñā tat sevā-yogya siddha vapuṣā), but, though it is not called siddha praṇālī literally by name, the principle of the Guru’s involvement with the disciple’s development of the spiritual body is also clearly mentioned in the Gosvāmīs’ books. For instance, in Śrī Jīva Goswāmī’s Bhakti Sandarbha (283):

divyaṁ jñānaṁ hy atra śrīmati mantre bhagavat-svarūpa-jñānaṁ tena bhagavata sambandha-viśeṣa-jñānaṁ ca

“This divine knowledge is in the beautiful mantra and is knowledge of the Lord’s real form. Through it one receives knowledge about one’s specific relationship with the Lord.”
And in paragraph 312 of Bhakti Sandarbha:

yathā caike tādṛśam upāsanaṁ sākṣād vraja-jana-viśeṣāyaiva mahyaṁ śrī-guru-caraṇair mad-abhīṣṭa-viśeṣa-siddhy-artham upadiṣṭaṁ bhāvayāmi

“In such a worship (with the 18-syllable Gopāl-mantra) I meditate to develop myself as a direct, specific person in Vraja as my Śrī Guru’s lotus-feet have instructed me in to attain the specific siddhi I covet.”

Śrīla Narottama Dās Ṭhākur sings in Prārthanā (30):

kanaka kaṭorā pūri, sugandhi candana būri,
doṅhākāra śrī-aṅge ḍhālibo
guru-rūpā-sakhī vāme, tribhaṅga bhaṅgima ṭhāme,
cāmarera bātāsa koribo

“With fragrant sandal paste filling a golden jug, I anoint their beautiful limbs. Standing on the left side of my guru-rūpā-sakhī (my Guru in his sakhī-form) before Kṛṣṇa with His three-fold bending form, I fan with a cāmara-whisk.”

One may argue here that this is written in a siddha-state, but the song in which this couplet appears is named svābhiṣṭa lālasā, ‘yearning for a desired condition’ - clearly it speaks about a sādhaka-condition.

Not only in the books of the Gosvāmīs, but also in the books about the Gosvāmīs the guru-given siddha deha is mentioned. At the end of the 6th chapter of Prema Vilāsa, Śrī Nityānanda Dās narrates the meeting of Śrīnivāsācārya and his Guru Gopāl Bhaṭṭa Goswāmī –

Pada-yuga dhori kore ātma samarpaṇa
Ātmasāt kori gosāi kohilo vacana
Dui hasta dhauta puna koro āro bāra
Joḍa haste koro dhyāna vrajendrakumāra
Tāra vāme śrī rādhikā ati manohara
Lalitā manjarī ādi śobhita sundara
Pūjā korāilo sab pṛthak koriyā
Tulasī manjarī mālya candanādi diyā
Yūthe milāilo sab haste haste kori
Śrīnivāsa korāilo sobāra anucarī

“Holding the feet of Gosvāmī, Śrīnivāsa surrendered himself to the feet of his guru. Gopālbhaṭṭa Gosvāmī then ordered him, "Wash your hands again and start the meditation of Śrī Vrajendra-kumāra with folded hands. Think of the extremely attractive Śrī Rādhikā on His left side, surrounded by Lalitā, the Mañjarīs and others." He helped Srinivasa to do the pūjā of all of them individually with Tulsī mañjarīs, garlands, sandal paste and other ingredients. Thus he made Śrīnivāsa the maidservant of them all.”

Śrī rādhā-ramaṇa pūjā koro punarbāra
Sab manoratha siddhi caraṇe yāhāra
Sugandhi candana dilo hṛdaya upora
Tulasī manjarī caraṇe dilo bahutara
Dakṣiṇa hasta mastake dhori kohe harināma
Tabe rādhā-kṛṣṇa panca nāmera vidhāna
Rādhā-kṛṣṇa mantra kohe kare-yuge dhori
Kāma bīja śunāilo anguli anusāri
Ei sab mantra tumi koribe smaraṇa
Yei kāle tad āśraye koribe manana
Guṇa manjarikāśraye maṇi manjarikā tumi
Tomāra yūthera vivaraṇa kohi sab āmi

rūpa guṇa rati rasa manjulāmanjula
Ei sab sange sangī ei anukūla

He ordered Śrīnivāsa, "Worship Śrī Rādhā Ramaṇa again – at His lotus-feet lies the fulfillment of all your desires." Śrīnivāsa applied fragrant sandal paste on Rādhā-ramaṇa’s chest and many Tulsī-mañjarīs on His lotus feet. Placing his right hand on his head, he chanted Harināma, after which he got the five names of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. He spoke the mantra with Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa-nāma while holding Śrīnivāsa’s hands. Śrīla Gopāl Bhaṭṭa Gosvāmī then told him the Kāma-bīja and how to count it on the fingers. He said: "Remember all these mantras whenever you surrender to Them by meditating on Them. You are Maṇi Mañjarī in the group of mañjarīs under Śrī Guṇa mañjarī (Gopāl Bhaṭṭa Goswāmī himself). I will tell you everything about her party. It is favorable to accompany Rūpa-, Guṇa-, Rati- and Mañjulāli Mañjarī."

It is however nowhere mentioned that this is a compulsory item of dīkṣā and must be given at once to anyone or everyone who gets harināma for instance. The Guru should judge who is qualified to receive it at all, and if so, when.

2 comments:

  1. Awesome blog, you are a very good writer, please keep writing more blog posts, I am reading them all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for sharing this!!

    ReplyDelete