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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dormant svarūpa and the Vedic Planetarium

DORMANT SVARŪPA

Tarun Govinda gave this nice tip in his blog recently, about the dormant svarūpa of the jīva –

"In Bhakti Rasāmṛta Sindhu, verse 1.3.54, we can read how aparādhas (offenses) can lead to the degradation of one´s own acquired bhāva. So, if aparādhas can effectively CHANGE an inner bhāva, it certainly proves that the bhāva is NOT eternally inherent in the jīva or lying there “dormant” waiting to be awakened.

bhāvo ’py abhāvam āyāti kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāparādhataḥ
ābhāsatāṁ ca śanakair nyūna-jātīyatām api ||54||

"By an offense against the dearest devotee of the Lord, even real bhāva will be destroyed, if the offense is grave. If the offense is medium, the bhāva will turn to bhāvābhāsa. If the offense is slight, the bhāva will become an inferior type.“

Jīva Gosvāmī’s Commentary –

abhāvaṁ dvividhasyaivāparādhasyādhikyena. evam ābhāsatāṁ madhyamatvena nyūna-jātīyatām alpatvena tatra nyūna-jātīyatvaṁ vakṣyamāṇānāṁ śānty-ādi-pañca-vidhānāṁ raty-ādy-aṣṭa-vidhānāṁ ca tāratamyena jñeyam.

„By two types of grave offenses—offense to the dearest devotee, or to Kṛṣṇa Himself —even real bhāva is destroyed. By medium offense, bhāva becomes bhāvābhāsa. By slight offense, the bhāva degrades in category. Becoming an inferior type means that there will be degradation in term of the five rasas and the eight stages from mahā-bhāva to rati. Thus, change in bhāva will take place according to the seriousness of the offense.“

Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s Commentary –

kṛṣṇasya preṣṭhaḥ atiśaya-priyas tasminn aparādhataḥ. yathā raghunāthasya pārṣado’pi dvivida-nāmā vānaras tasya lakṣmaṇa-sthāne’parādhasyādhikyena bhāvo’bhāvaṁ prāptaḥ. aparādhasya madhyamatvenābhāsatvam. alpatve nyūna-jātīyatvam. tac cojjvala-ratimān dāsyaṁ, dāsyavān śānty-ādikaṁ prāpnoti.

Bhāva will be destroyed by aparādha to the dearest devotees of Kṛṣṇa. An example is Dvivida the monkey, a follower of Rāma. By aparādha to Lakṣmaṇa, his bhāva disappeared. By medium aparādha, bhāva becomes bhāvābhāsa. If the aparādha is slight, the bhāva changes type. Madhura-rati becomes dāsya-rati. Dāsya-rati becomes śānta-rati.

THE TEMPLE OF THE VEDIC PLANETARIUM

Is ISKCON’s ongoing project of the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium in Mayapura going to benefit anyone else but a few Bengali building contracters? Bengal is one of the poorest states in India – do the local Muslims in Mayapur really care what the Vedic universe looks like? Do the local Hindus not already know this for thousands of years? ISKCON is preaching that the material world is a hell that we should get out of as soon as possible, yet they squander millions of dollars on displaying that same hellish material world through this planetarium, a posh palace in one of the poorest areas in the world. Kapila-deva says –

viṣayān abhisandhāya yaśa aiśvaryam eva vā
arcādāv arcayed yo māṁ pṛthag-bhāvaḥ sa rājasaḥ

„Seeking sense objects, fame and fortune, the rājasik devotee worships Me with a separate agenda through arcā (deity worship, or posh temples) and other means.“ (Śrīmad Bhāgavata 3.29.9)

The cosmos consists of a bunch of rocks floating in outer space and is duḥkhālayam aśaśvatam, the Bhagavad Gītā teaches us, a temporary and miserable place full of janma mṛtyu jarā vyādhi – birth, death, old age and disease. If you get released from prison would you like to carry a photo with you of the cell you spent the last ten years in? Why not spend just a few lakhs on a nice temple in Mayapur with a display of Kṛṣṇa’s and/or Gaur-Nitāi’s pastimes and spend the balance of millions of Dollars on helping poor Vaiṣṇava-widows, sādhus or cows instead? Next to our ashram in Navadvīpa is the Bhajanashram, where poor widows do kirtan all day for a few paisa and a cup of daal. Whenever anyone wanted to give Sādhu Bābā a big donation he asked them ‚have they taken care of the poor women next door yet?‘ All this money could be spent on other important devotional services too like cleaning the Yamunā and saving the holy Vraja-dhāma from further destruction by greedy property developers by buying up land in Vraja for making gardens instead of skyscrapers with luxury apartments. Electricity could be provided to the whole of Vraja 24/7 for all this money. None of this is mundane piety – it is all Vaiṣṇava sevā.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Women sannyāsa, Baladeva on bhoga and sakhīs‘ viśrambha

WOMEN SANNYĀSA -

Bhakta – „What does your lineage think of women-sannyāsa?“


Advaitadās – Though he did not give or take sannyāsa, Sādhu Bābā did encourage not only his male but also his female followers to be single. With husband and children a woman has no chance to do any sādhana for many years. The prostitute who was converted by Haridās Thākur was the first female Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava sannyāsīnī, shaving her head and wearing a single white garment.“


Bhakta – „They say that brahmacāriṇī is not in śāstra.“


Advaitadās – That is not so. Please see Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Goswāmī’s ‚Muktā Carita‘, verses 429 and 467. 



As for sannyāsa in general, in our family we have only 2 āśrams – brahmacārī and gṛhastha. A brahmacārī has all the benefits of the sannyāsa āśrama – freedom to move and keeping all time and funds for oneself, and even if there is an accident there will be no completely destructive infamy that the sannyāsī suffers if he falls down. There are no privileges or superior prestige offered to brahmacārīs, so there is no risk of taking sannyāsa for all the wrong reasons either.


BALADEVA ON BHOGA -


In reference to my blog of May 4, 2010, Selfless bhakti, which rejects the idea of some fanatics that devotees (should) not enjoy anything, Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa comments on Vedānta Sūtra 4.4.14 –



bhāve vigraha-sattve jāgradvad bhogaḥ. pūrva-pakṣas tu bhoktavyasya rasāder bhagavat-prasādatvena spṛhaṇīyatvād eva na yuktaḥ. tṛptasyāpi harer bhaktecchayā bhogecchādayaḥ. muktasya tu tat-prasāde bhogye bhaktyaiva spṛhādaya iti bodhyam


“The word "bhāve" here means, "When there is a body". When there is a body the pleasure is like that in the waking state. Our opponent claims that the liberated soul does not desire to enjoy the delicious tastes and other pleasures mercifully offered to him by the Supreme Lord. Though the Lord is self-satisfied, he desires to enjoy by the desire of the devotee. The liberated soul, desiring to render devotional service, certainly does desire to enjoy the pleasures that the Lord in His kindness offers. He does this out of love for the Lord. In this way it should be understood.”

This explains the verse in Śrīmad Bhāgavata (3.15.17) describing the residents of Vaikuṇṭha flying in their airplanes with their lovely wives –



vaimānikāḥ sa-lalanāś caritāni śaśvad
gāyanti yatra śamala-kṣapaṇāni bhartuḥ
antar-jale’nuvikasan-madhu-mādhavīnāṁ
gandhena khaṇḍita-dhiyo’py anilaṁ kṣipantaḥ


"Flying their planes with their spouses and entering the water, the devotees constantly sing the glories of the lord which are devoid of all faults, while criticizing the wind, since it distracts their minds with its perfume of Mādhavī-blossoms filled with honey."

Part of the Commentary by Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda -



vaimānikā svara-viśeṣodbhāvanārthaṁ vimānād avatīrya sarovarasyāntarjale kaṇṭha-magna-jale ity arthaḥ. yad vā, taṭa-vartinīnām eva jala-saṁlagna-vṛkṣa-śākhām āruhya tāḥ sva-patrādibhir ācchādayantīnām antar-jala eva vikasantīnāṁ madhu-yukta-mādhavīnāṁ gandhena khaṇḍitāḥ bhagavac-caritāsvādanaikatānatve savighnīkṛtā dhīr yeṣāṁ tathā-bhūtā api gāyanty eva, na tu gānād viramantīty arthaḥ - 

"These devotees descend from their airplanes in order to produce special notes in their singing.  They sing while immersed in the lakes up to their throats.  Or, placing their consorts on the trees on the bank of the water, they cover them with leaves, and then have them enter the water. Their attention fixed only on the describing the Lord they may be disturbed by the fragrance of the blossoming Mādhavī-flowers filled with honey, but they continue to sing.  They do not give up singing."  



VIŚRAMBHA – THE TRUE NATURE OF SAKHĪ-BHĀVA



The relationship between Rādhā and her suhṛd / aṣṭasakhīs is one of viśrambha, total trust. There is no jealousy or rivalry at all. Like the Pāṇḍavas - they were not jealous of each other at all, though they shared one wife among the five of them. An example of Rādhā’s affection for a friend is given in Ujjvala-Nīlamaṇi (13.104):


sakhyāṁ sva-sneho, yathā—
śaila-mūrdhni hariṇā viharantī roma-kuḍmala-karmabita-mūrtiḥ
rādhikā salalitaṁ lalitāyāḥ paśya mārṣṭi lulitālakam āsyam


„One day on mount Govardhana, Śrī Rūpa Manjarī observed Śrī Rādhikā displaying extreme affection to Lalitā during the course of her dalliances with Kṛṣṇa. She said to one of Lalitā’s friends in praise of her great fortune: “O friend, just see how Rādhikā is cleaning the perspiration and rearranging the hair from Lalitā’s face even though she is simultaneously sporting with Kṛṣṇa.”