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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gaura Nārāyaṇa and dharma vs bhakti

Bhakta -
“What about Gaura Nārāyaṇa, a form of Mahāprabhu which appeared in a previous Kali yuga but in which he had Nārāyan-features instead of Kṛṣṇa-features?”

Advaitadās -
“Of this I have found no evidence in śāstra at all.”

Bhakta – “It is said to be in Locandās Ṭhākur's Caitanya Maṅgala.”
Advaitadas – “The only thing I saw there is that Nārāyaṇa appears in different forms in previous yugas. That refers to Vāmana, Nrsimha and others. There is no mentioning there of a Mahāprabhu with Nārāyaṇa-features. These features exist within Mahāprabhu anyway - they were clearly perceived and described by Vrindāvan Dās in Caitanya Bhāgavata.”

Bhakta – “What is the relation between bhakti and dharma?”
Advaitadas – “They have common decency in common. You cannot separate bhakti, including rāga bhakti, from dharma. Dharma is like the water and bhakti like the lotus that grows from it. The lotus is aloof from the water but is still rooted in it. Dharma and bhakti are linked via the offense ‘to commit sin on strength of chanting the holy name’. In other words, some unscrupulous so-called rāga devotees say that as rāgānugā bhakti is beyond dharma, they can sin freely and their ‘rāga bhajan’ will absolve it. This is an offence to the holy name.“

Bhakta – “What is the relationship between Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava religion and the other religions?”
Advaitadas – “Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda, in his commentary on the Bhāgavata, explains that the paths of karma, jñāna and yoga get due attention in the Bhāgavata only to create a contrast. The light of bhakti shines more brightly in the darkness of the other paths. So it is also with Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavism vis-à-vis other religions and it is shown in the words of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself at the end of Bhagavad Gītā (18.66) – sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja “Give up all religion and surrender to Me alone.” That ‘light of bhakti shining more brightly’ is especially so due to the all-attractiveness of Kṛṣṇa and the path of rāgānugā bhakti, most particularly the practice of manjarī bhāva.” Another reason why so many things are there in śāstra is that one cannot just establish authority with a one-liner. People all over the world adore scripture – it has to have some volume, otherwise people will not take it seriously. One cannot just reveal scripture with just one sentence, like “chant Hare Kṛṣṇa and be happy”. Look at Bhagavad Gītā – already in the first verse of chapter 3 Arjuna asked Kṛṣṇa to get to the point and yet Kṛṣṇa spoke on for another 16 chapters before finally saying sarva dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja “Give up all religion and surrender to Me alone.”


Thursday, February 06, 2014

Stavāvalī vol. 1 published

On the auspicious occasion of the appearance day of Śrī Advaita ācārya,

a new book with my translations was published -


Collected prayers of Śrīla Raghunātha dās Goswāmī


With commentaries by Rādhākund Mahānta Śrī Anantadas Bābājī

The first of four volumes of Stavāvalī.



Śrī Caitanyāṣṭakam       (Eight prayers to Lord Caitanya). 9 verses

Śrī Gaurāṅga Stava Kalpataru 

(A Desire-Tree of Praises of Śrī Gauräìga) 12 verses

Śrī Manaḥ Śikṣā (Teachings for the Mind)  12 verses

Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāminaḥ Prārthanā.        (Four Prayers)

Śrī Govardhanāśraya Daśakam (Ten prayers for Shelter at Govardhana Hill)

Śrī Govardhana Vāsa Prārthanā daśakam

(Ten Prayers for Residence near Govardhana Hill).

Śrī Rādhākuṇḍāṣṭakam (Eight Prayers to Śrī Rādhākuṇḍa). 9 verses


460 pages - available at:


As a result of this new release there is also a new edition of my book-catalog on my website:


Sunday, February 02, 2014

Jaṭās in the Bhāgavata and the absence of jugupsā rati

Bhakta - "Is it proper for a Vaiṣṇava to wear Jaṭās (dreadlocks)? I thought this was māyāvādī or Śivaite practice?"

Advaitadās – “Though Nārada is usually depicted with straight black hair, the Bhāgavata (10.70.32) says vibhrad piṅga-jaṭā-bhāram, he wears golden matted locks.

The four Kumāras were not shaved up either - SB 3.8.5 - svardhuny-udārdraiḥ sva-jaṭā-kalāpair - ‘Their matted locks were moistened by the water from the celestial Gangā’

Apart of course from Lord Śiva, the following great souls or avatāras were said to have had jaṭās, either full time or during times of tapasyā, according to Śrīmad Bhāgavata –

5.7.13 vāsasānusavanābhiṣekārdra-kapiśa-kuṭila-jaṭā-kalāpena ca  - Jada Bharat’s brown matted locks were wet.”

5.17.3 sabahu-mānam adyāpi jaṭājūṭair udvahanti - ‘To this day the seven rishis wear the Ganga water on their matted locks.”

7.12.4 jaṭā-daṇḍa-kamaṇḍalūn - Any brahmacārī in the Vedic system had matted locks.

9.4.46 jaṭāṁ roṣa pradīpita - Durvāsā Muni

9.10.49 jaṭā nirmucya vidhivatLord Rāma in exile [during tapasya]

9.15.29 yutaṁ jaṭābhir dadṛśe puriṁ viśan - Bhagavān Paraśurāma

10.70.32 vibhrad piṅga-jaṭā-bhāram - Nārada Muni

12.9.15 babhrāma vikṣipya jaṭā jaḍāndhavat - Mārkaṇḍeya Rishi

I have blogged on this issue earlier too.


In the discussion on Vilāpa Kusumānjali’s verse 18, in which Raghunātha dās Goswāmī prays that he/she can clean Rādhārāṇī’s toilet with her hair, and the Bhāgavata-verse (10.8.31) which describes Kṛṣṇa passing stool and urine (kurute mehanādīni vāstau) in His parents’ room of worship (deva-pūjārtham āmṛṣṭa lipta bhūmau) it must be remembered that there is no jugupsa rasa or vībhatsa rasa (the mellow of disgust) in relation to Kṛṣṇa. na tu kṛṣṇa-vibhāvatvam, tad-ayogyatvāt (Jīva Gosvāmī’s ṭīkā on BRS 2.5.41) In the story of Ṛṣabha-deva in Śrīmad Bhāgavata (5.5.33) is is said: tasya ha yaḥ purīṣa-surabhi-saugandhya-vāyus taṁ deśaṁ daśa-yojanaṁ samantāt surabhiṁ cakāra:  The wind, fragrant from the smell of his stool, made the place fragrant for ten yojanas around.”

Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments: tasya cinmaya-śarīrasyaitad-bībhatsitam ity āśaṅkyāha—tasyeti. purīṣasya surabhinā gandhena saugandhyaṁ yasya sa vāyuḥ - “One may think that this condition is disgusting for a spiritual body.  This verse explains. The air became fragrant with the smell of his stool.”

Added to my blog of october 24,2010