Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About nine9

  • Rank
    Junior Member


  • Biography
    <a href=\"http://mailto:rama.kesava@virgin.net\" target=\"_blank\">rama.kesava@virgin.net</a> </b>
  • Location
    Edinburgh, Midlothian, United Kingdom
  • Interests
    Bhakti; nothing but pure unadulterated Bhakti
  • Occupation
    Police Support Staff
  1. Mayavadis, Brahmavadis, and Sayujya Mukti Q & A with Swami B. V. Tripurari "Those who engage in sattviki-bhakti can attain sayujya mukti as long as they do not offend Bhagavan. Sattviki-bhakti is mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam: "The practice of devotion in the mode of goodness with a desire to attain mukti is known as sattviki-bhakti." Q. Do the paths of jnana (knowledge), yoga, and bhakti (devotion) all lead to the same experience in transcendence? A. Jnana (knowledge), yoga, and bhakti (devotion) are paths to God realization, but they are three distinct paths. Do they all lead to the same experience? No. They lead to distinct aspects of the life of the Absolute--brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti sabdyate. So says Srimad-Bhagavatam. Whereas bhakti leads to Bhagavan realization, jnana and yoga lead to Brahman or Paramatma realization. Bhakti is never dependent on jnana or yoga, but jnana and yoga are dependent on bhakti to deliver results. Indeed, neither yoga or jnana are favorable to bhakti, but bhakti is what infuses life into both jnana and yoga. According to Srimad-Bhagavatam, jnanis or yogis who do not factor bhakti into their aspirations for mukti will never attain it: kevalena hi bhavena gopyo gavo naga mrgah ye 'nye mudha-dhiyo nagah siddha mam iyur anjasa yam na yogena sankhyena dana-vrata-tapo-'dhvaraih vyakhya-svadhyaya-sannyasaih prapnuyad yatnavan api "The inhabitants of Vrndavana, including the gopis, cows, unmoving creatures such as the twin arjuna trees, animals, living entities with stunted consciousness such as bushes and thickets, and snakes such as Kaliya, all achieved the perfection of life by unalloyed love for me and thus very easily achieved me. Even though one engages with great endeavor in the mystic yoga system, philosophical speculation, charity, vows, penances, ritualistic sacrifices, teaching of Vedic mantras to others, personal study of the Vedas, or the renounced order of life, still one cannot achieve me." (SB 11.12.8-9) Srimad-Bhagavatam also says that practicing jnana without bhakti is like beating an empty husk of rice. It will never give one mukti: sreyah-srtim bhaktim udasya te vibhoklisyanti ye kevala-bodha-labdhayetesam asau klesala eva sisyatenanyad yatha sthula-tusavaghatinam (SB 10.14.4) If the path of knowledge is mixed with bhakti, it can grant realization of Brahma sayujya (merging in Brahman), and if the path of yoga is mixed with bhakti, it can grant Isvara sayujya (merging in Paramatma). Q. Ramanuja has glorified sayujya-mukti while rejecting the central precepts of Advaita Vedanta, in which the jiva in sayujya is thought to have become absolutely one with Brahman in all respects. Therefore, how can merging into the effulgence of Krsna/Narayana be thought of as undesirable, as it is sometimes portrayed in the Gaudiya tradition? A. Gaudiya acarya Baladeva Vidyabhusana writes that sayujya is the basis of mukti. He also cites Narayana Upanisad (sayujyam gacchati), implying that the mukta jiva (liberated soul) in sayujya participates in eternal sport with Hari. The sruti says, dva suparna sayujya: "two in sayujya," indicating that sayujya can be understood to be the basis of all other types of liberation--a sense of oneness or intimacy with God, as opposed to merging in Brahman and being devoid of any sense of relationship with Bhagavan. Following the above understanding, Bhaktivinoda Thakura, in his Tattva-sutra, has called the culture of gopi bhava (the love that the gopis have for Krsna) "brahma sayujya sadhana." However, Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja in Caitanya-caritamrta clearly distinguishes sayujya-mukti from other types of liberation. Krsnadasa Kaviraja Goswami describes sayujya as being outside the gates of Vaikuntha, the transcendental world of Krsna/Narayana. So there are different conceptions of sayujya. Ramanuja's conception of sayujya is similar to that of Baladeva Vidyabhusana. While some Vaisnava sampradayas do not recognize any form of liberation outside of Vaikuntha, the Gaudiyas do recognize the possibility of losing one's sense of individuality by merging into the effulgence of God--the brahmajyoti/Brahman. Although they call this experience sayujya-mukti, they consider it an undesirable form of partial liberation in which only the lower half of the equation of liberation (deliverance from karma) is realized. In this understanding of sayujya-mukti, there is little prospect of realizing one's spiritual form (svarupa), which according to Vaisnavism is the other half of the equation of liberation. The Advaita Vedanta conception of sayujya-mukti, where the liberated jiva is thought to become God in all respects by the mere cultivation of knowledge is not acceptable to any Vaisnava sampradaya. [Editor's note: Further information on the difference between Gaudiya Vedanta and Advaita Vedanta can be found in these previous Sangas: Moksa and Mayavada: http://www.swami.org/sanga/archives/pages/volume_four/m186.html The Brahma-sutras of Badarayana: http://www.swami.org/sanga/archives/pages/volume_four/m190.html] Q. Some Vaisnava sects disagree with characterizing Brahman as the effulgence of Krsna and being outside the gates of Vaikuntha. The Ramanuja sampradaya insists that Brahman refers to Visnu, who is all-pervading, and they can support their position from scripture. Furthermore, how can Brahma sayujya be outside the gates of Vaikuntha when Brahman is all-pervading? How can it be undesirable in any way? A. Gaudiya Vedanta has much to say in support of the Bhagavatam's explanation of the nondual Absolute (advaya-jnana tattva), in which Brahman is equated with God's effulgence. Sri Krsnadasa Kaviraja, our revered sastra-acarya, has explained, tanhara angera suddha kirana-mandala upanisat kahe tanre brahma sunirmal: "The Upanisads call the spotless Brahman the effulgence of the Supreme Person." This is supported by Sri Isopanisad, hiranmayena patrena satyasyapihitam mukham tat tvam pusann apavrnu satya-dharmaya drstaye: O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, your real face is covered by your dazzling effulgence (Brahman/hiranmayena). Kindly remove that covering and exhibit yourself to your pure devotee." Sri Brahma-samhita also confirms this: yasya prabha prabhavato jagad-anda-koti- kotisv asesa-vasudhadi-vibhuti-bhinnam tad brahma niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, whose effulgence is the source of the nondifferentiated Brahman. Being differentiated from the glory of the mundane universe, it appears as the indivisible, infinite, limitless truth." (Bs. 5.40) Some sects of Vaisnavism might not recognize the brahmajyoti as the effulgence of Krsna, but we Gaudiyas follow Caitanya Mahaprabhu who accepted this understanding as definitive. Mahaprabhu brought Sri Brahma-samhita from South India, distributed it to his followers, and accepted it as authoritative scriptural evidence. His opinion on this issue is cited in Caitanya-caritamrta and other Gaudiya scriptures. Yes, Brahman is all-pervading, but that does not mean that the material world is "within the gates of Vaikuntha." Thus neither is the sayujya mukta's status in the brahmajoyti. The point to remember is that Gaudiya Vedanta teaches that one's svarupa (spiritual form) is not realized in sayujya-mukti; therefore, Gaudiya acaryas describe such liberation as undesirable. They tell us that we have a duty, an eternal function as jivas (individual souls) in relation to God, the Supreme Soul. Caitanya Mahaprabhu puts it like this, jivera svarupa haya krsnera nitya-dasa: we are the eternal servants of Krsna. A soul may give up the criminality of exploitation (material desire), but if that soul does not take up eternal service to Krsna, it could be compared to a citizen who refuses to do civic duty. According to Vaisnavism, worse yet is a soul who fantasizes that he can become God in all respects, which is the goal of Advaita Vedanta. Q. Gaudiya acarya Prabodhananda Saraswati wrote, kaivalyam narakayate: "Becoming one with the Supreme is as good as going to hell," but does a Gaudiya Vaisnava really need to conceptualize sayujya-mukti in this way in order to attain the Gaudiya ideal? Can one objectively even compare sayujya-mukti to hell or is this just the subjective vision of the Gaudiyas--another religious sentiment? A. "Objectivity" is a loaded word, and it is questionable if anything close to pure objectivity exists at all. That said, it is important to note that bhakti is ultimately about cultivating love for one's Deity, and love is a type of bias. Thus our acaryas have taught us how to think about sayujya-mukti and all types of liberation for the sake of fueling our bhajana. Indeed, their thoughts--their religious sentiment--on this issue comes out of their own bhajana. They often cite the following verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam salokya-sarsti-samipya- sarupyaikatvam apy uta diyamanam na grhnanti vina mat-sevanam janah "My devotees do not accept salokya, sarsti, sarupya, samipya, or oneness with me (sayujya)--even if I offer these liberations--in preference to serving me." (3.29.) In this verse all kinds of liberation are rejected in the sense that they are not to be desired. Rather service is our only concern. Caitanya Mahaprabhu wrote, mama janmani janamanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi: "Let me be born again and again as long as I can engage in Bhagavad-bhakti." Although pure Vaisnavas do not desire any type of mukti, our acaryas have singled out sayujya as being the least desirable because there is no bhakti it. Moreover, it holds no experience whatsoever, for it involves the object of experience (Brahman) and the experiencer (the soul) becoming one in all respects. Unless there is an object to experience and an experiencer, there cannot be any experience. Thus sayujya-mukti is often compared to deep sleep. Q. If one could separate Brahman realization (sayujya-mukti) from the Advaita Vedanta of Sankara, could we as Gaudiya Vaisnavas find something nice to say about it? A. In the interest of pursuing the Gaudiya ideal, our acaryas have deemed it appropriate to deprecate this kind of mukti because it leads to a nondevotional state of eternal being. However, we Gaudiyas can speak of sayujya in a positive light by explaining it, much as the Ramanujas have, as being the sense of oneness with one's Deity that is central to bhakti. Baladeva Vidyabhusana has done this in his Govinda Bhasya, as has Thakura Bhaktivinoda. Gaudiya Vaisnavas are the most generous of all the Vaisnava sampradayas toward the Adwaitins. For example, Ramanuja Vaisnavas are taught not to even enter a Siva (Sankara) temple. Madhva Vaisnavas at one time were taught to chant a mantra cursing Sankara when passing urine. Caitanya Mahaprabhu, on the other hand, addressed him as "Acarya," Sankaracarya. By citing the Puranas, he explained why Sankara taught what he did and gave him a place beyond the material world (brahmajyoti), which can be attained by jnanis with the help of sattviki-bhakti, a form of bhakti constituted of sattva-guna. In this status jnanis can dream of being God forever but we Gaudiya Vaisnavas have no interest in this fantasy. Q. Do Gaudiyas really believe that a person who accepts the Mayavada philosophy (Advaita Vedanta) in every respect can actually attain sayujya-mukti? Other Vaisnava sampradayas don't. A. Vaisnavas believe that those who are Mayavadis in the full sense of the term are offensive to Bhagavan because they do not accept the eternality of the form of the Lord. Thus either they have no devotion at all or they engage in a meager form of sattviki-bhakti that they dispense with once they attain their ideal (sayujya-mukti). According to the Bhagavatam, the former go nowhere and gain only trouble for their efforts, and the latter can possibly rise to the status of a jivan mukta, from which they will fall down again. Bhagavatam describes them as vimukta maninah, thinking they are liberated when their intelligence is not purified, avisuddha buddhaya. By jnana they can remove all except their prarabdha (manifest) karma. By devotion they can remove prarabdha and attain liberation. But according to the Bhagavatam, if they remain offensive to the form of Bhagavan, they will not achieve this result and they will fall from their partial liberation (jivan mukti). That is to say they cannot attain videha mukti, the full sense of sayujya. Q. Is there a difference between a Brahmavadi and a Mayavadi? A. Those who engage in sattviki-bhakti can attain mukti as long as they do not offend Bhagavan. Sattviki-bhakti is mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam, yajed yantavyam iti va prthag-bhavah sa sattvikah: "The practice of devotion in the mode of goodness with a desire to attain mukti is known as sattviki-bhakti." (SB 3.29.10) Such jnanis (Brahmavadis) can attain brahma-sayujya. Jnanis who through the association of a great devotee give up their desire for liberation and make bhakti prominent over jnana in their practice can attain devotional liberation in neutrality (santa-rasa). The four Kumaras are examples of this. They are the true Brahmavadis, whereas those attaining brahma-sayujya mentioned above are only remotely so. Q. I believe the following verse clearly refers to Mayavadi philosophers but can these verses in a lesser sense refer to perhaps jnana-misra-bhakti? Also how is it possible to attain Brahman realization with impure intelligence? And once attaining sayujya-mukti how can one fall down, since the mukta has no material desires to make him fall? Where would he fall to? ye 'nye 'ravindaksa vimukta-maninas tvayy asta-bhavad avisuddha-buddhayah aruhya krcchrena param padam tatah patanty adho 'nadrta-yusmad-anghrayah O lotus-eyed Lord! Those who proudly think that they are liberated but do not render devotional service unto you certainly have impure intelligence. Although they perform severe austerities and penance, and rise up to a high spiritual position, they fall down again because they have no respect for devotional service to your lotus feet. (SB 10.2.32-33/ Srila Prabhupda's translation.) A. Jnani jivan muktas are those who do not identify with the material world but are still embodied waiting for their prarabdha karma to expire. The Bhagavatam says that these jnanis can fall down from their so-called liberation (vimukta maninah). But besides this, the verse you have cited speaks of those who think they are liberated and do not render devotional service. Their attainment, "a higher spiritual position," does not speak explicitly sayujya-mukti. It is not possible to attain any kind of mukti without bhakti. A sattviki form of bhakti helps jnanis attain the Gaudiya understanding of sayujya. The following two verses from Caitanya-caritamrta are each supported by Krsnadasa Kaviraja with the Bhagavata verse you asked about. 'bhaktye jivan-mukta' gunakrsta hana krsna bhaje suska-jnane jivan-mukta aparadhe adho maje "Those who are liberated by devotional service become more and more attracted by the transcendental qualities of Krsna. Thus they engage in His service. Those who are liberated by the speculative process eventually fall down again due to an offensive mentality." (Madhya 24.131) jnani jivan-mukta-dasa painu kari' mane vastutah buddhi 'suddha' nahe krsna-bhakti vine "There are many philosophical speculators (jnanis) who consider themselves liberated but their intelligence is not purified unless they engage in Krsna's devotional service." (Madhya 22.30) Note that the word "jivanmukta" appears in both of these verses, implying that the Bhagavata verse under discussion refers to jnanis who have at best attained jivan mukti. The Bhagavatam says that one can fall from that position. However, it is doubtful that those referred to in these Bhagavata verses have even attained this status, nor do the verses say that they actually have. The doubt arises because the verses speak of having no devotion. Again, without bhakti there is no liberation--no sayujya-mukti, and arguably no attainment of jivan mukti in pursuit of sayujya-mukti. Jnana-misra-bhakti is a different thing. It is bhakti mixed with jnana, not jnana mixed with bhakti. In jnana-misra-bhakti, bhakti is predominant. This kind of bhakti is mixed with knowledge of the majesty of God and leads to attaining Narayana in Vaikuntha or Krsna in Dvaraka. Sattviki-bhakti, on the other hand, is a manifestation of bhakti in the material mode of goodness (sattva-guna). She mercifully manifests in this form to facilitate those desirous of merging with Brahman. It is this kind of bhakti that Advaitins speak of as a means to an end (sayujya-mukti), in which she (bhakti) vanishes. I have never seen any verse that clearly supports the idea that one can fall from sayujya-mukti although Srila Prabhupada often writes in such a way as to imply that it is possible. Nonetheless, Srila Prabhupada's emphasis is valid: impersonal liberation is undesirable. It amounts to only one half of the equation of mukti and is thus incomplete. This does seem to open the door to the remote possibility of changing one's status in sayujya, either for the better or the worse, but I have not seen any supporting sastra pramana (scriptural evidence) or interpretation of sastra that would be universally acceptable. Questions or comments may be submitted at the Q&A Forum http://www.swami.org/sanga/ or email sangaeditor@swami.org. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ Moderator: sangaeditor@swami.org Tuesday May 4 2004, Vol. VI, No. 8 Readership: 11,797 Back issue archive: http://www.eScribe.com/religion/sanga Sanga website: http://www.swami.org/sanga Audarya Bookstore: http://www.swami.org/merchant.mv ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  2. “Govardhana-puja 2003" by Swami B. V. Tripurari is now available from Audarya Darshan for only $14.95. What is the theology that underlies the Gaudiya's worship of Mount Govardhana? How is it distinguished from aboriginal expressions of animism? How can apparently material objects become invested with spiritual emotion and thus rendered sacred? Learn the answers to these questions and fill your own heart with love for Sri Caintanya's ideal of Vraja bhakti: View Mount Govardhana through the eyes of Sri Caitanya's love by lending your eyes and ears to Swami B. V. Tripurari's ecstatic DVD discourse on Govardhana Puja. To order the Govardhana-puja DVD, please visit www.swami.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc or email your order to orders@swami.org.
  3. My godsister assembled some quotes about SB 1.1.3 (nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam...). I thought I would share them here: "In Sanskrit the parrot is also known as suka. When a ripened fruit is cut by the red beaks of such birds, its sweet flavor is enhanced. The Vedic fruit which is mature and ripe in knowledge is spoken through the lips of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, who is compared to the parrot not for his ability to recite the Bhagavatam exactly as he heard it from his learned father, but for his ability to present the work in a manner that would appeal to all classes of men." (from purport of Srila Prabhupada) SB 1.1.3 nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah nigama -- the Vedic literatures; kalpa-taroh -- the desire tree; galitam -- fully matured; phalam -- fruit; suka -- Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, the original speaker of Srimad-Bhagavatam; mukhat -- from the lips of; amrta -- nectar; drava -- semisolid and soft and therefore easily swallowable; samyutam -- perfect in all respects; pibata -- do relish it; bhagavatam -- the book dealing in the science of the eternal relation with the Lord; rasam -- juice (that which is relishable); alayam -- until liberation, or even in a liberated condition; muhuh -- always; aho -- O; rasikah -- those who are full in the knowledge of mellows; bhuvi -- on the earth; bhavukah -- expert and thoughtful. O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls. Srila Sridhara Maharaja's purport from Follow the Angels: Krsna's vamsi, His flute, is also doing the same thing. In the highest place we find proper adjustment for our service. That is the sound. And Krsna's vamsi is also doing this through its sound. The sound gives impression, inspiration to anyone and everyone. "Come to my sweet service, engage yourself in my sweet service." That is the call of the flute of Krsna, and of Gayatri, Veda-mata. There in the Veda the same thing is said, and that is in the flute. What is in the Veda, is in the flute. And in the middle there is also the Veda, Sruti, Vedanta, Bhagavatam. Nigama kalpa taror galitam phalam, Vyasadeva says in his introduction to Srimad Bhagavatam. What is the necessity of this new book? This is nigama kalpa taror galitam phalam. Nigama means Veda, and it is compared to a tree. And this Bhagavatam, the natural ripened fruit, comes of its own accord. It is not forced. Of its own accord, the tree gives fruit, and the fruit is ripe, and it is Bhagavatam. So, we drink the juice, bhagavatam rasam alayam muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah. If we have real thinking capacity, this normal hankering, we must come to drink this rasam. This is the natural product of the Veda-kalpataru. This gayatri ganat trayate. If we chant the Gayatri mantra we will be liberated, emancipated. The positive conception of liberation is svarupa-siddhi, self-determination. And in self-determination we must come in contact with Krsna in different rasas to get our assured and attached service. And thereby we can imbibe the real juice to make our life fulfilled. Our fulfillment is there. Otherwise, all our attempts are fruitless labor. We must only utilize our energy in the proper way, to make our lives successful. Srila Prabhupada's SB purport: In the two previous slokas it has been definitely proved that the Srimad-Bhagavatam is the sublime literature which surpasses all other Vedic scriptures due to its transcendental qualities. It is transcendental to all mundane activities and mundane knowledge. In this sloka it is stated that Srimad-Bhagavatam is not only a superior literature but is the ripened fruit of all Vedic literatures. In other words, it is the cream of all Vedic knowledge. Considering all this, patient and submissive hearing is definitely essential. With great respect and attention, one should receive the message and lessons imparted by the Srimad-Bhagavatam. The Vedas are compared to the desire tree because they contain all things knowable by man. They deal with mundane necessities as well as spiritual realization. The Vedas contain regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economic, military, medicinal, chemical, physical and metaphysical subject matter and all that may be necessary to keep the body and soul together. Above and beyond all this are specific directions for spiritual realization. Regulated knowledge involves a gradual raising of the living entity to the spiritual platform, and the highest spiritual realization is knowledge that the Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of all spiritual tastes, or rasas. Every living entity, beginning from Brahma, the first-born living being within the material world, down to the insignificant ant, desires to relish some sort of taste derived from sense perceptions. These sensual pleasures are technically called rasas. Such rasas are of different varieties. In the revealed scriptures the following twelve varieties of rasas are enumerated: (1) raudra (anger), (2) adbhuta (wonder), (3) srngara (conjugal love), (4) hasya (comedy), (5) vira (chivalry), (6) daya (mercy), (7) dasya (servitorship), (8) sakhya (fraternity), (9) bhayanaka (horror), (10) bibhatsa (shock), (11) santa (neutrality), (12) vatsalya (parenthood). The sum total of all these rasas is called affection or love. Primarily, such signs of love are manifested in adoration, service, friendship, paternal affection, and conjugal love. And when these five are absent, love is present indirectly in anger, wonder, comedy, chivalry, fear, shock and so on. For example, when a man is in love with a woman, the rasa is called conjugal love. But when such love affairs are disturbed there may be wonder, anger, shock, or even horror. Sometimes love affairs between two persons culminate in ghastly murder scenes. Such rasas are displayed between man and man and between animal and animal. There is no possibility of an exchange or rasa between a man and an animal or between a man and any other species of living beings within the material world. The rasas are exchanged between members of the same species. But as far as the spirit souls are concerned, they are one qualitatively with the Supreme Lord. Therefore, the rasas were originally exchanged between the spiritual living being and the spiritual whole, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The spiritual exchange or rasa is fully exhibited in spiritual existence between living beings and the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore described in the sruti-mantras, Vedic hymns, as "the fountainhead of all rasas." When one associates with the Supreme Lord and exchanges one's constitutional rasa with the Lord, then the living being is actually happy. These sruti-mantras indicate that every living being has its constitutional position, which is endowed with a particular type of rasa to be exchanged with the Personality of Godhead. In the liberated condition only, this primary rasa is experienced in full. In the material existence, the rasa is experienced in the perverted form, which is temporary. And thus the rasas of the material world are exhibited in the material form of raudra (anger) and so on. Therefore, one who attains full knowledge of these different rasas, which are the basic principles of activities, can understand the false representations of the original rasas which are reflected in the material world. The learned scholar seeks to relish the real rasa in the spiritual form. In the beginning he desires to become one with the Supreme. Thus, less intelligent transcendentalists cannot go beyond this conception of becoming one with the spirit whole, without knowing of the different rasas. In this sloka, it is definitely stated that spiritual rasa, which is relished even in the liberated stage, can be experienced in the literature of the Srimad-Bhagavatam due to its being the ripened fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissively hearing this transcendental literature, one can attain the full pleasure of his heart's desire. But one must be very careful to hear the message from the right source. Srimad-Bhagavatam is exactly received from the right source. It was brought by Narada Muni from the spiritual world and given to his disciple Sri Vyasadeva. The latter in turn delivered the message to his son Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, and Srila Sukadeva Gosvami delivered the message to Maharaja Pariksit just seven days before the King's death. Srila Sukadeva Gosvami was a liberated soul from his very birth. He was liberated even in the womb of his mother, and he did not undergo any sort of spiritual training after his birth. At birth no one is qualified, neither in the mundane nor in the spiritual sense. But Sri Sukadeva Gosvami, due to his being a perfectly liberated soul, did not have to undergo an evolutionary process for spiritual realization. Yet despite his being a completely liberated person situated in the transcendental position above the three material modes, he was attracted to this transcendental rasa of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is adored by liberated souls who sing Vedic hymns. The Supreme Lord's pastimes are more attractive to liberated souls than to mundane people. He is of necessity not impersonal because it is only possible to carry on transcendental rasa with a person. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam the transcendental pastimes of the Lord are narrated, and the narration is systematically depicted by Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. Thus the subject matter is appealing to all classes of persons, including those who seek liberation and those who seek to become one with the supreme whole. In Sanskrit the parrot is also known as suka. When a ripened fruit is cut by the red beaks of such birds, its sweet flavor is enhanced. The Vedic fruit which is mature and ripe in knowledge is spoken through the lips of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, who is compared to the parrot not for his ability to recite the Bhagavatam exactly as he heard it from his learned father, but for his ability to present the work in a manner that would appeal to all classes of men. The subject matter is so presented through the lips of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami that any sincere listener that hears submissively can at once relish transcendental tastes which are distinct from the perverted tastes of the material world. The ripened fruit is not dropped all of a sudden from the highest planet of Krsnaloka. Rather, it has come down carefully through the chain of disciplic succession without change or disturbance. Foolish people who are not in the transcendental disciplic succession commit great blunders by trying to understand the highest transcendental rasa known as the rasa dance without following in the footsteps of Sukadeva Gosvami, who presents this fruit very carefully by stages of transcendental realization. One should be intelligent enough to know the position of Srimad-Bhagavatam by considering personalities like Sukadeva Gosvami, who deals with the subject so carefully. This process of disciplic succession of the Bhagavata school suggests that in the future also Srimad-Bhagavatam has to be understood from a person who is factually a representative of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. A professional man who makes a business out of reciting the Bhagavatam illegally is certainly not a representative of Sukadeva Gosvami. Such a man's business is only to earn his livelihood. Therefore one should refrain from hearing the lectures of such professional men. Such men usually go to the most confidential part of the literature without undergoing the gradual process of understanding this grave subject. They usually plunge into the subject matter of the rasa dance, which is misunderstood by the foolish class of men. Some of them take this to be immoral, while others try to cover it up by their own stupid interpretations. They have no desire to follow in the footsteps of Srila Sukadeva Gosvami. One should conclude, therefore, that the serious student of the rasa should receive the message of Bhagavatam in the chain of disciplic succession from Srila Sukadeva Gosvami, who describes the Bhagavatam from its very beginning and not whimsically to satisfy the mundaner who has very little knowledge in transcendental science. Srimad-Bhagavatam is so carefully presented that a sincere and serious person can at once enjoy the ripened fruit of Vedic knowledge simply by drinking the nectarean juice through the mouth of Sukadeva Gosvami or his bona fide representative.
  4. Rasika Darsana Q & A with Swami B. V. Tripurari "On numerous occasions my Guru Maharaja expressed an affinity for sakhya rasa, and in my experience many of his disciples have an undeveloped but natural attraction for this spiritual sentiment." Q. We commonly hear that all the gurus in the line of Sri Rupa Goswami (the Gaudiya sampradaya) are in a type of conjugal love with Krsna known as manjari bhava. However some devotees point to the following prayer written by Srila Prabhupada as evidence that his spiritual identity in Krsna lila was that of a cowherd boy in sakhya bhava (friendly love). What are your thoughts on this? "O my dear brother! Meeting you again I will experience great joy. Wandering about the pastures and fields, I will pass the entire day with you tending the cows. Joking with you and frolicking throughout so many forests of Vraja, I will roll upon the ground in spiritual ecstasy. When, oh when will that day be mine?" (Prayer to the Lotus Feet of Krsna) A. Most of the gurus and siddhas in our sampradaya have an affinity for manjari bhava, but there are some exceptions. Siddhas such as Vamsidasa babaji and Srila Prabhupada's godbrother, Akincana Krsnadasa babaji are examples. The diksa guru of Syamananda dasa, Hrdaya Caitanya, was in sakhya rasa. Indeed, the Gaudiya sampradaya began when the dvadasa gopalas (twelve cowherd friends of Krsna) appeared with Nitai and Gaura and began initiating disciples. So there is no prohibition in the Gaudiya sampradaya against having a guru in sakhya rasa, and if you have a sat guru who is situated in sakhya rasa, it is not a problem. On numerous occasions my Guru Maharaja expressed an affinity for sakhya rasa, and in my experience many of his disciples have an undeveloped but natural attraction for this spiritual sentiment. Pujyapada Sridhara Deva Goswami considered him to be in sakhya-rati. However, to harmonize the sentiments of some of his disciples, Srila Sridhara Maharaja also said it is possible that Srila Prabhupada veiled his sentiments for manjari bhava out of deference to Nityananda Prabhu, who empowered him to preach, and while under the influence of Nityananda Prabhu expressed sentiments for sakhya bhava. Such a possibility exists, although it seems unlikely because almost the entire Nityananda parivara openly express affinity for manjari bhava. [Editors note: More on this topic can be found in the Sanga entitled: Highest Rasa: "Fools Rush In"] Q. According to Rupa Gosvami, sakhya-rati is presided over by Upendra. Can you offer an explanation of this? A. Upendra is another name for Govinda. Upendra means either one who comes after Indra, as in the case of Vamanadeva who appears as Indra's younger brother, or one who is above Indra, as in the case of Govinda. It was Indra, chief of the gods, who crowned Krsna as the Lord of the gods and, in conjunction with Surabhi and the other gods present, gave him the name Govinda. In Sri Hari Vamsa (2.19.46) and Visnu Purana (5.12.12), Indra gives Krsna the name Upendra at the end of the Govardhana lila. In Sri Hari Vamsa, Indra says, sa mamopari yathendras tvam sthapito gobhir isvarah, upendra iti krsna tvam gasyanti divi devatah: "O Krsna, because the cows have established you as the Indra above me, the supreme controller, the devas in heaven will call you Upendra." In the same lila described in Srimad-Bhagavatam, Surabhi under Indra's direction names Krsna "Govinda" instead of Upendra. Govinda means he who gives pleasure to or is known by the cows, or he who is the Lord of the cows. The cows are said to be the source of the gods--gobhyo devah samutthitah. Thus the name Govinda--Lord of the cows--is synonymous with the name Upendra--he who is above Indra. So it is this Upendra--Govinda--not the Upendra who is the younger brother of Indra, that is the personification of sakhya rati. Furthermore, in Gopala-tapani Upanisad it is revealed that the name Govinda in the eighteen-syllable Krsna mantra is identified with sakhya-rati. He who gives pleasure to the cows, Sri Govinda, does so in his eternal lila by taking them into the forest along with his comrades, all of whom love him as their dearest friend. This lila and this name and form of God are all about sakhya-rati. Q. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu's principal associate Sri Nityananda Prabhu is known as akrodha paramananda nityananda-raya, which means that he is always joyful in transcendental bliss and never becomes angry. However it is narrated in the book Nityananda-caritamrta that Nityananda Prabhu visited a Buddhist monastery and found the Buddhists all sitting together. The Lord then asked a question and when no one replied he became angry and kicked the Buddhists in the head. I find this quite confusing. Why did such an uncharacteristic display of anger come from Nityananda Prabhu? A. The text you mention is originally from Caitanya Bhagavata (1.9.145). It goes on to say that the Buddhists smiled in return, paldila bauddha-gana hasiya hasiya. So Nityananda Prabhu somehow made them happy. This is his principal characteristic. Therefore Locana dasa prays to him thus, ha ha prabhu nityananda premananda sukhi, krpabalokana koro ami baro duhkhi: "My dear Lord Nityananda, you are always joyful in spiritual bliss. Since you always appear very happy, I have come to you because I am most unhappy. If you kindly cast your glance upon me, I may also become happy." It appears that the followers of Nityananda Prabhu often speak of kicking in the head people who do not take advantage of Mahaprabhu's mercy. This is a peculiar expression of their particular bhava (sakhya bhava/fraternal love), in which the eagerness for heroism and a good fight that is prominent in sakhya bhava is transformed into an expression of religious heroism in Caitanya lila. Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura said that this is an example of their special mercy, for it immediately draws Krsna's sympathy to those whom they insult. However, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has cautioned that while great devotees may sometimes speak like this out of bhava, less advanced devotees should not imitate them. Q. Souls emanating from Balarama are said to be replete with knowledge (nitya siddha), while those emanating from Maha-Visnu are lacking in knowledge (nitya-baddha). Is this due to Balarama being a greater manifestation of Krsna? A. There are different types of souls. Souls emanating from Maha-Visnu are called tatastha-sakti (marginal energy); these souls can lose sight of themselves and become inhabitants of the material world. They are part of the Lord's play known as srsti lila, the lila of creation. Souls emanating from Baladeva, Sri Radha, Subala, and so on are never subject to material illusion. They are not involved with the material energy because their source is not involved, as is Maha-Visnu in the case of the nitya-baddha jivas. Q. Some saints in Krsna lila or Caitanya lila are described as combinations of different personalities; for example, Ramananda Raya, the associate of Sri Chaitanya, is said to be Arjuna and Visaka sakhi simultaneously. How are we to understand this and which Arjuna is being referred to, the cowherd friend of Krsna in Vraja lila or the warrior friend of Krsna of Bhagavad-gita fame? A. Eternal associates (nitya parsada) of Krsna like Ramananda Raya are constituted of Krsna's svarupa-sakti, unlike the jiva souls in the material world who are constituted of his tatastha-sakti. Nitya parsada souls often appear with the Lord in his various incarnations in appropriate forms or in more than one form. For that matter when the jiva comes under the influence of Krsna's svarupa-sakti, it can realize more than one spiritual form in which to serve Krsna. For example, it is taught in the Gaudiya tradition that the jiva can attain a form as a young brahmana boy in Gaura lila and a corresponding form as a gopi or gopa in Krsna lila. Sri Jiva Goswami cites a passage from the Candogya Upanisad in his Priti-sandarbha in this regard, interpreting it in an interesting way. Sri Jiva says, "By his own will a liberated soul can manifest many different forms. This is described in these words of Candogya Upanisad (7.26.2): sa ekadha bhavati, dvidha bhavati, tridha bhavati: 'The liberated soul may manifest one form, two forms, three forms, or more forms than that.' " He cites this passage while speaking about the highest liberation, as described in the preceding chapter of the same Upanisad. Sri Jiva says, "The highest state of liberation is described in these words of Candogya Upanisad (7.25.2): sa va evam pasyann evam manvana evam vijanann atma-ratir atma-krida atma-mithuna, 'In this way the liberated soul sees God, thinks of him, understands him, delights in him, and enjoys pastimes with him.' " Candogya 7.26.2 cited above is referring to spiritual forms and the potential of the liberated to have more than one such form for the sake of lila with Bhagavan. Regarding Ramananda Raya in particular, various devotees have identified him differently. Kavi Karnapura identified him with the gopi Lalita and the Pandava Arjuna based upon the Ramananda-samvada's being roughly analogous to the Bhagavad-gita. He also identifies him as the priyanarma sakha Arjuna of Vraja-lila based on his pacifying Sri Caitanya when he assumed the bhava of Krsna in separation from Radha. Priyanarma sakhas are confidential friends of Krsna who are involved in service within the romantic life of Radha-Krsna. Others such as Bhaktivinoda Thakura have identified Ramananda Raya with Visakha gopi based on Visakha's being so similar to Radha, having been born on the same day, and so on. Because of this similarity, she (as Ramananda Raya) is eminently qualified to help Caitanya Mahaprabhu enter Radha's bhava. Such is the rasika darsana (visionary ecstasy) of different devotees, and such is the potential of the nitya parsadas of Sri Krsna. [Editor's note: More information on priyanarma sakhas can be found in the Sanga entitled "The Dearmost Friend of Krsna."] Questions or comments may be submitted at the Q&A Forum http://www.swami.org/sanga/ or email sangaeditor@swami.org.
  5. This edition is the first definitive English rendering of Gopala-tapani Upanisad, the most important Upanisad for those following the path of Krsna bhakti. It includes the original Devanagari Sanskrit script, English transliteration, word-for-word meaning, English translation, and an extensive commentary that is both traditional and contemporary at the same time. Gopala-tapani Upanisad is one of the principal 108 Upanisads. It is centered on the significance of the cowherd (Gopala) Krsna and the spiritual practice by which this feature of the divine can be realized. Gopala Krsna represents the heart of the Absolute and is thus realized by the exercise of the practitioner’s heart, from dutiful devotion to love itself. Within the narratives this Upanisad employs to reveal its esoteric doctrine, the very figure of love personified appears along with love’s object. The perfect object of love, Krsna, while nondual, is not alone. He appears with the milkmaid Gandharvi, identified elsewhere in sacred Hindu lore as Radha. She is his primary sakti. As the principal of sacrifice, self-giving, and love, she exemplifies the means to unlock the mystery of life and live within its secret. http://www.swami.org/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=GU&Category_Code=B I've attached a picture of the book, above. Ys., Rama Kesava das
  6. No - not a good article. See http://chakra.org/living/SimpApr21_04.html for why. -Rama
  7. Krsna can thread an elephant through the eye of a needle... So, therefore he can speak for hours on the 18 chapters of the Gita in seemingly a few minutes. Therefore probability or possibility have nothing to do with it. See this battle through the eyes of scripture (sastra-caksuh) and see that Krsna's message is ultimately more important than the setting or form. -Rama
  8. Nisha prabhuji, Regardless of whether it's appropriate or not to "trade" salagrama-silas, remember to include your e-mail address (or some other contact method) so anyone can contact you! Ys., Rama Kesava dasa
  9. The answer can be found in the thread "What Happened to Vina". In this, Panca-Tattva prabhu says: I hope they get it and the WVA back on-line, ASAP. The WVA is a nice idea, that badly needs an on-line and up-to-date web presence. Ys., Rama Kesava dasa
  10. nine9


    Good point. I will go away and think about this... maybe it's something I need to discuss with him. (I will admit that I never agreed with your retranslation of viyoni, but I posted my reasons elsewhere, and that is a past topic of debate.) Ys., Rama Kesava dasa [This message has been edited by nine9 (edited 05-06-2002).]
  11. nine9


    Dear theist, Pranams. I see Amara has beaten me to it, and summed up Swami's position on this. Thanks Amara! You actually bring up a very interesting and valid point here, that I will now have to address on the website. True, the gay men of today are not completely the same as the Puranic definition of the third sex. Most of them are engaged in violent and depraved acts of debauchery, sinful activities, meat-eating, alcoholism, etc. GALVA does not really seek to argue about them. As with all things, the GALVA point of view is an idealised one. Just as we assume in the definition of devotee that he or she is faithfully adhering to KC in both thoughts and deeds, we should bear in mind that the "gay relationships" in Krsna Consciousness, that we present are idealised ones. The third gender of the Puranas maybe did include those segments of society, who bsed their relationships on lust and desire alone, but as they neglected to sanction them, so too do we make our presentation one of a celibate homosexual couple, in which the sexual desire has been sublimated and replaced by mutual benefit for devotional service. There is too much assumption, still as ever, on what people get up to. People automatically assume that homosexuals are promiscuous, or that those couples who are in Krsna Consciousness are basing their relationships on satisfying their carnal urges every five minutes. This what I meant. The fundamental point here is that we should rather assume that if someone says they are sticking to the rules, that they are, and we should believe them. If a homosexual couple comes to Krsna Consciousness, fully understanding and accepting that they will be expected to be celibate (as they cannot have children) -- as was the Puranic tritya-prakrti -- then they should be seen on an equal footing as heterosexuals. I think we actually agree on far more than we both give each credit for. Anyways, prabhu, it's been nice to have this talk...and I appreciate your candour. Thanks for stimulating "ze little grey cells", and Hari bol! Ys., Rama Kesava dasa
  12. nine9


    I'm here... just very, very busy. I hardly get time to come on this website, hence I gave you my e-mail. It wasn't to create a "private" conversation, but to give you the opportunity to correspond if you wanted. We've been over this issue a million times. Of course no-one is saying that we should live rampant lives full of carnal pleasure, but yes, Maharaja does have gay disciples, and recognises them as such. In an ideal situation you would see us, just as you see your heterosexual peers. We have the same problems with lust, and EXACTLY the same duty to fight and abate it. Just go and read the GALVA website if you have any questions. The whole point's not to create factionism. Ideally we should all just get on with our sadhana, without persecuting each other, and without fear of persecution because of what people THINK we get up to. My point is that asides from what sexual perversions of the material world they enjoy gay and straight people are more-or-less the same. the appelation is only there to give shelter to those who have been persecute. A question, though: what's the harm of having nice, celibate, gay couples serving together in Krsna Consciousness? Ys., Rama Kesava dasa rama.kesava.bvts@pamho.net
  13. nine9


    Yes I am Maharaja's disciple... Why don't you just ask me then, prabhu? You can e-mail me at rama.kesava.bvts@pamho.net. Ys., Rama Kesava dasa [This message has been edited by nine9 (edited 04-29-2002).]
  14. Skeptic, Stonehearted, Haribol! I thought I might point out that, although not listed on the Audarya Bookstore website, there is a mini version of Fom of Beauty that is not so expensive. Here are the details: Form of Beauty : Mini Edition by Swami B. V. Tripurari Price: $12.95 Paperback - 208 pages (October 2000) Mandala Publishing Group; ISBN: 1886069379 ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.56 x 4.83 x 4.37 Ys., Rama Kesava dasa Sanga website: http://www.swami.org/sanga Audarya website: http://www.swami.org/ Audarya Bookstore: http://www.swami.org/merchant.mv
  15. Okay - the one from http://krishna.org and from http://folio.bhaktivedanta.org/ is actually the old DOS version. It is distributed by the Prabhupada Sankirtana Society (PSS) - and whilst it works, it unfortunately only covers books Srila Prabhupada actually wrote (hence it stops at SB 10.13). I have a copy here, and it looks, feels (and is?) a bootleg. -Rama
  • Create New...