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Friday, January 16, 2015

As many Kṛṣṇas as there are devotees, and tattoo-tattva.

As a reaction to my last blog one revered Vaiṣṇava asked me the following questions –

“This is a most intriguing point, where you said there is one paravyoma for every liberated soul. Could you please answer these questions to give more insight to this wonderful totally personalized view of spiritual reality? Could you provide several śāstra-references substantiating this point?”

Advaitadās – 
a. Please see Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta 2.5.52 -

yathā hi bhagavān ekaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇo bahu-mūrtibhiḥ
bahu-sthāneṣu varteta tathā tat-sevakā vayam

yathā—as; hi—certainly; bhagavān—the Supreme Lord; ekaḥ —one; śrī-kṛṣṇaḥ—Śrī Kṛṣṇa; bahu—with many; mūrtibhiḥ— forms; bahu—in many; sthāneṣu—places; varteta—can be present; tathā—so; tat-sevakāḥ—His servants; vayam—we.

“Just as the one Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa exists in many forms and many places, so also do we, His servants.”

b. Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmi often says in his commentaries to Vilāpa Kusumānjali that there are no sakhīs around while the manjarīs render their services. Tulsī Manjarī does all services alone, though they are sometimes ascribed to sakhīs in other granthas like Govinda Līlāmṛta and Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā.
c. Kṛṣṇa is called  ananta-rūpa in Brahma Samhitā 5.35 – He has innumerable forms, not just one.
d. yukti, common sense, also dictates that it is not possible for innumerable liberated souls to serve just one Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.

Vaiṣṇava - If both Guru and disciple get liberated does this mean they will be in two different spiritual realms, alone with Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa and the sakhīs and mañjarīs?

Advaitadās – “No. Vilāpa Kusumānjali 55 and 72 show Rūpa Manjarī and Tulasī Manjarī serving together. Whenever required, devotees will gather for service, and wherever required they'll serve alone.”

Vaiṣṇava - You once said something like each Guru, and his predecessor gurus/manjarīs, and his disciples are all members of one group serving Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa together in their own kunja with their yūtheśvarī (gopī-group leader) in their own spiritual realm. Is this correct? Where is this told? Please offer us any knowledge and śāstras you can to help us understand this amazing revelation about the spiritual reality. 

Advaitadās – Please see Dhyānacandra's Paddhati, text 87 -

sarva-laksana-sampanna bhāva-hāvādi-bhūṣitā
guru-prasāda-jananī guru-rūpā-priyānugā
gāndharvikā-sva-yūtha-sthā lalitādi-gaṇānvitā

“She has all pleasant characteristics and is adorned with feminine gestures that excite feelings of love. She is born from the mercy of her Guru, and she always follows her guru-rūpā-sakhī. She remains in Śrī Rādhā’s own party (yūtha) in the company of Lalitā’s group (gaṇa).

Another Bhakta – „Is it not offensive to have tattoos of the Lord or His emblems? After all we pass stool with these images on our bodies.“

Advaita Das – „We pass stool with our Tulsi-neckbeads and tilak on too.“

Bhakta – „Yes, I know, but tattoos can be avoided.“

Advaita Das – „Yes I agree. I think tattoos are really low class, especially for women. It is not a Vaiṣṇava habit. We have brand-marks of śankha and cakra only. We are not sailors.“


  1. Is tapta mudra dharana (branding with shankaha chakra)still followed in gaudiya sampraday along with other pancha samskaras?

  2. Munshi Padma - no this is not really practised in Gaudiya Sampradaya as it is considered an anga of vaidhi bhakti, while Gaudiya Sampradaya generally practises raganuga bhakti.

  3. But it is seen that the hari bhakti vilasa recommends it and says that if its not done some faults arise in the worshipper...even baladeva vidyabhushana recommends it as a part of pancha samskara in prameya ratnavali..arent some angas of vaidhi bhakti important in sadhana. Why did u say in ur article that "we have brandings of sankka cakra only"?

  4. Munshi Padma Ji, surely you are right about this, but practically it is not done. The reason may be because the emblems of four armed Narayan are not conducive to the desired feeling of a raganuga Vaishnava who worships only the two armed Lord Krishna. I do remember my Kaka Guru making the marks of Shankha and Chakra on his shoulders or chest with Tilak sometimes.

  5. Ok thank you for your answer... I was wondering if some books based on philosophy and Vedanta of the Goswamins and Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushana free from iskcon influence were present on the net. Would love to read the actual teachings of our sampraday. Also I read in one of your article that Advaita Acharya is a Manjari. But I thought that he was an avatar of Mahavisnu and Sadasiva. Also how true is that his followers don't attain Manjari bhava?

  6. Munshi Padma Ji,
    1. There are myriads of books online and offline that are free of ISKCON influence.
    2. Advaita Prabhu being Sadashiva and Mahavishnu does not exclude Him being other personalities as well. Most associates of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu have multiple personalities in Krishna Lila.
    3. Manjari Bhava has been coming from Advaita Prabhu, who is Rati Manjari in Krishna Lila, all the way down to the present day in unbroken manjari parampara. Advaita Vamsa Goswami Ananda Gopal Goswami's commentaries on Vilapa Kusumanjali have become world famous by being quoted by several world preachers.

  7. Thank you advaitaji... Can you provide me a web address where I can find books like Satsandarbha and Govindabhashya and Laghu/brihadbhagavatamrita and download them with English translations for free?

  8. I can send you some of these items if you give me your Skype-address.

  9. I have always had a question... Are Nitya parshadas manifestation of chit shakti or tatastha shakti?

  10. They are called svarupa śakti, the internal potency, which you could also call chit śakti. Tatastha śakti is the jīva tattva, which can reach up to sādhana siddha, but not nitya parshadas.

  11. Is there any difference between Nitya siddha jivas and Nitya parshadas? Like are Garuda and srimati Lalita are both swarupa shakti?

  12. Also can you throw some light on the issue of srimad bhagavatam and not Devi bhagata is the bhagavat mahapurana based on baladeva's siddhanta darpana? I have read the arguments of Sri Jiva but I have heard that Sri baladeva has added some more points...

  13. Nitya parshads is a term particularly used to indicate the close associates of the Lord. Yes, Garuda and Lalita are both swarup shakti. Your question on Devi Bhagawat I do not grasp. The Bhagavat is much older than Siddhanta darpan. Baladeva added to Jiva's points, yes.

    1. Also what is the exact difference if there is any ,between Nitya siddhas ( who I presume are jivas liberated from beginningless times and belonging to tatastha sakti category) and Nitya parshadas(who are swarupa sakti category)

    2. The only difference is their onthological status as either swarūp or tatastha. They do not carry badges to distinguish themselves though. It is a purely theological and onthological difference.

    3. Thank you advaitadasji... I have one more question... Wouldn't it be unfair that some tatastha Sakti jivas (nitya siddhas) never had to face the wrath of Maya while some others like us have to... Also when everything in Vaikuntha is a manifestation of parashakti(or swarupa shakti), how can a subordinate entity ( i.e. tatastha Sakti jivas) live there from anaadi kala(or beginningless time) without undergoing sadhana. U was of the opinion that all Nitya siddhas were also manifestation of parashakti of Sri Hari and anadi baddha jivas were kshetrajna shakti (or tatastha shakti).

    4. 1. There is no beginning to our conditioning and so there is no reason for it either - anadyavidya. See Viśvanāth Cakravarti ṭīkā of S.Bhagavata 3.7.10. Since there is no cause there is no injustice.
      2. The mukta jiva's liberation is also beginningless and thus causeless.

  14. I meant that baladeva in his siddhanta Darpan has proved that the vaishnava Srimad bhagavatam is the real bhagavatam and not Devi bhagavatam...which is an old controversy. I wanted to know how Sri baladeva has proved this fact in his siddhanta Darpana... Can you explain the points that he addressed there?