Vaiṣṇava nr.1 – Can you give a proper translation of this text from Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī’s Paramātma Sandarbha (47)? Some say it proves the fallen souls left Kṛṣṇa because they turned against him:
tad evam anantā eva jīvākhyās taṭasthāḥ śaktayaḥ. tatra tāsāṁ varga-dvayam. eko vargo’nādita eva bhagavad-unmukhaḥ, anyas tv anādita eva bhagavat-parāṅmukhaḥ, svabhāvatas tadīya-jñāna-bhāvāt, tadīya-jñānābhāvāc ca.
Advaitadās – The text means: "Thus the Lord's intermediary energies, who are called the individual spirit souls, are limitless in number. Still, they may be divided into two groups: 1. the souls who, from beginningless time, are favorable to the Supreme Lord, and 2. the souls who, from beginningless time, are disinclined towards the Supreme Lord. Naturally one group knows the Lord and the other does not."
That last sentence is important, inclination or disinclination is natural. Not that we became envious of Kṛṣṇa once. svabhāvataḥ, or ‘natural’ means there is no free will.
Vaiṣṇava nr.2 – Both initial bhakti (bhakti latā bīja) and bhāva bhakti come from outside the conditioned soul. Bhagavān or a bhakta gives the seed, and nitya siddha pariṣads or even Śrī Kṛṣṇa or Śrī Rādhārānī give śuddha bhakti or bhāva bhakti. Is this statement true or false?
Advaitadās – You are making 2 points here. The first point is true, 2nd is unconfirmed.
Vaiṣṇava nr.2 – What is the difference between the bhakti one first receives as seed, and the bhāva bhakti which “descends into the heart” from the Lord’s nitya parikaras? The statements below seem to say bhāva-bhakti descends into sādhakas’ heart from the nitya siddhas and then “upgrades the quality” of his bhakti so it becomes pure bhakti, bhāva bhakti. Please explain the difference between bhakti given by Guru, which presumably is a mixture of samvit and hlādinī, and the bhakti manifesting as bhāva bhakti? Quote: Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.1 Śrī Jīva Gosvāmīpāda’s ṭīkā on phrase (prema sūryāṁśu sāmya bhāk): “Though this bhāva is seen in the eternal associates of the Lord, the mental conditions of the devotees within this world become similar, by the mercy of the Lord and His devotees. By this mercy alone it shall appear.”
Advaitadās – tad evaṁ nitya-tat-priya-janānāṁ bhāve lakṣite prapañca-gata-bhaktānām api citta-vṛttiḥ śrī-kṛṣṇa-tad-bhakta-kṛpayā tādṛśī bhavatīti - This is the original text – it shows it is mercy all the way – from non-bhakti to sādhana bhakti, from sādhana bhakti to bhāva bhakti etc., it is all śrī-kṛṣṇa-tad-bhakta-kṛpayā, by the grace of Kṛṣṇa and His devotees.
Vaiṣṇava nr.2 – Very intriguing yet unclear point in Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.3.16’s ṭīkā of Śrī Jīva Gosvāmīpāda: “The verse starting smeraṁ bhangi in the second part (BRS 1.2.239) illustrates mercy by seeing the Lord. Mercy given by Vṛndāvana and other items are included in the “mercy given by devotees.” What does it mean, “Mercy given by Vṛndāvana”?
Advaitadās – The ṭīkā says: evaṁ vṛndāvanādikam api bhakteṣv antar-bhāvyam – Vṛndāvana Mahimāmṛta and Rādhā-rasa sudhānidhi (yat tan nāma sphurati mahimā hyeṣa vṛndāvanasya, 261) say the same thing. Most striking is Vilapa-kusumanjali 15 –
yadā tava sarovaraṁ sarasa bhṛṅga saṅghollasat
saroruha kulojjvalaṁ madhura vāri sampūritam
sphuṭat sarasijākṣi he nayana-yugma sākṣād vabhau
tadaiva mama lālasājani tavaiva dāsye rase
“O blooming lotus-eyed girl (Rādhe)! When my eyes directly saw Your pond (Rādhākuṇḍa), which is filled with sweet water and lotus flowers surrounded by blissfully humming bees, then I really got the desire to taste the nectar of Your service!”
Vaiṣṇava nr.2 – Could we say that śilā-pūjā is alright on principle of the tadīya vastu of Bhagavān being worshipable? Just like we’ve heard that Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s nāma, dhāma, rūpa, guṇa and līlā are all equally worshipable.
Advaitadās – That is not the same thing. The Govardhan-śīlā is repeatedly said to be Kṛṣṇa himself, and its worship is described in Caitanya-caritāmṛta too.
Vaiṣṇava nr.2 – Thus a rock from Varsānā is tadīya, connected with Śrī Rādhā and therefore can be seen and worshiped as Rādhārānī. Is this true or false?
Advaitadās - There is no śāstrik evidence for that, and no Gauḍīya ācārya did such worship. Rādhārānī appears as the guñjā mālā, this is in śāstra (Caitanya Caritāmṛta Antya 6). Varsānā is not mentioned in the Goswāmīs’ books, except for a single hint in Vilāpa-kusumānjali’s verse 88.
Vaiṣṇava nr.3 – The Madhvaites say that Bhakti devi does not exist?
Advaitadās - She doesn’t seem to be a real person but a metaphorical person – she is mentioned in the Padma Purāṇa, Uttara khaṇḍa, in the Śrīmad Bhāgavat Māhātmya. She has no bīja, no mantra, and is thus not a mantra devatā. She has no consort, like Pārvati having Śiva, Lakṣmī having Nārāyaṇa, Sītā having Rāma etc. But she is also not presented or worshiped in our Sampradāya as an iṣṭa devatā, so it is not really a problem.