Follow by Email

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The tatastha-‘region’

Dāmodar Das
The conception that the jīvas are from a taṭastha-region and choose between the spiritual and material world is false?”

“This is nowhere in śāstra and makes no sense.”

Dāmodar Das
“They quote

jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇera nitya dāsa;
kṛṣṇera taṭastha śakti bhedābheda prakāśa.”

“Where is a taṭastha REGION? South of Vladivostok? It says taṭastha ŚAKTI, not REGION. śakti means an ontological value,  not a location, like east of Amsterdam. What does the verse say?

jīvera svarūpa hoy kṛṣṇera nitya dāsa;
kṛṣṇera taṭastha śakti bhedābheda prakāśa

“The true form of the spirit soul is being an eternal servant of Kṛṣṇa. He is Kṛṣṇa’s marginal energy, being both different and non-different from Him.”

Where is it mentioned it is a region or he made a choice?  Where is this mentioned anywhere else? In the six Sandarbhas? Śrīmad Bhāgavata? Bhagavad Gītā? Caitanya Caritāmṛta? Caitanya Caritāmṛta also says the jīva is anādi bahirmukha, disinclined towards Kṛṣṇa from beginningless time. How they explain the word ‘anādi' in the very same book?”

Dāmodar Das
“Do you have Bṛhad Āranyaka Upaniṣad? They say that text 4.3.9 there proves their theory. They translate it as: "The jīva has 2 places: the material region and the cit-region. And there is another place, a border-region called tatastha, which forms the contact of the material and spiritual regions. Being in that region, the jīva sees these both places.”

That text is about consciousness, not about the jīva -

tasya vā etasya puruṣasya dve eva sthāne bhavataḥ: idaṁ ca para-loka-sthānaṁ ca; sandhyaṁ tṛtīyaṁ svapna-sthānam; tasmin sandhye sthāne tiṣṭhann, ubhe sthāne paśyati, idaṁ ca para-loka-sthānaṁ ca atha yathākramo’yaṁ para-lokasthāne bhavati, tam ākramam ākramya, ubhayān pāpmana ānandāṁś ca paśyati. sa yatra prasvapiti, asya lokasya sarvāvato mātrām apādāya, svayaṁ vihatya, svayaṁ nirmāya, svena bhāsā, svena jyotiṣā prasvapiti; atrāyam puruṣaḥ svayaṁ-jyotir bhavati.

“There are two states for that person, one here in this world, one in the other world, and a third in an intermediate state, the dream-place. When in that intermediate state, he sees both those states together, the one here in this world, and the other in the other world. Now whatever his admission to the other world may be, having gained that admission, he sees both the evils and the blessings. And wherever he dreams, then after having taken away with him the material from the whole world, destroying and building it up again, he dreams by his own light. In that state the person is self-illuminated.”

Otherwise the Upaniṣads would contradict Śruti and Vedānta, which unanimously say that ignorance and karma are beginningless.  These verses are speaking about the position of ātma in different states of existence i.e. waking, dream and birth and death. You can see this from the context. It is a dialogue between Janaka and Yajñavalkya. The king asks about ātma in 4.3.7. Yajñavalkya is explaining how ātma is different from all the modifications of the mind experienced in the waking and dream state: “He, remaining the same, wanders along the two worlds, as if thinking, as if moving. During sleep (in dream) he transcends this world and all the forms of death.” In 4.3.8 he explains about the transmigration of the ātma – “On being born that person, assuming his body, becomes united with all evils; when he departs and dies, he leaves all evils behind.” In 4.3.9 he combines what he said in 4.3.7 and 4.3.8. There is no talk of any spiritual world. Paraloka refers to next body or birth. In 4.3.18, another text they quote to prove the tatastha region-point, even the word svapna-sthāna, ‘dream-place’, is stated explicitly, “As a fish swims between two banks, the ātma experiences the waking and dream states.”

tad yathā mahā matsya ubhe kule' nusancārati pūrvaṁ ca paraṁ caivam
evāyam puruṣa etav ubhāv antav anusancārati svapnāntam ca buddhāntam ca

(Fall-vādī translation:) “Just as a large fish living in the river wanders from one bank to the other, so the jīva is of similar quality, and is equipped to wander in the Kāraṇa waters between the material and spiritual worlds (svapnānta and buddhānta).” Bṛhad-Āraṇyaka Upaniṣad

Here again are the words svapnāntam, dreaming state and buddhāntam, wakeful state of consciousness. Where is there any mentioning of the Kārana ocean? It does not fit in the context at all. That whole section of the Upaniṣad, texts 8-18, is all about consciousness.“

Monday, December 01, 2014


The bizarre idea that Mount Govardhan is female is based on the following assumptions -

"And those who go very deep will think that Giriraja Govardhana is like a sakhi of Śrīmati Radhika, having a female form in which to serve."
 "In the caves and kunjas of Govardhana, Giriraja is seeing all of the sweetest pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Who can see them? Can any male person be there and serve at that time? It is quite impossible."
 "So many secret and sweet pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and the gopas and gopis take place in the caves and groves of Giriraja Govardhana. It can be understood, therefore, that Govardhana is not male."

Advaitadas – The idea that Mount Govardhana is a sakhī of Rādhārāṇī based on the logic presented above is a pseudo-rasika consideration. If we apply this logic, that no male person can be present when the Divine Couple enjoy Their pastimes, then we are bound to conclude that all the trees, vines and birds present on the occasion must also be female only. This, of course, is an absurd proposal, because there are plenty of records of male animals being present in the nikuñja-līlā of Śrī Yugala Kiśora, perhaps the most famous examples being the two Śuka-parrots Dakṣa and Vicakṣaṇa, who participate in the concert of waking up the lovers in their pleasure grove during niśānta-līlā (Kṛṣṇa Bhāvanāmṛta, 1.28-32). And then there are the priya-narma sakhās, headed by Subala, who also have entrance into the nikuñja-līlā. Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī addressed a girlfriend who was very devoted to Subala (Ujjvala Nīlamani 2.14), saying:

 pratyāvartayati prasādya lalanāṁ krīḍā kali-prasthitāṁ
 śayyāṁ kuñja-gṛhe karotyaghabhidaḥ kandarpa-līlocitām
 svinnam vījayati priyā hṛdi parisrastāṅgam uccair amuṁ
 kva śrīmān adhikāritāṁ naḥ subalaḥ sevā vidhau vindati

 "Sakhi! When a quarrel arises between Śrī Kṛṣṇa and His beloveds in the course of their pastimes, Subala goes to Kṛṣṇa's sweethearts and pacifies them with different humble words, thus convincing them to return to Him. He makes a wonderful playbed fit for erotic pastimes for Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the kunja-cottages, and when Kṛṣṇa becomes tired of lovemaking and falls exhausted on His beloved's (Rādhā's) breasts, Subala picks up a fan and fans Them. For which services is Subala not eligible?"

Of course sometimes Śrīmati Rādhā, upon being plunged in the rapture of viraha-bhāva, may speak delirious talks, addressing any tree, creeper or animal as sakhī, but this can never be presented as a permanent ontological situation. Govardhana is Govardhana. When we see Govardhana in Vraja, we consider Govardhan to be the best of Hari's servants. When we worship the śilā of Govardhan, following in the footsteps of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Raghunātha Dās Goswāmī, we worship it as non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, along with a mālā of guñjā-berries as a sign of our allegiance to Rādhārāṇī.
  Girirāni proponent –

  pramada-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
    racayati nava-yunor dvandvam asminn amandam
    iti kila kalanartham lagnakas tad-dvayor me
    nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana! Tvam
    "O Govardhana! Please grant me a dwelling near your side so that I can  easily witness and serve the youthful lovers Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa as They perform newer and newer secret, amorous lilas within your many caves, and where They become completely maddened from drinking prema. You are present there, and you make everything possible." (Śrī Govardhana-Vasa-Prarthana-Dasakam, verse 2)

    So many secret and sweet pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and the gopas and gopis  take place in the caves and groves of Giriraja Govardhana. It can be understood,  therefore, that Govardhana is not male. Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa would not be able to play so many grove-lilas and kunja-lilas in front of a male. That would be absurd. Giriraja has actually come from the heart of Śrīmati Radhika. It is not that Kṛṣṇa became Giriraja Govardhana. Kṛṣṇa is the predominating Deity of Giriraja, but it has been written in the Tapani Upanisad and Bhavisya Purana that Giriraja Govardhana has manifested from the heart of Radhika.

Advaitadas – “I would like to see those verses. They must be heavily interpreted. Why should we concoct a novel method of worship, separate from the one very clearly instructed by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu to Raghunātha Dās Gosvāmī, our prayojana-ācārya? Is it so that the method of bhajan given to him is not high enough for us? Caitanya Caritamrita, Antya-lila, 6.295-298:

prabhu kahe, ei śilā kṛṣṇera vigraha
ihāra sevā koro tumi koriyā āgraha
ei śilāra koro tumi sāttvika pūjana
acirāt pābe tumi kṛṣṇa-prema-dhana
eka kujā jala āra tulasī-mañjarī
sāttvika-sevā ei śuddha-bhāve kori
dui-dike dui-patra madhye komala mañjarī
ei-mata aṣṭa-mañjarī dibe śraddhā kori

The Lord said: “This śilā is the vigraha (divine form) of Kṛṣṇa. Worship Him with great eagerness! Worship this śilā in a sāttvika way, and very soon you will attain the wealth of Kṛṣṇa-prema. Offer one jug of water and a tulasī-mañjarī. In this way, render sāttvika-sevā with a pure mood. With faith, you should offer eight tulasī-mañjarīs, each having two leaves and a tender bud in the middle.”

This leaves very little scope for speculation as to what was the concept of bhajan of Raghunātha Dās Goswāmī.

Girirāni proponent –
From the evidence of Śrī Caitanya Mahaprabhu, and from the evidence of Ragunatha dasa Gosvami's own writings, we see that there is some provision to worship Giriraja Govardhana as Kṛṣṇa Himself. There is no doubt about this. In Śrīmad Bhagavatam also, when all the Vrajavasis performed the annakuta mahotsava, Govardhana assumed a very large form, like Kṛṣṇa, and accepted everything as the Supreme Lord. This is very good, but we see many great Vaisnavas in our line worshiping Govardhana as Hari-dasa-varya, the servant of Hari, not as Hari Himself. There is also evidence for this. How can we reconcile these two approaches? It is very easy. Śrīla Gurudeva has given a simple example. We know Baladeva. Who is Baladeva? He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He is Visnu-tattva, the almighty Supreme Lord,  non-different from Kṛṣṇa. Yet, at the same time, Baladeva is dasa. He is  the servant of Kṛṣṇa. At the same time, all those who go very deeply will know that Baladeva has become Ananga Manjari in order to serve the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa in madhurya rasa. In the same way, anyone may see Giriraja Govardhana as the supreme Lord Hari Himself. Anyone who goes deeper may see him as Hari-dasa-varya, the best servant of Hari. And, those who go very deep will think that Giriraja Govardhana is like a sakhi of Śrīmati Radhika, having female form in which to serve.
Advaitadas – It is generally accepted that Baladeva is also Ananga Manjari because His consort Jahnavā has that identity, and śakti śaktimator abheda, there is no difference between the energy and energetic. But Govardhana is not said to have such a female counterpart anywhere, by any ācārya or śāstra. This is pure conjecture or kutarka, false logic.

     Girirāni proponent –

 pramoda-madana-lilah kandare kandare te
 racayati nava-yunor dvandvan asminn-amandam
"In the caves and kunjas of Govardhana, Giriraja is seeing all of the sweetest pastimes of Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. Who can see them? Can any male person be there and serve at that time? It is quite impossible. In our Guru-gayatri we see the word Kṛṣṇanandaya. Guru is giving pleasure to Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇā (Kṛṣṇa with a long 'a'), Śrīmati Rādhārani. Therefore, if  gurudeva is Kṛṣṇanandaya, giving pleasure to both Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa, how can he have a male form in that realm? Surely this mantra is for remembering and praying for the mercy of guru in his sakhi form, as a maidservant of Śrīmati Rādhārani. In the same way, the various conceptions of Giriraja Govardhana can be reconciled.
Advaitadas – Same thing here. Śrī Gurudeva is confirmed by śāstra to have a male sādhaka and female siddha-form, but not Govardhana.

     Girirāni proponent –

rasa-nidhi-nava-yunoh saksinim dana-keler
dyuti-parimala-viddham syama-vedim prakasya
rasika-vara-kulanam modam asphalayan me
nija-nikata-nivasam dehi govardhana tvam

O Govardhana, O hill that provides the dark courtyard that witnesses the dana-keli pastime of the nectar-treasure youthful divine couple, O hill that brings great bliss to the best of they who relish transcendental nectar, please grant to me residence near you.

In this sloka it is seen that Girraja becomes Girirani as no males can witness the nikunja lilas, so this saksinim is female ,not saksi.

Advaita Das - No ācārya, past or present, ever claimed Govardhan is female, not even Gauḍīya Maṭh-ācāryas. The word sākṣiṇī applies to the place called Śyāma vedī (which is fem. gender), not to Govardhan (which is male gender). Rasa nidhi nava yūnoḥ = of the youthful couple, who are an ocean of rasa. Sākṣiṇīṁ = she is the witness, dāna keleḥ = of the dāna-pastime, dyuti parimala viddhāṁ = filled (female gender) with splendor and fragrance, śyāma vediṁ = blue pavillion (female gender), prakāśya = manifest (by Govardhana). Their own translation says: “O Govardhana, O hill that provides the dark courtyard that witnesses the Dāna-keli pastime of the nectar-treasure youthful divine couple.." That witnessing, sākṣiṇī, dark courtyard is the female Śyāma vedi. No one says Girirāṇī, but Girirāj, and Śrīmad Bhāgavata says haridāsa varya, not haridāsī varya. Kṛṣṇa Himself proclaimed ‘ śailo’smi’ – “I am the mountain!” as He lifted Mount Govardhana in Śrīmad Bhāgavata 10.24.35.