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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Varsānā-śīlā, bhāva-bhakti, Bhakti-devī.

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.

5 comments:

  1. Dandavat pranams,

    Regarding free will, I read your post last year about that. Would you say that this section from BVs tika on Vedanta-sutra 2.3.40 is not properly translated?:

    "The scriptures say that when He is merciful the Supreme Personality of Godhead engages the individual spirit soul in pious activities so he may be elevated, and when He withdraws His mercy the Supreme Personality of Godhead engages the individual spirit soul in impious activities so he may go to hell. If this means that the individual living entity has no choice, and pious and impious deeds are forced on him by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then the Supreme Personality of Godhead is cruel and unjust, a monster. Therefore it must be concluded that the individual spirit soul does have free will, and is responsible for his actions, although he does not have the power to transfer his desire and will into concrete action unless the Supreme Personality of Godhead permits. In this way everything is explained."

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  2. tu-śabdāc chaṅkā nirasyate | jīvena kṛtaṁ dharmādharma-lakṣaṇaṁ prayatnam apekṣya pareśas taṁ kārayaty ato nokta-doṣāvatāraḥ | dharmādharma-vaiṣamyād eva viṣamāṇi phalāni parjanyavan nimitta-mātraḥ sann arpayati | yathā sādhāraṇa-sva-bījotpannasya taru-latādeḥ parjyanyaḥ sādhāraṇo hetuḥ | na hy asati vāride tasya rasa-puṣpādi-vaiṣamyaṁ sambhavet | nāpy asati bīje | tad evaṁ tat-karmāpekṣaḥ śubhāśubhāny arpayatīti śliṣṭam | tathā ca, kartāpi para-preritaḥ karotīti kartṛtvaṁ jīvasya na nivāryate | evaṁ kutas tatrāha vihiteti | ādinā nigrahānugraha-vaiṣamyādi-parihāropapatti-grahaḥ | evaṁ hi vidhy-ādi-śāstrasya vaiyarthyaṁ na syāt | yadi vidhau niṣedhe ca pareśa eva kāṣṭha-loṣṭra-tulyaṁ jīvaṁ niyuñjyāt tarhi tasya vākyasya prāmāṇyaṁ hīyeta kṛtimato niyojyatvāt | unninīṣayā sādhu-karmaṇi pravartanam anugrahaḥ | adho ninīṣayā asādhu-karmaṇi pravartanaṁ tu nigrahaḥ | tau caitau jīvasya tathātvenopapadyete, vaiṣamyādi-doṣa-parihāraś ca na syāt | tasmāj jīvaḥ prayojya-kartā pareśas tu hetu-kartā tad-anumatim antarāsau kartuṁ na śaknotīti sarvam avadātam ||40||

    The word 'but’ removes the doubt raised. The Lord causes the
    Jiva-to act in a particular way, not arbitrarily, but having regard to the
    tendencies generated by it, by the good or evil deeds performed by it in
    its past lives. Hence the above objection is no longer valid. The different
    fruits which the souls experience are the results of the differences of
    their actions, good or bad, just as the different fruits which the trees
    produce are the results the differences of seeds. The Lord is the
    exciting cause of the growth of the tree like the rain, The seed is the
    particular cause of the particular kind of fruit produced, the rain is the
    general cause. If there were no rain, we shall never see the diversities
    of smell, taste, of the fruits, flowers, etc., which we find in the vegetable
    creation, for no plants will grow in the absence of water. Similarly,
    there may be abundance of water and still no plants will grow if there be
    no seeds. The result is that the good or bad experiences are the
    consequences dependent upon the actions of the soul and not the arbitrary
    act of the Lord. Similarly, a man may be an agent, though impelled
    to that action by another, and be still responsible for his acts. Therefore,
    the responsibility of the soul does not cease, though the impelling cause
    is the Lord.
    On what authority do we say so ? Beoause otherwise the injunctions
    and prohibitions of the scriptures would be meaningless.
    The words “Adi, etc.” in the Sutra suggest that the grace and
    punishment of the Lord are also not arbitrary acts, but regulated by the
    actions of the Jiva. It is only in this way that scriptural commands do
    not become purportless. If the soul were a mere automaton, like a
    piece of wood or stone, impelled by the Lord to do good or bad
    deeds, then the words of the scripture will lose their authoritativeness
    and the responsible agent would be the Lord Himself. In the Kausitakl
    Upanisad, it is certainly said : “The Lord makes him whom He wishes to
    lead up do a good deed, etc.” There also the Lord wishing to lead up a
    particular soul impels that soul to do good acts, for the phrase “wishing to
    lead up” means the grace of God and impelling a Jiva to good deeds.
    Similarly, the phrase “wishing to lead down” means punishment and
    impelling a Jiva to perform evil deeds. If the Jiva was like an automaton,
    then the grace and punishment would have no meaning with regard to
    his actions, nor could the charge of cruelty brought against the Lord be
    answered in that view of the case. Therefore, the soul is a responsible agent,
    though no doubt a secondary agent, while the Lord is the causative agent,
    because without His permission, the soul can do nothing. Thus there is a
    complete reconciliation of the two views.
    TRANSLATED BY
    The Late RAI BAHADUR SRlSA CHANDRA VASU VIDYÄRNAVA

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  3. Thank you for sharing the translation by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu Vidyarnava.

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    Replies
    1. concerning the 2 types of the jivas I read somewhere that there are the niskriya parsadas and the kriyasila prasadas as mentioned in the sandarbhas. Could you give the full quote and translations where they are described? And what is your explanation of the niskriya, inactive parsadas in the spiritual world?

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    2. The Sandarbhas quote Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad describing niṣkriyā in brahma-līna state, not in Vaiṣṇava swarūpa-siddhi.

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