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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Birth and growth of a manjari


Question -
In Srila Bhaktivinoda Thākura's Gīta mālā's song 'Siddhi Lālasa', he seems to present a series of events from a siddha taking Varsana-birth, and then  growing up to the lucky day, 13 years later, when that fortunate manjari meets Radha-Krishna for the first time and begins her eternal seva to Yugala Kiśora.

From Birth To Your Eternal Sevā In Prakata Līlā -

1. Birth in Varshana:

After attaining Rādhā-Govinda mādhurya prema, you, as a sādhana siddha-devotee will take birth from the womb of a Vraja-gopi in Bhauma Vṛndāvana during the prakata līlā of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa.
True or false?

2. Growing Up:
From a baby manjari-form in Varshana, you will gradually grow up to your eternal manjari svarūpa age 12-13.
True or false?

3. Engagement:
Once you reach maturity, you will pass your time in separation from Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, singing Yugala bhajanas like a madwoman (pāgalini prāya, BVT) and doing small sevās like fetching Yamunā-jala. True or false?

4. Meeting Your Guru Sakhi:
One day on the foot path, you will meet your eternal guru sakhi and the chief manjari of your parivāra e.g. Ananga, Rūpa, Rati.
True or false?

5. Introduction to Group Leader:
Then later your guru sakhi and chief manjari will take you to meet your sakhi group leader (Lalitā or Viśākhā).
True or false?

6. Receiving Sevā Kunja:
Your group leader will assign you an individual (or collective) sevā kunja for serving the Divine Couple.
True or false?

7. Radha-Kṛṣṇa Service Training:
Your group leader, chief manjari, and other leading sakhis will personally train you in various sevās (rasa seva śikṣā), bhāvas and different levels of prema so you can expertly serve Rādhā Govinda Yugala.
True or false?

8. Starting Śrīmatī’s Sevā:
Now after taking birth in Varshana, growing up for 12 years and being trained in sevā, you are finally qualified to meet Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa for the first time and begin your eternal sevā.
True or false?

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Thākura explains that most auspicious moment like this: “Thus waiting in my solitary cottage, I will constantly remember Sri Radha’s lotus feet. After sometime, my chief manjari (Śrī Rūpa/Rati) will come to meet me. At that time, she will say, ‘What are you doing sitting here? Come outside and look— just see Who is coming this way? Rādhā Govinda Yugala are about to meet together. And today you will get the chance to serve Their lotus feet.’”  (Siddha-lālasā song 6)  
True or false?

9. If the above is true, does this mean that all sādhana siddhas will not directly meet or serve Śrī Radha until they grow into their mature manjaris swarūpas and become sevā-qualified? What about seeing Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa; will that also not occur until the manjari reaches her mature age? 

10. Will all sadhana siddha manjaris follow these same steps to the final reward of Radha’s eternal seva? True or false?

11. Is there any other explanation about the progression from Bhauma līlā-birth to beginning Bhānu-nandini’s blissful sevā?

Advaitadas -
Śrī Jīva Goswāmīpāda says that time exists in the spiritual sky but it does not lead to decay. Tasmāt yatrāsau ṣaḍ-bhāva-vikāra-hetuḥ kāla-vikrama eva na pravartate, tatra teṣām abhāvaḥ [Ś.B. 2.9.10 tīkā] “The six transformations of time (birth, sustenance, growth, maturity, decline and death) do not expand their powers (in Vaikuṇṭha) –  they are absent there.” But spiritual pastimes of birth, growth and meeting are possible in the spiritual world, and each phase can be eternally meditated upon also.
There is Narottama’s narration of how Rūpa Manjari introduces her to the Yugal Kiśora -

śrī rūpa paścāte āmi rohibo bhīta hoiyā; doṅhe puna kohiben āmā pāne cāiyā
sadaya hṛdaye doṅhe kohiben hāsi; kothāy pāile rūpa ei nava dāsī?
śrī rūpa mañjarī tabe doṅha vākya śuni; mañjulālī dilo more ei dāsī āni!

"I will shyly stand behind Śrī Rūpa as Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa look at me again, smile and ask Rūpa with kind hearts: "O Rūpa! Where did you get this new maidservant?' Hearing Their inquiry, Śrī Rūpa Mañjarī then tells Them: 'Mañjulālī Mañjarī (the manjarī-name of Śrīla Lokanātha Gosvāmī) has given me this maidservant to bring her before You!'                                           
He also sings;
 hari hari! āra ki emon daśā hobo
           kobe vṛṣabhānu pure,       āhīrī gopera ghare,
                        tanayā hoiyā janamibo

"Hari! Hari! When will I attain this condition? When will I be born as a daughter in the house of a cowherder in Vṛṣabhānu's town (Varṣānā)?"

          yāvaṭe āmāra kobe,        e pāṇi grahana hobe,
                       vasati koribo kobe tāya
         sakhīra parama śreṣṭha,      ye hoy tāhāra preṣṭha,
                       sevana koribo tāra pāya

"When will I be married in the village of Yāvat and when can I live there? When can I serve the lotus-feet of the dearmost maidservant (Rūpa Mañjarī) of the best of sakhīs (Lalitā)?"

There is also a sweet Bengali booklet named ‘Sankalpa-kalpalatā’ by Lakṣmī-Nārāyan Bhaṭṭa, about a manjari’s growing up. When one does full-time manjari sevā it doesn’t fit in though. Generally rāgānugā-Gurus will give their śiṣyas an upāsanā based on eternal ādya kiśori manjarī-services like in Vilāpa-kusumānjali and Rādhā-rasa-sudhānidhi, just like we acknowledge Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of birth and growth in the Bhāgavat but ultimately zero in on His kiśora-līlā. We are kiśor upāsakas, not kumār or pauganda. So it’s not really a matter of whether your 11 questions are objectively either true or false. It is Bhaktivinode’s own world of service and I can’t see any rasābhāsa or viruddha siddhānta in it. Not that necessarily everyone must or will have such experiences as he had, though.
As to question 4, Ananga Manjari is never mentioned as a chief manjarī of any parivāra.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Free will in rāgānugā-bhakti?


Question - In your audio comments on Rāga-vartma-candrikā 11, quoting Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.294 you said “Following the Vrajavāsīs of “your choice” is an empty shell. There’s a principle of bestowal. Anarpita carim cirāt. Mahāprabhu came especially to GIVE this amorous love for Kṛṣṇa. If it is given or placed in the heart by mercy of Lord Caitanya or Śrī Guru, we cannot say it is our own choice.”
Questions:
1. Could you please cite the Sanskrit phrases of Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpāda's Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.294 and Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartipāda’s ṭīkā of Rāga-vartma candrikā #11 which mean, “of the sādhaka’s liking or personal choice, favorite etc.?

Advaitadās –
1. The word is Samīhita –
समीहित samIhita adj. desired
समीहित samIhita adj. longed for
समीहित samIhita adj. wished
समीहित samIhita adj. undertaken
समीहित samIhita adj. striven after
समीहित samIhita adj. longed or wished for
समीहित samIhita n. great effort to obtain anything
समीहित samIhita n. longing
समीहित samIhita n. wish
समीहित samIhita n. desire

Viśvanātha Cakravarti’s ṭīkā: atha rāgānugāyāḥ paripāṭīm āha kṛṣṇam ity ādinā. preṣṭhaṁ sva-priyatamaṁ kiśoraṁ nanda-nandanaṁ smaran evam asya tādṛśa-kṛṣṇasya bhakta-janam. atha ca svasya samyag-īhitaṁ sva-samāna-vāsanam iti yāvat.

Bhanu Swāmi translation –
“Now starts the description of the method of rāgānuga-sādhana. One should remember the most dear form of Kṛṣṇa (preṣṭham kṛṣṇam), the son of Nanda of kaiśora age, and the devotees of that particular form of Kṛṣṇa (asya janam), who have the same type of desires (for serving Kṛṣṇa) as oneself (nija-samīhitam).”

This does not indicate a free choice. You aptly quoted anarpita carim…samarpayita’ 


anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau
samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam
hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ
sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ

(Vidagdha-mādhava I.2, Rūpa Goswāmī)

May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Śrīmatī Śacī-devī be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.
– it is bestowed by Mahāprabhu.

2. It appears that there are in reality only two role models for a sādhaka to “choose” from - either Śrīla Rūpa Goswāmīpāda or Śrī Rūpa-manjarī, or Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Goswāmīpāda and Tulasī/Rati manjarī. True or false? 

Advaitadās - As far as there is a choice, yes that is true. rūpa-raghunātha pade yāra aśa.

3. Or is the fact that in reality the rāgānugā-bhakti sādhaka has NO choice, since it’s all given by higher personalities like Gaurāṅga and Śrī Guru? Yes or no?

Advaitadās – Yes.

4.  As far as which Vrajavāsī to follow, it is decided by one’s Guru when he receives siddha deha and praṇālī. For example, the Guru tells his disciple, “your yutheśvarī is Viśākhā and your main manjarī is Tulasī/Rati-manjarī. OK, now it’s settled, given or bestowed and they become “my favorite or chosen ones.” Is this true or false? 

Advaitadās – It is true.

5. About the color of Kṛṣṇa’s gunjā-mālā: some say only white, others red and black ones. Can you please cite references proving which color Kṛṣṇa wears?

Advaitadās - Please see the most beautiful Govinda-lilāmṛta 11.99 –

rādhāyā nayanāñjanādhara rucā vyāptaṁ nu guñjāyate 
nāsā mauktikam etad ityaviduṣāṁ kāvyaṁ mamaitan matam   
śaśvat kṛṣṇa virāji rāgi hṛdaya śvāsānilair bhāvitaṁ 
tat tad varṇatayāśu tat pariṇataṁ teṣāṁ hi tat tad guṇaiḥ 

"How has the pearl on Rādhā's nose become black-and-red just like guñjā-beads? Ignorant poets say it is a reflection of Her black eyeliner above it and Her red lips shining under it, but I think that the red colour is Her passion for Kṛṣṇa and the black colour represents Kṛṣṇa Himself. These colours come out when Rādhikā breathes out through Her nose and this colors Her nose-pearl!"

6. I well know and respect that Kṛṣṇa’s activities are all alaukika, divya and acintya, but still could you explain this a little more clearly with quotes from śāstra? I saw in Śrīmad-bhāgavata 10.55.2: pradyumna jāto vaidarbhyam kṛṣṇa-vīrya samudbhavam, “Pradyumna was born from the seed of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa.” We have also read that in bhauma vraja gokula līlā, angry naughty little Gopāl would sometimes pass stool or urine in a gopī’s home.
a. So does 10.55.2 above prove that Kṛṣṇa passed semen into womb of His wife to beget a son, and thereby has sexual union like all of us?
b. Are there other references to Kṛṣṇa doing this, or having union with a consort as we understand in the mundane sphere? 
c. The question asked often is, “Is Kṛṣṇa’s sex enjoyment same as ours, or merely pinching, fondling. Kissing and embracing, BUT without the union of “two bodies” like here?

Advaitadās – see Caitanya-caritāmṛta Adi-līlā 4.163-176.

a. Yes, externally Kṛṣṇa’s sex act is like ours, or rather ours is like His.
b. And c. the Bhāgavata verse 10.55.2 you quoted is the evidence.