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Reforming the reformer

Part 3

Similarly a person who can understand the above verse is eligible to see Krsna everywhere.

Bhagavad-gita 6.30

yo mam pasyati sarvatra
sarvam ca mayi pasyati
tasyaham na pranasyami
sa ca me na pranasyati

For one who sees Me everywhere and sees everything in Me, I am never lost, nor is he ever lost to Me.

PURPORT

A person in Krsna consciousness certainly sees Lord Krsna everywhere, and he sees everything in Krsna. Such a person may appear to see all separate manifestations of the material nature, but in each and every instance he is conscious of Krsna, knowing that everything is a manifestation of Krsna’s energy. Nothing can exist without Krsna, and Krsna is the Lord of everything — this is the basic principle of Krsna consciousness. Krsna consciousness is the development of love of Krsna — a position transcendental even to material liberation. At this stage of Krsna consciousness, beyond self-realization, the devotee becomes one with Krsna in the sense that Krsna becomes everything for the devotee and the devotee becomes full in loving Krsna. An intimate relationship between the Lord and the devotee then exists. In that stage, the living entity can never be annihilated, nor is the Personality of Godhead ever out of the sight of the devotee. To merge in Krsna is spiritual annihilation. A devotee takes no such risk. It is stated in the Brahma-samhita (5.38):

premanjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santah sadaiva hrdayesu vilokayanti
yam syamasundaram acintya-guna-svarupam
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

“I worship the primeval Lord, Govinda, who is always seen by the devotee whose eyes are anointed with the pulp of love. He is seen in His eternal form of Syamasundara, situated within the heart of the devotee.”

At this stage, Lord Krsna never disappears from the sight of the devotee, nor does the devotee ever lose sight of the Lord. In the case of a yogi who sees the Lord as Paramatma within the heart, the same applies. Such a yogi turns into a pure devotee and cannot bear to live for a moment without seeing the Lord within himself.

» Posted By shiva On May 30, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

Part 2

From the purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 2.3.21

As stated hereinbefore, there are three kinds of devotees of the Lord. The first-class devotee does not at all see anyone who is not in the service of the Lord, but the second-class devotee makes distinctions between devotees and nondevotees. The second-class devotees are therefore meant for preaching work, and as referred to in the above verse, they must loudly preach the glories of the Lord. The second-class devotee accepts disciples from the section of third-class devotees or nondevotees. Sometimes the first-class devotee also comes down to the category of the second-class devotee for preaching work.

If you can rise to the platform of uttama vision, then due to that understanding of seeing everything under the direction of the Lord, the Lord becomes revealed through seeing that direction.

Krsna says in Srimad Bhagavatam 11.13.24

manasa vacasa drstya
grhyate ‘nyair apindriyaih
aham eva na matto ‘nyad
iti budhyadhvam anjasa

Within this world, whatever is perceived by the mind, speech, eyes or other senses is Me alone and nothing besides Me. All of you please understand this by a straightforward analysis of the facts.

Because Krsna is controlling everything as Paramatma, then we can see Krsna through the actions of everyone. In a film whatever appears on the screen is meant to appear there due to the control over the film by the writer, director and editor. Because of that control they can if they desire include a message for one or more people that will only be recognizable to the people the message is meant for. Those people can only see the message if they know the creators of the film have inserted a message just for them.

» Posted By shiva On May 30, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

Part 1

Akruranath you wrote

This is a sobering bit of information. I guess this means all of my criticism and anger about how other people are doing (or neglecting) their service is totally misguided?

Well, yes and no, it depends. Criticism is alright under the right circumstances, anger is a sign of ignorance (There is divine anger, but that is something else). Srila Saraswati Thakura words can be seen as explaining this verse from the Gita

ye yatha mam prapadyante
tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manusyah partha sarvasah

As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Prtha.

Srila Prabhupada would say or write often

“Mahatma Gandhi he used to say that “Not a blade of grass moves without the
sanction of God.” It is a fact. It is a fact. Nothing can be done without His sanction.”
(Bhagavad-gita 5.7-13 — New York, August 27, 1966)

Whatever anyone is doing is being done under the guidance of the Lord. Everyone follows the path of the Lord in all respects. The point Srila Bhaktisiddhanta is making is that we should try and understand what is reality and what is illusion. Reality is: everything that is going on is being directed to happen by Paramatma. We should understand that we nor anyone else can affect the course of reality because we are all under the same controlling agent. Does knowing this mean that we shouldn’t criticize what anyone is doing because we know they are being sanctioned by the will of God in their actions? No, we can criticize, but we should try and understand what is reality and what is illusion.

The vision of seeing everything as the will of the Lord is the vision of the uttama adhikari bhakta. No one else can see with that vision at all times. Other people may see with that vision occasionally, but due to not being on the higher level they cannot maintain that vision. They will generally see everyone and everything acting under their own will and direction. The uttama adhikari always sees everyone serving Krsna. In order to preach he has to tell people to change what they are doing, he has to ignore that he sees everyone serving the will of the Lord, so he takes on a lower vision. Not that he stops seeing everyone doing the will of the Lord, he just disregards that vision when he acts to change the direction of peoples lives.

» Posted By shiva On May 30, 2008 @ 10:39 pm

The Brain As Holodeck

part 2

If your life is not lived as an offering to the Lord then you exist in the “material world”, like food not offered to the Lord remains “material”, but when offered becomes “spiritual”.

C.C. 189

manuṣyāṇāḿ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye
yatatām api siddhānāḿ kaścin māḿ vetti tattvatah

“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.”

The word siddhaye indicates liberation. Only after being liberated from material conditioning can one understand Kṛṣṇa. When one can understand Kṛṣṇa as He is (tattvataḥ), one actually lives in the spiritual world, although apparently living within the material body. This technical science can be understood when one is actually spiritually advanced.

In his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.187), Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says:

īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā manasā girā
nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate

When a person in this material world desires only to serve Kṛṣṇa with love and devotion, he is liberated, even though functioning within this material world. As the Bhagavad-gītā (14.26) confirms:

māḿ ca yo ‘vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate
sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

“One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.”

Simply by engaging in the loving service of the Lord one can attain liberation. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.54), brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāńkṣati. A person who is highly advanced in spiritual knowledge and who has attained the brahma-bhūta stage neither laments nor hankers for anything material. That is the stage of spiritual realization.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura considers the brahma-bhūta stage in two divisions — svarūpa-gata and vastu-gata. One who has understood Kṛṣṇa in truth but is still maintaining some material connection is known to be situated in his svarūpa, his original consciousness. When that original consciousness is completely spiritual, it is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who lives in such consciousness is actually living in Vṛndāvana. He may live anywhere; material location doesn’t mat ter. When by the grace of Kṛṣṇa one thus advances, he becomes completely uncontaminated by the material body and mind and at that time factually lives in Vṛndāvana.

» Posted By shiva On Jan 4, 2008 @ 8:26 am

part 1

Akruranath prabhu, what Kapiladev is refering to is a very deep understanding concerning the nature of perception. Srila Prabhupada wrote the following in a purport to the Bhagavatam (verse 4.9.7 ) which may illuminate what Kapiladev is trying to convey:

Dhruva Maharaja realized that the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, acts through His different energies, not that He becomes void or impersonal and thus becomes all-pervading. The Mayavadi philosopher thinks that the Absolute Truth, being spread throughout the cosmic manifestation, has no personal form. But here Dhruva Maharaja, upon realization of the Vedic conclusion, says, “You are spread all over the cosmic manifestation by Your energy.” This energy is basically spiritual, but because it acts in the material world temporarily, it is called maya, or illusory energy. In other words, for everyone but the devotees the Lord’s energy acts as external energy. Dhruva Maharaja could understand this fact very nicely, and he could understand also that the energy and the energetic are one and the same. The energy cannot be separated from the energetic

The basic idea which Kapiladev is trying to impart is that the “material” world exists for those whose consciousness is affected by ahankara. What he is saying is what Srila Prabhupada mentions in the above i.e. that the “material world” exists as a condition of the conditioned soul. For the person who is free from illusion, or the enlightened devotee, for them, the external energy of the Lord, or the “material” world, no longer exists. They exist in the spiritual world no matter where they are. An example would be the concept of prasadam. If we take an item which may seem to be comprised of material energy, like an apple, then offer that apple to the Lord, it becomes spiritual energy. The apple does not change it’s actual composition, it is still comprised of the same substance, what changes is the consciousness of the those who see the apple as transcendental after it is offered to the Lord. So what Kapila is saying is that the material world is “caused” by ahankara, or the world exists as such by the perception of those under the influence of ahanakra. Those who are free from ahankara understand that because everything is the energy of the Lord, and that the energy and the energetic are one, that they are “one and the same”, therefore the “material energy” no longer exists for them.

» Posted By shiva On Jan 4, 2008 @ 8:15 am

part 4

When the jiva is free from ahankara then he finds the Lord existing at the heart of the mind.

premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena
santaḥ sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti
yaḿ śyāmasundaram acintya-guṇa-svarūpam
govindam ādi-puruṣaḿ tam ahaḿ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who is Śyāmasundara, Kṛṣṇa Himself with inconceivable innumerable attributes, whom the pure devotees see in their heart of hearts with the eye of devotion tinged with the salve of love

Therefore Kapila says

muktāśrayaḿ yarhi nirviṣayaḿ viraktam
nirvāṇam ṛcchati manaḥ sahasā yathārcih
ātmānam atra puruṣo ‘vyavadhānam ekam
anvīkṣate pratinivṛtta-guṇa-pravāhah

When the mind is thus completely freed from all material contamination and detached from material objectives, it is just like the flame of a lamp. At that time the mind is actually dovetailed with that of the Supreme Lord and is experienced as one with Him because it is freed from the interactive flow of the material qualities

so ‘py etayā caramayā manaso nivṛttyā
tasmin mahimny avasitaḥ sukha-duḥkha-bāhye
hetutvam apy asati kartari duḥkhayor yat
svātman vidhatta upalabdha-parātma-kāṣṭhah

Thus situated in the highest transcendental stage, the mind ceases from all material reaction and becomes situated in its own glory, transcendental to all material conceptions of happiness and distress. At that time the yogī realizes the truth of his relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He discovers that pleasure and pain as well as their interactions, which he attributed to his own self, are actually due to the false ego, which is a product of ignorance.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 31, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

part 3

The mind is not a machine which is dependent on the chemical interactions of the brain. The mind works under God’s direction because there is really only one mind, God’s mind, which is all pervading and which we are all dependent on for our intellectual ability to understand anything.

sarvasya caham hrdi sannivisto
mattah smrtir jnanam apohanam ca

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.

In the conditioned state the jiva is affected by ahankara, and by that, the true reality of the mind is obscured, and the conditioned mind, which is illusory, is what arises. Kapila tells us

vaikārikād vikurvāṇān
manas-tattvam ajāyata
yat-sańkalpa-vikalpābhyām
vartate kāma-sambhavah

From the false ego of goodness, another transformation takes place. From this evolves the mind, whose thoughts and reflections give rise to desire.

Here Kapila is talking about the material mind, or the illusory mind, which is created when the jiva identifies the mind as himself or under his control. Kapila goes on to say

sahasra-śirasaḿ sākṣād
yam anantaḿ pracakṣate
sańkarṣaṇākhyaḿ puruṣam
bhūtendriya-manomayam

The threefold ahańkāra, the source of the gross elements, the senses and the mind, is identical with them because it is their cause. It is known by the name of Sańkarṣaṇa, who is directly Lord Ananta with a thousand heads.

Here we are told that ahankara is essentially creating our material existence. When one is under the influence of ahankara one misidentifies reality, thus creating the material world, material senses, and material mind. But in reality it is all directly the Lord. Therefore the material existence we experience is really only tentative for the jiva, it is contingent upon our perception. The mind is seen in one way when you are conditioned, but in a different way when you are liberated. Therefore Kapila says

yad vidur hy aniruddhakhyam
hrsikanam adhisvaram
saradendivara-syamam
samradhyam yogibhih sanaih

The mind of the living entity is known by the name of Lord Aniruddha, the supreme ruler of the senses. He possesses a bluish-black form resembling a lotus flower growing in the autumn. He is found slowly by the yogīs.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 31, 2007 @ 9:44 pm

part 2

In the Bhagavatam Kapiladev states

yad vidur hy aniruddhakhyam
hrsikanam adhisvaram
saradendivara-syamam
samradhyam yogibhih sanaih

The mind of the living entity is known by the name of Lord Aniruddha, the supreme ruler of the senses. He possesses a bluish-black form resembling a lotus flower growing in the autumn. He is found slowly by the yogīs.

The reality is that the mind is God. The Lord is all pervading, the mind of every jiva is a manifestation of the Lord’s mind. In the conditioned state the jiva identifies with the mind, seeing the mind as either himself or under his control. But in reality the mind is the Lord. We do not experience reality through the brain. A material body needs some brain substance in order for the jiva to function properly in the body, but the world is not being experienced by the brain, nor is what we experience of the world a “REPRESENTATION built by the mind”. The materialists have to believe that what we experience is a “representation built by the mind” because the basis of the function of the mind to them is the chemical interactions going on in the brain. Therefore they think the world we experience has to be something created by the brain because they think our mind is created by the brain and that we experience the world through our mind. In truth we experience the world through our consciousness, which is different from the mind. The materialists either deny that consciousness exists, or they consider it as a function of the mind.

The mind is not the product of chemical interactions in the brain, but is rather transcendent to the brain and existing in it’s own dimension, it is a “ghost in the machine”. It functions in a way which has nothing to do with “building a representation” of reality, except when you are asleep and experience dreams. When you look at these words your brain is not creating these words in your mind, you are actually seeing these words through your consciousness, you understand what you see through the mind. We do experience the world through the mind in the sense of the understanding of what we experience through our cosnciousness, is dependent on the mind informing our consciousness. Without a mind we wouldn’t understand what we perceive, we would be like some lower life form.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 31, 2007 @ 9:43 pm

Part 1

I agree with most of what you wrote, but I feel there was a mistake in the beginning where you wrote:

What we directly experience is not actually the external hard physical material world, but a REPRESENTATION built by the mind, within the networks of the body’s brain, nervous and glandular systems, life air, etc., but primarily the brain, of the occupied body, exactly like a person experiencing the holo-deck from Star Trek fame. Subject, also, to defects.

The current trend in explaining the mind-brain relationship in the various scientific fields associated with that is in agreement with the above. But they are wrong, as is the above. They see the mind as a product of the brain. They cannot explain how the mind works nor how the brain-mind connection works, but because they start from a platform of metaphysical naturalism, they can only speculate within the confines of those intellectual borders. Therefore to their way of looking at the mind they can only explain how the mind works in reference to the material goings on within the brain e.g. chemicals in the brain are responsible for the existence of the mind, and the mind works on a chemical or material basis.

The reality is that the mind is not the product of, nor dependent on, nor functions, based upon the brain. Some people have almost no brain at all yet have highly developed minds ( http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/science/is_the_brain_really_necessary.htm )

» Posted By shiva On Dec 31, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

The Meaning of Enthusiasm and Its Possible Misuse

part 2

The problematic part is where you introduce the idea that the enthusiasm spoken of as being an essential aspect of bhakti, is what needs to be tempered in order to counsel people in crisis. I know what you are meaning to say, but from my perspective I feel that the relationship you write about between devotional enthusiasm and it’s possible leading to improper counseling, is not quite the proper way to put it. The literal meaning of enthusiasm really captures the essence of what it entails, it is something which is coming from God. Bhakti is ultimately experienced as something which is bestowed on us. We are the recipients of divine grace. The realization of our being recipients of divine grace manifests in various ways, one of which is enthusiasm for saranagati, enthusiasm for pleasing the Lord. That enthusiasm is a reciprocal part of a person’s relationship with the Lord. When a devotee is free from all conditioning and misconception, then that natural enthusiasm becomes prema. What you describe as being enthusiasm wrongly applied, is not what is meant by enthusiasm for bhakti. What you are describing is simply immaturity or improper action due to a lack of empathy or sensitivity. Enthusiasm for bhakti should not be mistaken to be a cause of unwanted things. What may appear to be over enthusiasm for bhakti which may appear to cause improper action, is in reality something else.

» Posted By shiva On Jan 3, 2008 @ 10:21 am

part 1

Karnamrta prabhu, first you start off by quoting the words of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura vis-a-vis the meaning of enthusiasm as it relates to the practice and life of bhakti. Then you veer off into a discussion of how to treat people who have gone through, or are going through, some type of traumatic experience. The title of your presentation sums up the essential message which you are trying to impart, “The Meaning of Enthusiasm and Its Possible Misuse”. From what I could tell you are telling us that “enthusiasm” has it’s place within the life of a sadhaka, but when confronted with people who are in some type of personal “crisis”, that the “enthusiasm” which is considered as important for the life of a bhakta, should be put on the “back burner” in order to counsel and aid grieving or troubled people who need a more personal touch.

From my perspective what you are saying is both true and also somewhat not true. The true part is where you say that people in crisis need personal rather then impersonal aid. While the truth of a person’s personal problems may have to do with karma etc, and can be understood and explained with a detached philosophy, it is also true that often time for a person in crisis their ability to process and relate to philosophy is hampered by their emotional state. Often times they simply need a friend, rather then a teacher.

» Posted By shiva On Jan 3, 2008 @ 10:20 am

Does Sex Attraction Bring People to Krishna?

I know for a fact that people have become attracted to Krsna consciousness due to their sexual attraction for devotees, not just men for ladies, but also ladies for men. I have seen numerous times where someone who is not a devotee is sexually attracted to devotees, and then start going to the temple, and eventually become devotees. This is simply a fact of life. You cannot take the sexual attraction away from young good looking healthy people, unless you put them in burkhas. Since devotees usually present an “exotic” factor along with youthful beautiful devotees, this will naturally be sexually attractive to many people.

So the question being raised by Maharaja is, are the current actions of female devotees, when they engage in plays and harinam, effective in spreading Krsna consciousness? Obviously yes. I have seen this many times where people are interested in the devotees and then become devotees themselves.

Then Maharaja tells us that he is 150% against it. I am curious as to understand why? Is it because they are young and beautiful? Or do they seem to you to be doing something that non-devotees will find to be overly sexual? If it is the former, I don’t see any problem, what if they were not beautiful and young, would that be better? How about the men who are young and handsome? Are they also improperly acting if they dance in a way that may arouse sexual feelings in women? If it is the latter, I am sure that is not the case. Devotee women appear far more chaste in appearence then what current western fashion dictates as modest. In India many people are accepting western fashion trends as normal, to many of them, devotee women appear very conservative. So I don’t see the problem, at least from what I have seen, which is a lot since there are countless videos of harinams and performances by ISKCON ladies from all over the world on websites like youtube. What they do seems very conservative by pretty much any standard, except maybe for Islamic countries and the most ultra conservative hindus, nethier of which are the target audience of ISKCON. What would you have the devotee ladies do? Stop participating? Follow ultra orthodox standards which will be appreciated by almost no one and seen as demeaning to the majority? Any of this will be bad for the devotee ladies enthusiasm for service, and for public perception of ISKCON.

Someone first mentioned that in India women from “respectable families” don’t show their bodies when performing dramas, then he goes on to claim that men will play female roles, and that women who don’t adhere to this standard (which one?) are considered low class “society women”. Well maybe that is true to some extent in some place in India, but I have to disagree with claiming that it is the standard all over India, or even a widely held view. Profesional women actors and dancers are highly respected all over India, without their resorting to some Islamic orthodox standard of “decency”. I doubt there is any woman in India more respected, and even worshipped, then Aiswarya Rai, isn’t it so? If some famous Bollywood actress shows an interest in ISKCON, that is seen as a good thing isn’t it? Wouldn’t she be treated as a major coup for ISKCON interests?

Even so, the standard in India is not the standard for most of the world. If we want to succesfully spread Krsna consciousness then we should respect the reason Srila Prabhupada told us he added female participation in ISKCON in the first place.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 7.38

sabā nistārite prabhu kṛpā-avatāra
sabā nistārite kare cāturī apāra

SYNONYMS

sabā — all; nistārite — to deliver; prabhu — the Lord; kṛpā — mercy; avatāra — incarnation; sabā — all; nistārite — to deliver; kare — did; cāturī — devices; apāra — unlimited.

TRANSLATION

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu appeared in order to deliver all the fallen souls. Therefore He devised many methods to liberate them from the clutches of māyā.

PURPORT

It is the concern of the ācārya to show mercy to the fallen souls. In this connection, deśa-kāla-pātra (the place, the time and the object) should be taken into consideration. Since the European and American boys and girls in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement preach together, less intelligent men criticize that they are mingling without restriction. In Europe and America boys and girls mingle unrestrictedly and have equal rights; therefore it is not possible to completely separate the men from the women. However, we are thoroughly instructing both men and women how to preach, and actually they are preaching wonderfully. Of course, we very strictly prohibit illicit sex. Boys and girls who are not married are not allowed to sleep together or live together, and there are separate arrangements for boys and girls in every temple. Gṛhasthas live outside the temple, for in the temple we do not allow even husband and wife to live together. The results of this are wonderful. Both men and women are preaching the gospel of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Lord Kṛṣṇa with redoubled strength. In this verse the words sabā nistārite kare cāturī apāra indicate that Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu wanted to deliver one and all. Therefore it is a principle that a preacher must strictly follow the rules and regulations laid down in the śāstras yet at the same time devise a means by which the preaching work to reclaim the fallen may go on with full force.

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Madhya 23.105

yukta-vairāgya-sthiti saba śikhāila
śuṣka-vairāgya-jñāna saba niṣedhila

SYNONYMS

yukta-vairāgya — of proper renunciation; sthiti — the situation; saba — all; śikhāila — instructed; śuṣka-vairāgya — dry renunciation; jñāna — speculative knowledge; saba — all; niṣedhila — forbade.

TRANSLATION

Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu then told Sanātana Gosvāmī about proper renunciation according to a particular situation, and the Lord forbade dry renunciation and speculative knowledge in all respects.

PURPORT

This is the technique for understanding śuṣka-vairāgya and yukta-vairāgya. In the Bhagavad-gītā (6.17) it is said:

yuktāhāra-vihārasya yukta-ceṣṭasya karmasu
yukta-svapnāvabodhasya yogo bhavati duḥkha-hā

“He who is temperate in his habits of eating, sleeping, recreation and work can mitigate all material pains by practicing the yoga system.” To broadcast the cult of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, one has to learn the possibility of renunciation in terms of country, time and candidate. A candidate for Kṛṣṇa consciousness in the Western countries should be taught about the renunciation of material existence, but one would teach candidates from a country like India in a different way. The teacher (ācārya) has to consider time, candidate and country. He must avoid the principle of niyamāgraha — that is, he should not try to perform the impossible. What is possible in one country may not be possible in another. The ācārya’s duty is to accept the essence of devotional service. There may be a little change here and there as far as yukta-vairāgya (proper renunciation) is concerned. Dry renunciation is forbidden by Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and we have also learned this from our spiritual master, His Divine Grace Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura Gosvāmī Mahārāja. The essence of devotional service must be taken into consideration, and not the outward paraphernalia.

(…)

A Vaiṣṇava is immediately purified, provided he follows the rules and regulations of his bona fide spiritual master. It is not necessary that the rules and regulations followed in India be exactly the same as those in Europe, America and other Western countries. Simply imitating without effect is called niyamāgraha. Not following the regulative principles but instead living extravagantly is also called niyamāgraha. The word niyama means “regulative principles,” and āgraha means “eagerness.” The word agraha means “not to accept.” We should not follow regulative principles without an effect, nor should we fail to accept the regulative principles. What is required is a special technique according to country, time and candidate. Without the sanction of the spiritual master, we should not try to imitate. This principle is recommended here: śuṣka-vairāgya-jñāna saba niṣedhila. This is Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu’s liberal demonstration of the bhakti cult. We should not introduce anything whimsically, without the sanction of the bona fide spiritual master. In this connection, Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura comments on these points by quoting two verses by Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.255-256).

anāsaktasya viṣayān yathārham upayuñjatah
nirbandhaḥ kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yuktaḿ vairāgyam ucyate
prāpañcikatayā buddhyā hari-sambandhi-vastunah
mumukṣubhiḥ parityāgo vairāgyaḿ phalgu kathyate

“When one is not attached to anything but at the same time accepts everything in relation to Kṛṣṇa, one is rightly situated above possessiveness. On the other hand, one who rejects everything without knowledge of its relationship to Kṛṣṇa is not as complete in his renunciation.” To preach the bhakti cult, one should seriously consider these verses.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 10, 2007 @ 9:41 pm

Protecting Our Future

I agree with you completely as well that the problem you described does exist, I didn’t mean to imply that it does not. From what I have seen it is not all that common, but then again as you suggest, it may well have a lot to do with location. In one part you wrote

So, how to inject some realism and thus hopefully rectify this anomaly in our society? In order to affect real change those in positions of authority need to dampen down the excessive expression of apparent devotion that some disciples manifest. They need to be proactive in injecting sobriety, maturity and conservatism into these relationships.

That seems to be something which can be interpreted and acted upon in many different ways, some of which may have the opposite of the desired effect and cause the devotee to be resentful, cause a breack-up, or a desire to leave. Maybe you could clarify the above, as it stands it seems to be too open-ended. For example what is “excessive expression of apparent devotion” in contrast to the appropriate expression? How can someone objectively judge another devotee’s level of sincere and spontaneous devotion as being excessive or not? How does one “inject sobriety, maturity, and conservatism”?, without offending either the devotee or the guru? Who is capable to do these things? You wrote that people in positions of authority should do it, but what position of authority? Maybe a person in authority isn’t very qualified to deal with this specific situation for any number of reasons. To me it seems that the guru should deal with this, or a marriage counseler. “Authorities” can mean almost anyone in many cases. Maybe a husband who is feeling insecure or having problems with his wife for any number of reasons will go to a friend in an authority position (or maybe the husband is in an authority position) who will go along with the husband to try and shame the wife into being more devoted to the husband in the name of the wife being too devoted to her guru. For most devotees in positions of authority or perceived authority getting involved in the personal relationships between husbands and wives is probably not a good solution because most likely most “authorities” lack expertise in either counseling or dealing with the specific person they are asked to deal with. The situation you described is very delicate and needs to be very carefully dealt with.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 9, 2007 @ 8:00 pm

Nice thoughts Praghosa Prabhu. One thing I would add is that the problems with marriages not lasting in ISKCON may be in many cases the fault of the male devotee. From what I have witnessed it is not unusual for the male devotee to not respect his wife as he would respect another male vaisnava. For a marriage to work, especially with the highly educated and spiritually advanced ladies who take part in the sankirtan movement, there has to be a respect for the lady as a devotee. They shouldn’t be lloked at and then treated as the servant of the male. Even though the dharma of the lady is to serve her husband, that service is supposed to be rendered due to her natural respect and affection for her husband, but the husband has to deserve that respect, not demand it. If the husband enters into the relationship thinking himself to be superior to his wife and deserving of her devotion, then that can lead to problems. The problem usually isn’t that the wife feels too much devotion to her guru and then sees the husband as not living up to some imagined high standard, the problem is usually that the husband isn’t treating his wife with love and devotion while expecting or demanding it for himself.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 9, 2007 @ 3:54 am

Death Penalty: A Potential PR Nightmare?

Pandu Das you are using the claim that since there have been many cases, where due to modern forensics, people have been freed from death row, therefore you claim this shows an improvement of due process. But that also shows that there have been many more cases where an innocent person had been sentenced to death and were killed unjustly, and many more have been sentenced but won’t be freed. This is because of those who have been freed it has almost always been due to the works of NGO’s (non governmental agencies), who are limited in their resources and have to fight the system to get justice served. Prosecuters (many who later become judges and politicians) fight against those organizations because they do not want a black mark on their record. So inevitably the reality is that only a small fraction of wrongly convicted people are getting help in the U.S.

We must also understand that in the other countries where most of the death penalty cases are tried, the defendents are without that type of aid found in America. So when seen on a worldwide basis it can easily be shown that due to corruption and or political or religious reasons, a large percentage of people who do not deserve to be jailed, what to speak of being killed, are experiencing that fate.

You want to use Srila Prabhupada’s endorsement of capital punishment as some type of divine mandate that cannot be questioned as applicable in all times and places. That is your right if you want to do that. But I question the qualification of a person who makes such a claim as to his ability to speak for Srila Prabhupada. By claiming to be giving Srila Prabhupada’s conclusion on this topic, you are in effect claiming to be speaking as the mouthpiece for God on this topic. If it can be clearly shown that capital punishment as currently practiced is being enacted adharmically on a consistent basis, then in effect you are claiming that God is promoting adharma in the name of dharma, through your claim as being the mouthpiece for Srila Prabhupada on this topic.

Srimad-Bhagavatam class 6.1.39 San Francisco, July 20, 1975

Nitai: What is the process of punishing others? Who are the actual candidates for punishment? Are all karmis engaged in fruitive activities punishable, or only some of them?

Prabhupada:

katham svid dhriyate dandah
kim vasya sthanam ipsitam
dandyah kim karinah sarve
aho svit katicin nrnam
[SB 6.1.39]

So first question was, bruta dharmasya nas tattvam yac ca adharmasya laksanam. When there is some vicara, judgment, it must be done very nicely. A criminal is judged before the magistrate. He is taken just to make proper judgment, “Whether this man is punishable? He committed some criminal activities.” The circumstances, the condition of the mind — everything should be judged. This is called judgment. So who is punishable? Desa-kala-patra. There is consideration, desa-kala-patra. Desa means situation, and kala, time, and patra, and the subject. Just like a child, he takes one fruit here. So he is not punishable. According to Vedic system, a child, a woman, a brahmana, a cow and a saintly person, they are not punishable. Cow, woman, saintly person, brahmana and child — they are beyond all laws. Even they commit some… They do not do. They have no criminal purpose. Formerly the women were trained up in such a way, very chaste and obedient. So they had no chance to commit any offense. And brahmanas, they are also trained up. Samo damah satyam saucam… (children making noise)

Sudama: Take the children out.

Bahulasva: All the children should go out.

Prabhupada: No, that’s all right. (some devotees say “Jaya!” and applaud) So, children are not punishable. (laughter, more applause) Neither the women. (more applause, laughter) Hm. But don’t take advantage. (laughter) And here we have got these brahmanas, saintly persons, women and children. So who is to be punished? (laughter) Yes. Katham svid dhriyate dandah. So the judge must know who is to be punished. That is judgment. Katham svid dhriyate dandah sthanam. Desa-kala-patra: according to time, according to circumstances, according to the subject, everything scrutinizingly judged, not whimsically. Nowadays it is the time for emergency. Anyone can be punished without any judgment. But this is not good position.

Then dandyah kim karinah sarve. Karinah means fruitive actors, those who are working for getting some profit. So sometimes with getting profit we make some undesirable activities which is called black market. So that is punishable. There are system… Of course, I cannot quote from where, but it is the system that a merchant, highest profit he can take for exchanging — not more than twenty-five percent. That is the highest. If one merchant takes more than twenty-five percent profit, then he is punishable. This was the system. So the karinah… So we are all workers. So somebody is working for his personal profit, and somebody is working for the profit of Krsna. It appears almost similar. A ordinary man is selling some newspaper, and our man selling the magazine. It looks the similar thing, but it is not similar; it is different. Therefore, if a newspaper seller creates some disturbance on the street, the police can punish, but when one is selling Back to Godhead, he is not punishable. (laughter) This is the difference. But nowadays these rascals, they do not know whom to punish, whom not to punish. They take, “All right, you are selling Back to Godhead. You must come police custody.” So our are not punishable although doing the same thing. This is judgment.

Then the animals, they are also working hard day and night for their necessities of life. But if an animal steals something from your house or takes some eatables, he is not punishable. India you will find in the bazaars. There is crowd, and the cows enter there, and they eat the vegetables to their heart’s content. But he is not punishable. Still the cow is not punishable. But if a man takes one potato without the permission, he is punishable. So the animals are not punishable. All the lawbooks are meant for the men, for the human being, not for the animals. Just like in your country the police law is: “Keep to the right your car.” But if a animal goes, keep to the left, it is not punishable. So everyone not punishable. Then again, human being, all of them, not punishable. Those who are criminals, those who have violated laws, they are punishable. So therefore this question is “Whether and how they are punishable? What is dharma, and what is adharma? So if you are representative of Yamaraja, then you explain to us first of all whether you are actually representative.”

So the Yamaduta, they are also servant of very exalted personality, one of the authority. So they are not lacking in knowledge by the grace of their master. So the first thing they said, veda-pranihito dharmo hy adharmas tad-viparyayah. Dharma and adharma, religious principle and not religious principle, nonreligious principle — how to discern. The book is there, Veda. We have to consult the Vedas. There are so many Vedic literatures: four Vedas, then Upanisad, 108 Upanisad, then philosophy, Vedanta-sutra, all summarized. Then explanation of Vedanta-sutra, or Srimad-Bhagavatam. Bhasyam brahma-sutranam **. Then there is Ramayana, there is Mahabharata, immense literature, full of Vedic literature. So one should try to understand this literature. They are meant for the human being. Veda-pranihito dharmah. If one wants to be religious… Religious means that is the beginning of human life. If one is not religious, then he is animal. Dharmena hinah pasubhih samanah. So in order to make a person perfectly religious, there are so many Vedic literatures. So who is taking care of it? Nobody is taking care of. Therefore, at the present moment, kalau sudra-sambhavah. Sudra means equal to the animal. Tulasi dasa has classified, dhol gunar sudra pasu nari, ihe sab sasan ke adhikari.(?) So women will be sorry, but he has classified in that way. Anyway… So nobody is taking care of the Vedic literature. Therefore they do not know what is right, what is wrong. Dharma, dharma means right and wrong.

(…)

So this Krsna consciousness movement is Vedic movement, authorized. Veda-pranihito dharmah. If one becomes Krsna conscious, then he knows what is dharma and what is adharma. He knows who is punishable, who is not punishable. In this way, if you follow the principles of Krsna consciousness… It is in a different way. Not different way; Krsna name is there. When I registered this association, many friends requested me that “Why you are, nomenclature, this ‘Krsna’? Make it ‘God consciousness.’ ” And “No.” As soon as I give “God consciousness,” all the rascals will bring so many false God. Therefore it must be definitely stated, “Krsna consciousness.” So try to follow Krsna consciousness movement. Then you will be situated in the Vedic civilization, and you will know everything properly. Kasmin tu bhagavo vijnate sarvam idam vijnatam bhavati. If you understand Krsna, then you understand everything. This is Krsna consciousness.

Thank you very much.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 10, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

Pandu das prabhu, of course everyone is receiving their karma, but that doesn’t mean that dharma should be given up. Christians like to point out that the ideology of karma leads to fatalism and inaction e.g. “If everyone is experiencing their destiny then no one will care to help those who are suffering'”, your point of view is what they are talking about. In fact if is the duty of anyone to aid those who are suffering if they can, that is dharma, those who don’t aid when they can will experience bad karma themselves. If we apply your way of thinking then why do we promote non-violence to animals? Aren’t they experiencing their karma? If you blindly promote the death penalty claiming that vedic standards should apply regardless of time, place or circumstance, while claiming that people get what they desrve anyways, then you promote adharma in the name of dharma. Krsna stands for dharma, yada yada hi dharmasya, his devotees should be careful to understand what that means before speaking out in favor of adharma in his name. When Arjuna told Krsna that it was better for him to renounce from what he considered to be materialistic action and retreat to spiritual contemplation, what did Krsna tell him about his idea?

mac-cittah sarva-durgani
mat-prasadat tarisyasi
atha cet tvam ahankaran
na srosyasi vinanksyasi

If you become conscious of Me, you will pass over all the obstacles of conditional life by My grace. If, however, you do not work in such consciousness but act through false ego, not hearing Me, you will be lost.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 9, 2007 @ 3:20 am

I think it is obvious. Devotees should be against the death penalty. As Akruranath prabhu has nicely pointed out, the crux of the matter in today’s world (as opposed to an age where justice is handed out properly) is that the death penalty is selective and often wrongly enforced. not only is their racial bias there is also political and other biases that can be brought to bear. While I also agree with the other learned vaisnavas in this thread, the starck reality of how the death penalty is meted out in today’s societies (mostly in the U.S.A and China and Islamic countries, in the U.S.A where more often then not prosecutors are adharmic in their motives, goals and methodology in prosecuting cases as has been repeatedly exposed by various media and law organizations, and China where politics is often the motivation, and Islamic countries where any number of adharmic considerations weigh in on many cases).

What devotees should promote is dharma, duty not beholden to special interests nor personal bias and ambitions. Since this is the age of adharma, and since it has been starkly shown repeatedly how innocent people are jailed, convicted, and killed, through an adharmic process, how can devotees be for the death penalty in today’s world? There doesn’t have to be a simplistic answer to a complex question. Nor should devotees expect that we won’t be asked these political questions or that if we are we should ignore them. We have to stand for dharma, that means in the current world system where every country is ruled by corruption and adharma, the death penalty is therefore adharmic. With so much corruption and adharmic intent in the current systems of the world, it is impossible to make sure that in every case the person sentened to death actually deserves it according to dharmic principles. This has been proven over and over. Therefore the only dharmic conlcusion is that the death penalty in today’s reality is being used adharmically, and is therefore adharma

» Posted By shiva On Dec 7, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

City of nine gates

I just realized I made a spelling mistake in my previous comment that changes the meaning of what I wrote. In my first sentence I wrote “aprakrta lila” when that should have been “prakrta lila”. Aprakrta lila is the unmanifest lila, prakrta lila is Krsna lila when it descends to this world.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 7, 2007 @ 10:14 pm

Akruranath prabhu you wrote

When Bhaktivinode Thakur writes “Goloka-Vrindavana is realizable in the symbolic Vrindavana that is open to our view in this world by all persons whose Love has been perfected by the mercy of the inhabitants of Transcendental Vraja, and not other-wise,” we should note that it is the Lord’s manifest lila (open to view in this world) which is the symbol. The unmanifest dhama of Krishna is the reality, although it is nondifferent from the display Krishna manifested when He descended on earth 5,000 years ago.

If Bhaktivinoda Thakura tells us that the Lord’s aprakrta lila is symbolic, and that to “underestimate the symbolism” of that lila is a grave mistake, what does that mean? What is symbolism? It means the use of metaphor, symbols, one thing which represents something else. If we take what you say as valid then where is the symbolism? If what appears in Krishna’s nara-lila is symbolism according to Bhaktivinoda, then in his view there is a alternative meaning to the lila which presents itself to your eyes. He tells us that the eternal aprakrta lila” is open to our view in this world by all persons whose Love has been perfected by the mercy of the inhabitants of Transcendental Vraja, and not other-wise”. This shoud be kept in mind.

You also wrote

Over in the previous thread started by Bhakta Rod, I asked you about Panca Tattva. (You had chastised me for using the term “sakti tattva” to refer to Radharani and Her expansions, but later I saw that Srila Prabhupada was using “sakti tattva” in the same way, which is surely where I got it from)

Well, actually this is what I said

Sakti-Tattva is not a category of living entity like tatastha-sakti or Visnu-tattva. In gaudiya vaisnavism it is a term which refers to the sakti principle. Jivas are part of the sakti principle, therefore jivas are sakti-tattva.

But Advaita Acarya is isvara-tattva. He’s not sakti-tattva. He’s isvara-tattva. And we are all sakti-tattva; therefore there is difference. Sakti-saktiman. Although there is no difference abhinna, but still, sakti-tattva is superior, er, saktiman tattva is superior than sakti-tattva. (ACBS Lecture on Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Adi-lila 1.12 — Mayapur, April 5, 1975)

So jiva-bhuta, we jivas, we are all prakrti. Purusa is only Krsna. All living entities… Visnu-tattva is purusa-tattva, and we are sakti-tattva, sakti, energy, marginal energy of Krsna. So energy is prakrti. The prakrti is not purusa. (ACBS Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 1.13-14 — London, July 14, 1973)

The idea of sakti-tattva is that whatever belongs in the sakti category can be called sakti-tattva. I have seen where some people claim that sakti-tattva refers solely to Sri Radha’s personal expansions or to expansions of the swarupa or cit-sakti. In that conception they teach the idea that there is a type of living entity which can be called sakti-tattva in the same sense that jiva’s are called tatastha-sakti and Bhagavan is called Visnu-tattva or Isvara-Tattva. They have created a third type of living entity besides God and the jiva with that type of philosophy. In reality there are only two types of living entities. There is God and there is the jiva. Jiva Goswami makes thise clear in Krsna Sandarbha Anuccheda 27

That was in response to this from you

Some jivas are eternally liberated, but they are still jivas. They may not at any time become shakti tattva any more than they may become vishnu tattva. They are jiva tattva or “tatastha sakti” by their very nature.

Nowhere does Srila Prabhupada make the claim that you made in the above.

You also wrote

I asked about why there is a separate tattva headed by Sri Gadadhara. Your answer (that Sri Gadadhara is really Vishnu tattva but for “lila” is acting like a jiva) did not really satisfy me, although I was pleased to hear your further elaboration on this subject. If it is “lila” and not “tattva”, why do we say “panca tattva”? If there are only two tattvas, why are we always saying there are five?

First off you should try and be more accurate if you are going to quote someone. This is what I said about Gadadhara Pandita

As for Gadadhara Pandita, he is an incarnation of Sri Radha. Sri Radha is visnu tattva. But in her role as Gadadhara Pandita he is not representing visnu tattva, he is representing sakti tattva.

Secondly I never said that there are only two tattvas. I said that there are only two types of expansion from the Lord, svamsa and vibhinnamsa, and I quoted from Krsna Sandarbha where Jiva Goswami says there are two types of expansions of The Supreme Lord:

This is confirmed in the Varaha Purana:

The two kinds of expansions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead are : 1. svamsa (personal expansions) and 2. vibhinnamsa (separate persons). The svamsa expansions are unlimitedly powerful. Their form and personality are the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

There is not the slightest difference between the svamsa expansions and the Original Personality of Godhead. The vibhinnamsa expansions are very weak in comparison to Them

And I quoted from Mahaprabhu in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya 22.8-9

svamsa-vibhinnamsa-rupe hana vistara
ananta vaikuntha-brahmande karena vihara

Krsna expands Himself in many forms. Some of them are personal expansions, and some are separate expansions. Thus He performs pastimes in both the spiritual and the material worlds. The spiritual worlds are the Vaikuntha planets, and the material universes are the brahmandas, gigantic globes governed by Lord Brahma

svamsa-vistara — catur-vyuha, avatara-gana
vibhinnamsa jiva — tanra saktite ganana

Expansions of His personal self — like the quadruple manifestations of Sankarsana, Pradyumna, Aniruddha and Vasudeva — descend as incarnations from Vaikuntha to this material world. The separated expansions are the living entities. Although they are expansions of Krsna, they are counted among His different potencies.

PURPORT

The personal expansions are known as visnu-tattva, and the separated expansions are known as jiva-tattva. Although the jivas (living entities) are part and parcel of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are still counted among His multipotencies.

The Panca Tattva represents something different then the two essential ontological types of living entities (svamsa and vibhinnamsa), they represent the the esoteric ontology of Lila.

You also wrote

You quoted B.S. 5.37 “nija rupataya kalabhih” which does indicate that Radha and the gopis are extensions of Krishna’s own form (in the Purport Bhaktisiddhanta says “nija-rupataya” means “with the attributes manifested from the ecstatic enegy”, but the word-for-word translates it as “with His own form”). You quoted the first sentence of the Purport: “Although the Lord Absolute and His potency are one and the self-same existence, still They exist eternally as separate entities, as Radha and Krishna.

The very next sentence of the Purport says, “In both the ecstatic energy and the transcendental Lord Krishna, there exists srngara-rasa (amorous love) whose quality is inconceivable.” Don’t we all agree that both Radha and Krishna actually experience amorous love, and all the ecstasy entailed in Their meeting, separation, and various activities with one another are things They really do experience “internally”?

To say that because They are one and the same person They cannot experience transcendental happiness when meeting or transcendental separation in each other’s absence would seem to limit Them by mundane logic. It would undercut the whole basis of Their lilas and the elaboration of rasas in, for example, Nectar of Devotion.

If one person is able to exist in more then one form at a time, and then those forms interact with each other, you claim that it is “mundane logic” to understand that the emotional interaction betwen those forms is internally different then the external appearence. I can only disagree. God is one person, “mundane logic” has nothing to do with it, it is simply the revealed reality. You also claim that understanding the internal reality as essentially different then the external appearence would: “undercut the whole basis of Their lilas and the elaboration of rasas…”

What is the “basis for their lila”? The basis for everything Radha Krsna does is to ehance God’s enjoyment of life. The basis of rasa lila is to enhance the pleasure of Radha Krsna. Why do you claim that if they are understood by us as the same person, that the basis of their lila will be undercut? That might be true if we were actually in that lila, that is because the jivas in that lila are kept away from understanding the true ontology of that lila in order to keep them free from awe and reverence. But we are not in that lila, and by understanding the true ontology of that lila we can understand Radha Krsna in a more profound way then even the residents of Vraja. This is the mercy of Sri Caitanya, to give what has never been given before. In Krsna lila the jivas are living in ignorance of the profound reality they live in, in Sri Krsna Caitanya’s sankirtan lila everything about Radha Krsna is ultimately exposed so that we can get even closer to Radha Krsna then the jivas in Vraja can be. We can understand everything about Radha Krsna, in Vraja they are kept in ignorance of many things e.g. that Krsna is God and in control of everything, etc. The descriptions of rasa lila are what appears to be true to the jivas in that lila. The descriptions of that lila is for elevating the jiva to a higher plane of consciousness, their purpose is not just as a guide book or for a voyeuristic look into Vraja, that aspect is for non devotees and neophytes.

Vraja lila is not enough for Radha Krsna. That is why Mahaprabhu brings everything, we are allowed to know everything about Radha Krsna because Radha Krsna wants to experience not only rasa lila in Vraja with jivas who are unaware of the truth, but Radha Krsna also desires an even closer rasa with the jivas ,where the jivas are in full knowledge of everything. That is only possible through Mahaprabhu’s lila, only Mahaprabhu brings the jiva to the highest most knowledgeable, and most intimate, understanding of God. It may seem in a way like what the jivas experience in Vaikuntha, where the jivas are aware of the aisvarya of the Lord. But in fact what Mahaprabhu brings is something more intimate then even Vraja, knowledge of the aisvarya of the Lord while also understanding the true position of Sri Radha as the ultimate highest manifestation of the Lord, understanding Radha Krsna in full. For us in the here and now, we can develop the most intimate rasa with the Lord, closer then in any other lila. It is not something to be attained by our own mental agility. Bhaktivinoda tells us

Goloka-Vrindavana is realizable in the symbolic Vrindavana that is open to our view in this world by all persons whose Love has been perfected by the mercy of the inhabitants of Transcendental Vraja, and not other-wise. The grossest misunderstanding of the subject of the Vraja Lila of Sri Krishna is inevitable if these considerations are not kept in view.

» Posted By shiva On Dec 7, 2007 @ 10:09 pm

Akruranath prabhu, like many devotees you are basing your ontological understanding of Radha-Krsna on Radha-Krsna lila, instead of upon Bhagavat tattva. We are advised against that. Without first understanding the ontological nature of Radha-Krsna, then understanding their lila will not be possible. You will do as you are doing i.e. basing your understanding of Radha-Krsna on their lila pastimes rather then on philosophy. In my previous post I quoted this from Srila Prabhupada

So therefore I do not, I mean to say, indulge in the discussions of Radha and Krsna so easily. Rather go on with the regulative principle at the present moment. Gradually, as you become purified, as you become on the transcendental platform, you’ll understand what is Radha-Krsna. Don’t try to understand Radha-Krsna very quickly. It is a very big subject. If we want to understand Radha-Krsna very quickly, then there will be so many prakrta-sahajiyas.

In India there are prakrta-sahajiyas. Just like Radha-Krsna dancing. Radha-Krsna has become a plaything. The painting Radha-Krsna, Krsna is kissing Radha, Radha is kissing. These are all nonsense. Radha-Krsna philosophy has to be understood by the liberated person, not by the conditioned soul. So we shall await for the fortunate moment when we are liberated, then we shall understand radha-krsna-pranaya-vikrtir. Because Krsna and Radha, They are not on the material field. Try to understand.

You and others want to reconcile Radha and Krsna’s ontological oneness, with their difference in lila. To do that you invoke acintya bheda-abheda tattva, which is alright, but you do it in a wrong way. Yes, they are one and different. But how are they one and different? They are both the same person, they are identical, yet take two different forms and display two different personalities in lila. That doesn’t mean they stop being the same person. You take the bheda-abheda between the jiva and God and apply that to Radha-Krsna, that is incorrect. The jiva is bheda-abheda with God in the sense that we are comprised of God’s tatastha-sakti and are therefore a part and parcel of God, yet at the same time we are different then God because we are tiny and have no power, and we are different persons from God. Radha and Krsna are identical persons, with the same power, their difference is that one is a male personality and the other is a female personality. In lila they have two different bodies and have different personalities, but they are one and the same person. That is how bheda-abheda should be understood in relation to Radha-Krsna.

Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 4.96-98

radha — purna-sakti, krsna — purna-saktiman
dui vastu bheda nai, sastra-paramana

Sri Radha is the full power, and Lord Krsna is the possessor of full power. The two are not different, as evidenced by the revealed scriptures

mrgamada, tara gandha — yaiche aviccheda
agni, jvalate — yaiche kabhu nahi bheda

They are indeed the same, just as musk and its scent are inseparable, or as fire and its heat are nondifferent.

radha-krsna aiche sada eka-i svarupa
lila-rasa asvadite dhare dui-rupa

Thus Radha and Lord Krsna are one, yet They have taken two forms to enjoy the mellows of pastimes.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 4.56

radha-krsna eka atma, dui deha dhari’
anyonye vilase rasa asvadana kari’

Radha and Krsna are one and the same, but They have assumed two bodies. Thus They enjoy each other, tasting the mellows of love.

Sri Brahma-Samhita 5.37

ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhavitabhis
tabhir ya eva nija-rupataya- kalabhih
goloka eva nivasaty akhilatma-bhuto
govindam adi-purusam tam aham bhajami

I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, residing in His own realm, Goloka, with Radha, resembling His own spiritual figure, the embodiment of the ecstatic potency possessed of the sixty-four artistic activities, in the company of Her confidantes, embodiments of the extensions of Her bodily form, permeated and vitalized by His ever-blissful spiritual rasa.

PURPORT

Although the Lord Absolute and His potency are one and the self-same existence, still They exist eternally as separate entities, as Radha and Krsna.

In Krsna Sandarbha Jiva Goswami says there are two types of expansions of The Supreme Lord:

This is confirmed in the Varaha Purana:

The two kinds of expansions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead are : 1. svamsa (personal expansions) and 2. vibhinnamsa (separate persons). The svamsa expansions are unlimitedly powerful. Their form and personality are the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

There is not the slightest difference between the svamsa expansions and the Original Personality of Godhead. The vibhinnamsa expansions are very weak in comparison to Them.

Here we are told there are only 2 types of living entities, God and the jivas. There is not the slightest difference between the swamsa expansions of the Lord, they are all the same person.

Purport Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 4.81

As already explained, Krsna and Radha are one in two. They are identical. Krsna expands Himself in multi-incarnations and plenary portions like the purusas. Similarly, Srimati Radharani expands Herself in multiforms as the goddesses of fortune, the queens and the damsels of Vraja. Such expansions from Srimati Radharani are all Her plenary portions. All these womanly forms of Krsna are expansions corresponding to His plenary expansions of Visnu forms. These expansions have been compared to reflected forms of the original form. There is no difference between the original form and the reflected forms. The female reflections of Krsna’s pleasure potency are as good as Krsna Himself.

From the Sri Krsna-Bhakti-Ratna-Prakasa of Srila Raghava Goswami:

Because Sri Sri Radha Krsna are not different and because Sri Krsna is the master of all potencies, Therefore Sri Radha is also the master and source of al potencies. He is by nature full of sweetness and bliss, free from the three modes, and eternally manifest beyond the material nature. Because Radha is not different from Him, so is She also. It is said that within the Lord are all potencies, the modes and the material nature.

From Bhaktivinoda’s Sri Tattva Sutra

In the Markandeya Purana, Devi-mahatmya, the sage explains:

“O king, now I will describe to you the glories of the goddess. By her power she sustains the entire world.

“She is the potency of Lord Visnu. From her comes transcendental knowledge. You and many others have attained transcendental knowledge by her grace.”

In the Narada-pancaratra, Second Night, Third Chapter, Lord Siva explains:

“The Supreme Lord is one. Still, He is manifested in two forms. One form is female: the potency of Lord Visnu. The other form is male: Lord Visnu.”

All these verses (and many more) showcase the true ontology of Radha-Krsna i.e that they are 2 bodies, one person. If they are 2 persons in 2 bodies rather then 1 person in 2 bodies, then we would not see the above verses and many others making the claim that they make. By understanding the true ontology of Radha-Krsna, that they are simply the male and female forms of the same Supreme Personality of Godhead, then Radha-Krsna lila can begin to be understood properly. If you take Radha-Krsna lila as the sole basis for your ontology of Radha-Krsna, then you will not be able to begin to understand and enter into a relationship with Radha-Krsna. Radha-Krsna has to be understood from tattva before their lila can be understood. Withour understanding them properly, then all that comes after that misunderstanding will be wrong and unfavorable for developing one’s relationsip with the Lord. If you use Radha-Krsna lila as your source of understanding of Radha-Krsna, then that can and does more often then not, lead to varieties of sahajiyaism. God is 1 person, not 2 or 3 or 4, nor does God have a split personality. God is one and only one.

From Baladeva Vidybhusana’s Govinda Bhasya commentary on the Brahma Sutra

Both Lord Hari and His associates are the same persons in both previous and subsequent actions. Why is that? The sutra explains: “sarvabhedad” because of complete non-difference. This means that because there is no difference in Their personalities, the same Lord Hari and the same associates present in the previous actions are also present in the subsequent actions. That Lord Hari remains one even though He expands into many forms is confirmed in the Gopala-tapane Upanisad in these words:

eko pi san bahudha yo vabhati

“Although He is one, the Supreme Lord appears in many forms.”

Also, in the Smriti-sastra it is said:

ekaneka-svarupaya

“Although He is one, the Supreme Lord appears in many forms.”

This is also true of the Lord’s liberated associates, who remain one even though they appear in many forms. The forms of the Supreme Lord are undivided. They are all full of eternity, knowledge, infinity, and bliss.

In this way it is said that although the Lord’s forms present a very wonderful variety, still They are all one in essence. Although this truth was also described in sutra 3.2.14, the merciful teacher of Vedanta repeats the same teaching so this very difficult topic may be clearly understood.

The Supreme Lord is identical with each of His forms. They are all Him. That a certain form of the Lord is His original form, or an expansion of that form, or an expansion of the expansion is determined only by how much of His powers the Lord chooses to display when He manifests that form. Only in that way are some forms of the Lord considered higher and others less high. The great devotees of the Lord declare:

The Lord’s forms are considered greater or lesser on the basis of how much of His transcendental power the Lord chooses to manifest when He reveals them.

Because she is not different from the Supreme Lord, Goddess Laksmi is also all pervading. In the Smriti-sastra it is said:

Goddess Laksmi is the mother of the worlds. She is the constant companion of Lord Visnu. As Lord Visnu is all pervading, so is she.

To think that Goddess Laksmi is different from Lord Visnu, but still all-pervading, is a false, a heretical idea. In this way the idea that Goddess Laksmi is an individual spirit soul, like the many millions of other individual spirit souls is refuted.

» Posted By shiva On Nov 27, 2007 @ 8:32 pm

Akruranath you wrote;

I am trying to understand what you are saying, and I know that you are vastly learned, but if I understand your point, it sounds very different from what I ever heard Prabhupada say. It even sounds faithless or heretical, actually.

Faithless means without faith and heretical means against the doctrine of the faith. What I presented is the esoteric aspect of Sri Caitanya’s teachings, they do not go against those teachings nor do they question that Krsna lila is real, they simply present another angle of vision to Krsna lila and will be of use to those whom they are meant for. As you may know sahajiyaism (or some variant of it) is rampant within gaudiya vaisnavism. There are countless vaisnavas who after following sadhana bhakti for a while fall under the delusion that they are great lovers of Sri Sri Radha Krsna, they go searching out for “gurus” who preach about how to cultivate their love as manjaris. All of this is being done while they are still in the conditioned state. They don’t realize how far off they are because they don’t understand the true nature of Sri Sri Radha Krsna and their pastimes.

The acaryas warn that devotees shouldn’t skip ahead in their study of Bhagavata tattva to the dealings on the rasa lila of Vraja. They warn that if devotees do that then they will invariably misunderstand what that lila is really all about, the consequence of that will be unfavorable for them on the progressive path to pure devotion. The result of not heeding that warning can be seen today by the numerous devotees who have become enamored of thinking themselves to be rightly situated in their obsession with manjari bhava and rasa lila, all of it caused by a delusional understanding of Radha Krsna and a delusional understanding of their own level of bhakti. So in order to break that spell of self deception, I am saying what needs to be said.

Bhaktivinoda Thakura has written:

Goloka-Vrindavana is realizable in the symbolic Vrindavana that is open to our view in this world by all persons whose Love has been perfected by the mercy of the inhabitants of Transcendental Vraja, and not other-wise. The grossest misunderstanding of the subject of the Vraja Lila of Sri Krishna is inevitable if these considerations are not kept in view.

In the form of the narrative of the Bhagavatam, the Transcendental Vraja Lila manifests its descent to the plane of our mundane vision in the symbolic shapes resembling those of the corresponding mundane events. If we are disposed, for any reason, to underestimate the transcendental symbolism of the narrative of the Bhagavatam we are unable to avoid unfavorable and hasty conclusions regarding the nature of the highest, the most perfect and the most charming form of the loving service of the Divinity to which all other forms of his service are as the avenues of approach.

You also wrote

What I mean by that is, I know I must be getting you wrong, but you seem to be saying that, “internally”, all the different incarnations and even Srimati Radharani Herself are somehow only faking. She is only pretending to be so deeply in love with Krishna. It is just a pantomime show to enhance Krishna’s relationship with jivas. (Surely you cannot be saying that!)

Sri Radha and Krsna, Balarama and the personal expansions of Sri Radha, are pretending to be humans in Krsna lila are they not? They are always pretending to be something other then what they truly are in lila.

You wrote

Does it say that directly anywhere in Srila Prabhupada’s books? Your quotations from Baladeva Vidyabhusana and others do not directly say that Radha does not really love Krishna. Your quote from Govinda Bhasya is really the only one that seems to say anything of the kind, but even that one you are helping along by your further analysis. It does not necessarily follow to me that, when Baladeva says that when The Divine Couple are together there is the perfection of blissful amorous pastimes, he means that there is really only an “external” show of amour, and that “internally” love between Them is not really possible

Baladeva more or less directly says what I said, the whole point of his bringing that up was to make the point that I am making. He makes the same point twice in order to be emphatic:

From Govinda Bhasya

Is it not true that amorous love is possible only when there are two: the lover and the beloved ? If there is no difference between the lover and the beloved, then love is not possible between them.

Although the Lord and His para sakti are not different, still, for enjoying different pastimes, They are manifested as different. In this way the Lord’s desires are perfectly and completely fulfilled.

Even though the Lord’s potency and the Lord Himself, the shelter of that potency, are one, still, because the Lord is the best of males and His potency is the jewel of young girls, when They are together there is naturally the perfection of blissful amorous pastimes.

He makes the point twice that even though Radha and Krsna are not different, that even though they are one, that in order to “enjoy different pastimes” and for the “perfection” of those pastimes, that they are “manifested as different”. This was in order to answer the question he raises which one would naturally come to if one properly understands the ontological nature of Radha and Krsna, which he raised in the previous verse:

By touching the goddess of fortune, who is actually Himself, the Lord enjoys transcendental bliss. It is like a person gazing at his own handsomness in a mirror

Different from His spiritual potency (para sakti) is the potency of the Lord’s form (svarupa-sakti). The Sruti-sastras and other scriptures explain that through the svarupa-sakti the Supreme Lord manifests as the best of males, and through the para sakti the Lord manifests His various transcendental qualities.

Manifesting as the Lord’s pleasure potency (hladini sakti), the para sakti appears as Sri Radha, the jewel of teenage girls

Srila Prabhupada hints at what I am saying in many places. For example from a lecture on Radhastami:

Sometimes Krsna is in ecstasy of Radha. Sometimes Radha is in ecstasy of Krsna. This is going on. But the whole thing is Radha and Krsna means the one, the Supreme.

So Radha-Krsna philosophy is a very great philosophy. It is to be understood in the liberated stage. Radha-Krsna philosophy is not to be understood in the conditioned stage. But when we worship Radha-Krsna in our conditional stage, actually we worship Laksmi-Narayana. You have seen that picture, this viddhi-marga and raga-marga. Radha-Krsna worship is on the platform of pure love, and Laksmi-Narayana worship is on the regulative principles. So long we do not develop our pure love, we have to worship on the regulative principles. One has to become a brahmacari, one has to become a sannyasi, one has to perform the worship in this way, in the morning he has to rise, he has to offer. So many rules and regulations. There are at least sixty-four rules and regulations. So we shall introduce them gradually as you develop. So in the viddhi-marga, when you have no love for God or Krsna, we have to follow the regulative principles and automatically. . . , there is practice. When practicing. Just like you practice this mrdanga playing. In the beginning it is not in order, but when you become well versed in the practice, the sound will come so nice. Similarly, when we are engaged by regulative principles in the worship of Radha-Krsna, that is called viddhi-marga. And actually when you are on the love platform, then that is called raga-marga. So without viddhi-marga, if anyone wants to learn the raga-marga immediately, that is foolishness. That is foolishness. Nobody can pass M. A. examination without going through the regulative principles of primary schools and colleges. So therefore I do not, I mean to say, indulge in the discussions of Radha and Krsna so easily. Rather go on with the regulative principle at the present moment. Gradually, as you become purified, as you become on the transcendental platform, you’ll understand what is Radha-Krsna. Don’t try to understand Radha-Krsna very quickly. It is a very big subject. If we want to understand Radha-Krsna very quickly, then there will be so many prakrta-sahajiyas.

In India there are prakrta-sahajiyas. Just like Radha-Krsna dancing. Radha-Krsna has become a plaything. The painting Radha-Krsna, Krsna is kissing Radha, Radha is kissing. These are all nonsense. Radha-Krsna philosophy has to be understood by the liberated person, not by the conditioned soul. So we shall await for the fortunate moment when we are liberated, then we shall understand radha-krsna-pranaya-vikrtir. Because Krsna and Radha, They are not on the material field. Try to understand.

You wrote

You do seem to be directly saying, though, that (perish the thought!) Radha really does not love Krishna. Did I get that wrong? I certainly hope so.

They are the same person. From Srila Prabhupadas ‘Teachings of Lord Caitanya”

Radha and Krsna are one, and when Krsna desires to enjoy pleasure, He manifests Himself as Radharani. The spiritual exchange of love between Radha and Krsna is the actual display of the internal pleasure potency of Krsna (Radha’s display). Although we speak of “when” Krsna desires, just when He did desire we cannot say. We only speak in this way because in conditional life we take it that everything has a beginning; however, in the absolute or spiritual life there is neither beginning nor end. Yet in order to understand that Radha and Krsna are one and that They also become divided, the question “When?” automatically comes to mind. When Krsna desired to enjoy His pleasure potency, He manifested Himself in the separate form of Radharani.

The problem in understanding Radha Krsna lila is encountered when devotees prematurely think themselves ready to understand those pastimes. It is seen that many devotees commonly think that the proper action to take in order to develop their love and devotion is to immerse themselves in rasa lila topics and or meditation. Often it leads to obsessing over rasa lila as if that obsession will increase their “love” and devotion and enable them to “advance”. They get all worked up emotionally over things they don’t really understand, thinking themselves to be great lovers and afficianados of Radha Krsna and rasa lila, when they have as yet come to the proper understanding of Bhagavat philosophy. It is that type of self delusion which often leads to deeper levels of self delusion leading to varieties of sahajiyaism (in the sense of taking oneself to be much more advanced then one actually is, and then trying to develop an imaginary siddha deha in ones mind, and then falling into the delusion of thinking that Radha Krsna is actually attracted by that).

By skipping over the pre-requisite teachings, or by not immersing themselves sufficiently in the pre-requisite teachings which will prepare a devotee for the proper understanding of rasa lila, what happens is that upon encountering rasa lila they will not understand that lila from the position of tattva, they will only see the external dealings of boys and girls in love. They will mistake those descriptions found in rasa lila to be only literal truth. There is a purpose in that lila when taken literally e.g. to attract conditioned souls to Krsna bhakti. But after taking to Krsna bhakti that lila serves another epistemological purpose for the devotee. It’s required that the devotee become educated in Bhagavata tattva in order to understand the deeper meaning of Sri Sri Radha Krsna lila. Krsna lila is not without a deeper esoteric understanding then that which is first understood.

You wrote

The acaryas are always telling stories describing Radha’s love for Krishna. Do they ever really say that is just “external”? I never heard that. I always thought the affairs of Radha and Krishna were the most “internal” of all.

It is expected that a devotee will understand the true ontological nature of Radha Krsna before entering the treatises on rasa lila. Those writings on rasa lila serve a dual purpose for two different audiences. The purely literal or external lila is meant for non devotees and neophytes in order to attract them to Krsna bhakti. They hear of Krsna lila and get inspired to take to Krsna bhakti with the hope that they will get to live eternally with God in his lila. But besides that purpose to attract people to bhakti there is another purpose to the writings on lila by the acaryas. That is why the acaryas warn not to rush into trying to understand rasa lila. On the one hand rasa lila is what attracts non devotees and neophytes to take to Krsna bhakti (just like Prabhupada first published Krsna Book and distributed that before the more deeply philosophical books), on the other hand once becomming a devotee you are advised away from rasa lila until you are philosophically better educated. Why? Because there is an esoteric version of rasa lila which cannot be understood until one understands the true nature of God. If one doesn’t take that advice seriously he stands a chance of falling into some type of sahajiya mentality. This is widely observed in India amongst gaudiya vaisnavas for a long time. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta railed against the imitationists and became hated by them for it. Since Srila Prabhupada left, that type of imitationist bhakti has become very popular even amongst western followers of gaudiya vaisnavism, many of them Srila Prabhupada’s disciples. They think themselves very advanced in their emotional outpouring towards Radha and Krsna, but it is all based upon a delusional foundation of misunderstanding tattva and over estimating the reality of their own relationship with Radha Krsna. They are all manjaris in their minds, they are very close to Krsna in their imagination, not in actual reality. They think they have great prema for Radha Krsna and that they are very advanced. In reality it is all coming from a place of emotional imitation and egotism. They do not understand Radha Krsna, nor what prema even really is. It is all imitationism, imitation of rasa lila, imitation of being self realized.

You wrote

Don’t get me wrong. I am all in favor of open discussion of Srila Prabhupada’s books from all angles, and I do want to learn. I can tell you know a great deal more than I do. However, what you are saying sounds so foreign and alien to me. “Radha does not really love Krishna”? How could that possibly be? It sounds like the antithesis of everything Srila Prabhupada says. If anything is heresy, it sounds like that is it.

I realize that without a little controversy as leavening, the Dandavats discussions never seem to get off the ground. If that’s the case, this one promises to be a prize winner. You just dropped the baking soda into a bottle of vinegar. Dare we shake it further?

What I have been saying is what devotees are supposed to come to realize through the proper study and practice of the bona fide teachings of the sampradaya. But due to the current circumstances of rampant sahajiyaism and it’s increasing hold over more and more devotees, I am compelled to say what I have said. One cannot enter into a real relationship with the Lord through the process of obsessing over rasa lila, nor by mentally cultivating an image of yourself as a person in rasa lila, those ideas are a misunderstanding of raganuga bhakti and taught by pretenders and believed by people who are sentimentalists and egotists. While being in ignorance of the ontological nature of the reality of God’s control and presence in our environment, and in ignorance of God’s presence and control in ourselves, and in ignorance of the ontological nature of Radha Krsna and rasa lila, any type of mentality where one thinks he or she is greatly advanced and following the higher path of bhakti, is complete delusion. Regardless of how many titles or followers one may have.

» Posted By shiva On Nov 25, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

Akruranath you wrote:

Shiva keeps pointing out that all of Krishna’s expansions starting with Baladeva are actually the same person as Krishna, and even His predominated, cit shakti as Radhika and her expansion as hundreds of thousands of Laksmis are also but aspects of His one Supreme Personality.

This is inconceivable to our limited conception. It seems to negate the very real pastimes and rasas that are exchanged between these divine personalities.

Of course the answer is simultaneous oneness and difference. Shiva is right that Krishna and Balarama are the same person, but they still have loving brotherly dealings with one another as separate individuals.

Well, it’s not really inconceivable if you understand it properly. If you don’t understand it properly then it seems difficult to understand and inconceivable. There are two aspects to Krishna Lila, the internal and the external. The external aspect is what physically appears to be true, and the internal aspect is what is actually true. For example externally Balarama is Krishna’s brother and appears like a different person with his own personality which is distinct from that of Krishna. That appears to be true. But internally there is no difference whatsoever, they are the same exact person.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi-lila Chapter 5

sarva-avatārī kṛṣṇa svayaḿ bhagavān
tāńhāra dvitīya deha śrī-balarāma

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna, is the fountainhead of all incarnations. Lord Balarama is His second body.

eka-i svarūpa dońhe, bhinna-mātra kāya
ādya kāya-vyūha, kṛṣṇa-līlāra sahāya

These two are one and the same identity. They differ only in form. Lord Balarama is the first bodily expansion of Krsna, and He assists in Lord Krsna’s transcendental pastimes.

The same is true for Sri Radha

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta purport to Adi-lila 4.81

As already explained, Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā are one in two. They are identical. Kṛṣṇa expands Himself in multi-incarnations and plenary portions like the puruṣas. Similarly, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expands Herself in multiforms as the goddesses of fortune, the queens and the damsels of Vraja. Such expansions from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī are all Her plenary portions. All these womanly forms of Kṛṣṇa are expansions corresponding to His plenary expansions of Viṣṇu forms. These expansions have been compared to reflected forms of the original form. There is no difference between the original form and the reflected forms. The female reflections of Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency are as good as Kṛṣṇa Himself.

From Sri Baladeva’s Govinda Bhasya

Because she is not different from the Supreme Lord, Goddess Laksmi is also all pervading. In the Smriti-sastra it is said:

“Goddess Laksmi is the mother of the worlds. She is the constant companion of Lord Visnu. As Lord Visnu is all pervading, so is she.”

To think that Goddess Laksmi is different from Lord Visnu, but still all-pervading, is a false, a heretical idea.

As you point out it seems that the internal truth negates the external lila. Well, not really. What is the purpose of Krishna lila? When it is displayed in the material world it’s purpose is to attract people to take to Krishna bhakti. In Vraja lila Krishna is the head of the cowherd boys and Radha is the head of the cowherd girls. The jivas in that lila do not know the true ontological nature of that lila. They do not know that Krishna is God (although they suspect it at times, then yogamaya makes them forget), they don’t know Balarama is God, nor that also Radha and her plenary expansions are God as well. To the jivas in that lila they see that lila, as it is presented, as being all there is to that reality. They don’t know the internal truth of that lila. The lila is performed the way it is performed so that God can enjoy life with the jivas. Jiva Goswami has written in Priti-sandarbha 10.12:

In the spiritual world, the Supreme Lord has unlimited spiritual forms, all are expansions of Himself illuminating that world. With each one of those forms, the Lord enjoys pastimes with a single individual liberated soul.

Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana explains in Govinda Bhasya:

By touching the goddess of fortune, who is actually Himself, the Lord enjoys transcendental bliss. It is like a person gazing at his own handsomness in a mirror

Different from His spiritual potency (para sakti) is the potency of the Lord’s form (svarupa-sakti). The Sruti-sastras and other scriptures explain that through the svarupa-sakti the Supreme Lord manifests as the best of males, and through the para sakti the Lord manifests His various transcendental qualities.

Manifesting as the Lord’s pleasure potency (hladini sakti), the para sakti appears as Sri Radha, the jewel of teenage girls

He explains here that the Lords transcendental qualities are manifested through the para-sakti as Sri Radha. Why? Because she is the hladini sakti, the enjoying aspect. Through the svarupa-sakti’s sandhini aspect the lord manifests as the best of males, but it is Radha who is actually manifesting the lords various transcendental qualities because she is the enjoying potency, and Krishna’s lila is all about enjoyment. In other words it is Sri Radha who is really the highest manifestation of God, superior to Krsna, because she is the enjoying potency, she enjoys more then Krishna (more on this below*).

So even though it is explained that Krsna is actually Radha Himself, and when He touches Her it is like He is looking in a mirror, still this is bringing transcendental bliss. How is this possible? Wouldn’t God desire or need to have a relationship with another actual person for the relationship to be real as opposed to play acting?

Again Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana explains this point in Govinda Bhasya:

Is it not true that amorous love is possible only when there are two: the lover and the beloved ? If there is no difference between the lover and the beloved, then love is not possible between them.

Although the Lord and His para sakti are not different, still, for enjoying different pastimes, They are manifested as different. In this way the Lord’s desires are perfectly and completely fulfilled.

Even though the Lord’s potency and the Lord Himself, the shelter of that potency, are one, still, because the Lord is the best of males and His potency is the jewel of young girls, when They are together there is naturally the perfection of blissful amorous pastimes.

He doesn’t say that it is inconceivable how they love each other even though they are the same person, nor does he say that they are different from each other. He says: Blissful amorous pastimes are perfected by their rasa. In other words their rasa is for the sake of perfecting that lila, perfecting the pastimes of Vraja. They are one person having a relationship in two forms in order to create perfect pastimes for their enjoyment with the jivas. The jivas in those pastimes are unaware of who they are having pastimes with, they don’t know the internal reality. The whole Vraja paradigm is created to enhance the pleasure of God in his relationship with jivas by creating the most perfect human like pastimes, keeping them in ignorance as to the true reality so that they do not slip into awe and reverence of God, to keep them as friends rather then as worshippers. In that reality Radha and Krishna are the central figures, even though they are identical. Their rasa is for the purpose of perfecting that lila.

You then also wrote:

Not only is Krishna nondifferent from Maha-Vishnu, Narayana, the first and second Catur Vyuhas, etc. He is also nondifferent from His minute expansions, the jivas.

Well, no. Jivas are not nondifferent from Krishna. Jivas are one and different, jivas are vibbhinamsa expansions of the lord, separated expansions, whereas the swamsa expansions are nondifferent from Krsna, personal expansions. If we say that jivas are nondifferent from the Lord then we lose any meaning to the conception of nondifference. Jivas are clearly different from the Lord, while being one with the Lord. The personal expansions of the Lord are all identical with Lord, they only differ in how much of the Lords qualities they display, but they are all the same person. Jivas are one with the Lord because we are comprised of the Lord’s para sakti, but we are different persons from the Lord, therefore we are never nondifferent from the Lord.

In Krsna Sandarbha Jiva Goswami says there are two types of expansions of The Supreme Lord:

This is confirmed in the Varaha Purana:

The two kinds of expansions from the Supreme Personality of Godhead are : 1. svamsa (personal expansions) and 2. vibhinnamsa (separate persons). The svamsa expansions are unlimitedly powerful. Their form and personality are the same as the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself.

There is not the slightest difference between the svamsa expansions and the Original Personality of Godhead. The vibhinnamsa expansions are very weak in comparison to Them.

You also wrote:

Being nondifferent does not mean that no relationship can exist. Krishna has a relationship with Balarama, with Vishnu, with Sesa. Of *course* He has a relationship with Radha, with Lalita and Padma and Candravali, with Rukmini and Satyabhama and Jambavati. If no such relationships existed there would be no variety, no juice, and life would be worthless and dull.

Even though He is the same person as Balarama, They also interact together as different individuals. That is possible for Them. Even though it seems illogical to our puny intellects, we can know it for certain by Srila Prabhupada’s mercy when we read Krishna book.

That is all for the sake of perfecting the lila. It is illogical if you think they can be the same person and have a real relationship at the same time, but that is not what they are actually internally doing. The real rasa experienced by God is with the jivas, people who are different from God. The relationships that God has with his swamsa expansions are for no other purpose then creating perfect pastimes for God’s enjoyment of those pastimes with the jivas.

*As for Sri Radha’s postion as the enjoying potency, as Baladeva Vidyabhusana points out above, through the para sakti the Lord “manifests His various transcendental qualities” as Sri Radha. The Supreme Lord’s transcendental qualities, the enjoying aspect (hladini sakti) of the Lord, is manifested as Sri Radha. We are told that Krishna was intrigued by the fact that Radha’s enjoyment was millions of times greater then His own.

CC Adi 4.133-36

I taste the bliss to which the object of love is entitled. But the pleasure of Radha, the abode of that love, is ten million times greater.

My mind races to taste the pleasure experienced by the abode, but I cannot taste it, even by My best efforts. How may I taste it?

If sometime I can be the abode of that love, only then may I taste its joy.

Thinking in this way, Lord Krishna was curious to taste that love. His eager desire for that love increasingly blazed in His heart

This contains the internal esoteric teaching of Mahaprabhu’s lila. It is a metaphor. Since Radha and Krishna are identical he knows the bliss she experiences. The point of such statements above are to make a point i.e. that Radha is the highest manifestation of God because she is really the supreme enjoyer, she enjoys bliss “ten million times greater” then Krishna. Krishna as Mahaprabhu came to teach and to inaugurate the sankirtan movement. Don’t think that he didn’t really know what Radha feels. That is a metaphor. Just looking at this from a larger perspective we can gain an idea of this. How many times has Mahaprabhu had the same exact pastimes on numerous planets? 10 times? 100? 100,000,000,000 times? Who can say? How long have these pastimes been going on? So it’s not that Krishna needed to incarnate 500 years ago here on earth as Mahaprabhu in order to experience what Radha experiences, that is a metaphor to teach that Radha is actually the supreme enjoyer, above Krishna. Even though they are the same person, Radha is God’s most intimate persona, she is Krsna’s inner identity.

This is from Raghava Goswami’s Sri Krsna-bhakti-ratna-prakasa:

That Sri Radha is manifested from half of Lord Krsna’s body is also described in the Govinda-Vrndavana-sastra, where Sri Krsna says to Balarama:

“O Balarama, please listen and I will tell You something. One day, taking My flute, My heart full of bliss and My form bending in three places, I went under a kadamba tree and, seeing My own form reflected in a splendid golden platform studded with jewels, I became enchanted. At that moment My heart became filled with the sweet happiness known as conjugal love, which charms the entire world. My heart now desires to become a woman. I yearn to enjoy Myself as a woman.

As the Lord thought in this way, His heart approached itself. From the sweetness of His heart came bliss and from the bliss came Himself, manifested in a second form, a female form of transcendental bliss that could experience the direct perception of Himself.

At that time a goddess, whose form was nectar, whose fair complexion was like a host of lightning flashes, and who was decorated with glittering ornaments, appeared from the Lord’s left side. She is known as Radha, who is half of Krsna’s body, and who is the mistress of all potencies.”

» Posted By shiva On Nov 23, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

If we conjecture that Maha Vishnu is literally sleeping, or that any form of God is literally sleeping then we misunderstand the ontological nature of God. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta (some say it is actually Bhaktivinoda’s purport) writes in a purport to Brahma Samhita 5.12:

Yoga-nidra is spoken of as ecstatic trance which is of the nature of the bliss of the true subjective personality. The above-mentioned Ramadevi is yoga-nidra in the form of Yogamaya.

Ecstatic trance is what is really meant by yoga-nidra. If we think that Maha Vishnu is literally sleeping then we have separated God into diverse conscious entities. God is one conscious entity. Krsna may appear to sleep in lila, Maha Vishnu likewise is metaphorically sleeping as he creates brahmandas. But in fact God is always fully awake and fully conscious of everything. One form of God is different only in appearence and pastimes from other forms of God, they are all the same person. If one form appears to be sleeping, that doesn’t mean that that appearance is really what God is doing. Krsna appears to be a human and appears to need food and sleep, but in fact he isn’t and doesn’t.

The meaning of the dreaming metaphor is contained in the other translation of yoga nidra; “ecstatic trance”. The material world is running on automatic, that doesn’t mean that Krsna isn’t actively involved with everything at every moment. Rather this material world is being created and maintained without Krsna having to do much of anything except do what is necessary to give the jiva what is necessary to ultimately leave the material world. What Krsna does in the material world is like what a regular person does at his job. A regular person may go the factory or the office and do routine work in order to get the job done. His real life where he puts in his creative and true personality is manifest somewhere else, either at home or with his friends out enjoying life. When he is at work he could be said to be asleep to his real life and in a trance like condition, a dram like condition. Similarly for the Lord this material world is a job, it’s not where he enjoys life. The creation and maintainence of this world is metaphorically being done while he is asleep to his real life in Vaikuntha, this worldis metaphoricaly the dream of the Lord because his real life is in Vaikuntha. Just like a person’s real life is not a job, or when a person dreams his real life is when he wakes up . Everthing the Lord does for the creation and maintance of the material world is done automatically, like a person at work, in a kind of ecstatic trance of indifference, while his real life is being experienced in Vaikuntha.

And Kesava Krsna, the use of the saying “it’s so easy I can do it in my sleep” is not meant to agree with the idea that God actually sleeps, it’s simply another explanation for the sleep metaphor of Maha Vishnu.

» Posted By shiva On Nov 22, 2007 @ 11:10 pm

Akruranatha prabhu you wrote:

And Lord Maha Vishnu is certainly also dreaming in blissful yoga-nidra. That is His lila and not simply a metaphor. To say it is a metaphor would wrongly imply that it is not really happening. I am sorry if I suggested otherwise (I didn’t mean to).

That is not quite right. A metaphor doesn’t imply that something is not real, it implies that something, like an idea or word or conception, is representing or designating another. If the conception of Maha Vishnu dreaming is not a metaphor then it is literal. In fact it cannot be literal because Maha Vishnu is a swamsa or plenary expansion of Krsna i.e Maha Vishnu is Krsna.

Purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 2.4.10

The expansions of different forms of the lord, as from Krishna to Baladeva to Sankarsana, from Sankarsana to Vasudeva, from Vasudeva to Aniruddha, from Aniruddha to Pradyumna, and then again to second Sankarsana and from him to the Narayana-Purusavataras, and innumerable other forms which are compared to the constant flowing of the uncountable waves of a river, are all one and the same.

It’s not that Maha Vishnu is one conscious entity and Krsna or Paramatma or Balarama etc are other conscious entities. They are all the same all pervading supreme lord. Maha Vishnu cannot be literally dreaming because literal dreaming is experienced when someone is sleeping and has no control over the mind. God doesn’t ever sleep. God as Krsna, Balarama, Radha, Ramachandra, Sita, Lakshmi, Narayana, Paramatma, and on and on and on, is always doing something, is always fully conscious of and in control of everything in existence. Therefore the idea of Maha Vishnu sleeping and dreaming has to be a metaphor. In fact yoga-nidra is often translated as meditative trance. We have all heard the saying “It’s so easy I can do it in my sleep”. This is the conception of yoga nidra, God is creating and maintaining countless brahmandas and directing the activities of every living entity.

Bhagavad Gita15.15

sarvasya cāhaḿ hṛdi sanniviṣṭo
mattaḥ smṛtir jñānam apohanaḿ ca

I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness.

Our memory and knowledge is provided every second for us. We cannot control our memory, we don’t have a clue where to look for memory, all knowledge we think we possess is really given to us by Paramatma as memory. Where we are, what we are, who or what is anything, is supplied as memory by Sri Paramatma. Krsna is doing this for every conscious person in existence, if he didn’t then people wouldn’t have memory/knowledge. Krsna is always doing an uncountable number of things, trillions upon trillions to the trillionith power of activities at every second.Yet it is so easy for Krsna to do that, that He can do it in his sleep. Don’t think that Maha Vishnu is different in essence from Krishna, there is only one all pervading Personality of Godhead.

In His Govinda Bhasya; Sri Baladeva Vidyabhusana, the great scholar and acharya has written:

Isvara is supremely independent. He is the master of all potencies. He enters the universe and controls it. He awards both material enjoyment and ultimate liberation to the individual spirit souls residing in material bodies. Although He is one, He manifests in many forms. They who understand the transcendental science maintain that He is not different from His own transcendental form and qualities. Although He cannot be perceived by the material senses, He can be perceived by bhakti. He is changeless. He reveals His own spiritual, blissful form to His devotees.

“Of all the eternals, one is the supreme eternal. Of all conscious entities, one is the supreme conscious entity.”

– – Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.13

As a vaidurya jewel manifests many different colors, so the Supreme Lord manifests many different forms. Each of these forms is the same perfect, complete, and pure Supreme Lord. In some forms the Lord displays all His qualities, and other forms the Lord does not display all His qualities. Therefore a wise devotee may meditate on all the Lords qualities, as described in the scriptures, as being present in the particular form of the Lord that is chosen for worship.

Both Lord Hari and His associates are the same persons in both previous and subsequent actions. Why is that? The sutra explains: “sarvabhedad” because of complete non-difference. This means that because there is no difference in Their personalities, the same Lord Hari and the same associates present in the previous actions are also present in the subsequent actions. That Lord Hari remains one even though He expands into many forms is confirmed in the Gopala-tapane Upanisad in these words:

eko pi san bahudha yo vabhati

“Although He is one, the Supreme Lord appears in many forms.”

Also, in the Smriti-sastra it is said:

ekaneka-svarupaya

“Although He is one, the Supreme Lord appears in many forms.”

This is also true of the Lord’s liberated associates, who remain one even though they appear in many forms. The forms of the Supreme Lord are undivided. They are all full of eternity, knowledge, infinity, and bliss.

In this way it is said that although the Lord’s forms present a very wonderful variety, still They are all one in essence. Although this truth was also described in sutra 3.2.14, the merciful teacher of Vedanta repeats the same teaching so this very difficult topic may be clearly understood.

The Supreme Lord is identical with each of His forms. They are all Him. That a certain form of the Lord is His original form, or an expansion of that form, or an expansion of the expansion is determined only by how much of His powers the Lord chooses to display when He manifests that form. Only in that way are some forms of the Lord considered higher and others less high. The great devotees of the Lord declare:

The Lord’s forms are considered greater or lesser on the basis of how much of His transcendental power the Lord chooses to manifest when He reveals them.

Because she is not different from the Supreme Lord, Goddess Laksmi is also all pervading. In the Smriti-sastra it is said:

Goddess Laksmi is the mother of the worlds. She is the constant companion of Lord Visnu. As Lord Visnu is all pervading, so is she.

To think that Goddess Laksmi is different from Lord Visnu, but still all-pervading, is a false, a heretical idea. In this way the idea that Goddess Laksmi is an individual spirit soul, like the many millions of other individual spirit souls is refuted. As Lord Visnu has limitless transcendental qualities, so does Goddess Laksmi. In the scriptures it is said:

O Goddess, even if we had tongues like the demigod Brahma, we still could not describe all Your transcendental qualities. O Lotus-eyed Goddess Laksmi, please do not ever abandon your devotees.

When Lord Visnu assumes different forms, Goddess Laksmi also assumes different forms and follows Him. In the scriptures it is said:

When Lord Visnu assumes the form of a demigod, Goddess Laksmi assumes the form of a demigoddess. When He assumes the form of a human man, she assumes the form of a human woman. In this way she assumes a form to match the form of Lord Visnu.

» Posted By shiva On Nov 22, 2007 @ 5:31 am

Constitutional position of the soul

When Kshamabuddhi Das wrote:

As such, according to Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu the constitutional position of the soul is in impersonal shanta-rasa or realization of Brahman or Paramatma. In this way Lord Caitanya explains that svarupa-jnana and understanding the constitutional position of the soul involves realizing shanta-rasa in the impersonal conception of the Absolute Truth

That is not what Mahaprabhu is saying. He is saying that the person in shanta-rasa only realizes his constitutional position and no furthur. A devotee in shanta-rasa does not taste the mellows of servitude or parenting or friendship or lover, rather the shanta-rasa is described as that of a yogi or sage who comes to appreciate bhakti after realizing the truth of the message of the vedas narayanah param brahma tattvam narayanah parah

Devotees in shanta-rasa generally worship the form of Narayana or Vishnu yet do not have the hankering to serve more intimately . Srila Prabhupada writes in Nectar of Devotion:

When some great saintly persons who had undergone penances and austerities saw the four-handed transcendental form of Visnu, they remarked, “This four-handed form of the Lord, manifested in a bluish color, is the reservoir of all pleasure and the center of our living force. Actually, when we see this eternal form of Visnu, we, along with many other paramahamsas, become immediately captivated by the beauty of the Lord.” This appreciation of Lord Visnu by saintly persons is an instance of situation in santa-rasa, or the neutral stage of devotional service. In the beginning, those who are aspiring for salvation try to get out of the material entanglement by performing painful austerities and penances, and ultimately they come to the impersonal status of spiritual realization. At this brahma-bhuta stage of liberation from material entanglement, the symptoms, as explained in Bhagavad-gita, are that one becomes joyous beyond any hankering or lamentation and gains a universal vision. When the devotee is situated in the santa-rasa, or neutral stage of devotional service, he appreciates the Visnu form of the Lord.

Actually, all Vedic culture is aiming at understanding Lord Visnu. In the Rg Veda one mantra says that any advanced saintly person is always aspiring to be fixed in meditation upon the lotus feet of Visnu.

In Srimad-Bhagavatam it is said that the foolish do not know that Visnu is the ultimate goal of life. According to the conclusion of all authoritative Vedic scriptures, when a person comes to the stage of appreciating Visnu, he is at the beginning of devotional service. If one cultivates devotional service further and further, under proper guidance, other features of devotional service will gradually become manifest. At this stage of santa-rasa, one can see Lord Visnu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the deliverer of even the demons. The Lord is appreciated by such would-be devotees as the eternal transcendental form, the chief of all self-realized souls, the Supersoul and the Supreme Brahman. He is also appreciated as being completely peaceful, completely controlled and pure, merciful to the devotees and untouched by any material condition. This appreciation of Lord Visnu in awe and veneration by the saintly is to be understood as the sign that they are situated in the santa-rasa, or the neutral stage of devotional service.

This stage of santa-rasa can be attained by the impersonalists only when they are in association with pure devotees. Otherwise it is not possible. After Brahman realization, when a liberated soul comes in contact with a pure devotee of Lord Krsna and submissively accepts the teachings of Lord Krsna without misinterpretation, he becomes situated in this neutral stage of devotional service.

So it’s not that shanta-rasa is the constitutional position of the jiva, it’s simply that those in shanta-rasa are only aware of the constituional position of the jiva; that the jiva is eternally tatastha sakti of the Lord, both one and different from the Lord, and is inherently or constitutionally a servant of the Lord due to his essential nature of being a sakti of the Lord.

jivera ‘svarupa’ haya — krsnera ‘nitya-dasa’
krsnera ‘tatastha-sakti’ ‘bhedabheda-prakasa’
suryamsa-kirana, yaiche agni-jvala-caya
svabhavika krsnera tina-prakara ‘sakti’ haya

It is the living entity’s constitutional position to be an eternal servant of Krsna because he is the marginal energy of Krsna and a manifestation simultaneously one with and different from the Lord, like a molecular particle of sunshine or fire. Krsna has three varieties of energy.

The inherent nature of the Lord’s saktis is that they serve his desires, they are not independent and therefore their constitutional position is that of servant. Those in shanta-rasa understand this but do not have the hankering to directly serve the Lord. That is what Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu is saying in the verses cited by Khsamabuddhi Dasa. Previous to those verses Mahaprabhu said:

CC Madhya 19.215-217

svarga, moksa krsna-bhakta ‘naraka’ kari’ mane
krsna-nistha, trsna-tyaga — santera ‘dui’ gune

When a devotee is situated on the platform of santa-rasa, he desires neither elevation to the heavenly planets nor liberation. These are the results of karma and jnana, and the devotee considers them no better than hell. A person situated on the santa-rasa platform manifests the two transcendental qualities of detachment from all material desires and full attachment to Krsna.

narayana-parah sarve
na kutascana bibhyati
svargapavarga-narakesv
api tulyartha-darsinah

A person who is devoted to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Narayana, is not afraid of anything. Elevation to the heavenly kingdom, condemnation to hell and liberation from material bondage all appear the same to a devotee.’

ei dui guna vyape saba bhakta-jane
akasera ‘sabda’-guna yena bhuta-gane

These two qualities of the santa stage spread through the lives of all devotees. They are like the quality of sound in the sky. Sound vibration is found in all material elements

The constitutional position of the soul is servant of Krishna, those in shanta-rasa understand this but do not have the desire to directly serve the Lord. Shanta-rasa is not the constitutional position of the soul anymore so then any other rasa.

» Posted By shiva On Sep 16, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

Our constitutional body is eternal, could it be that we are presently dreaming?

Bhakta Rod you seem to misunderstand the point of the dream metaphor when it comes to the material world or material consciousness. This is due to your unfamiliarity with siddhanta on this topic. You take a few quotes out of their context and true metaphoric import and then concoct a theology which has no real basis in reality. You started this debate with your original article post wherein you began thusly:

Could it be we are all dreaming as our nitya-baddha secondary self within the dreams of Maha-Vishnu while our authentic constitutional eternal self or foundation is perpetually a nitya-siddha devotee in Goloka serving Krishna?

The answer is no. We are not dreaming that we are living on planet earth undergoing what we undergo. This keyboard I am using is made up of molecules which form elements and which were then crafted into this piece of machinery. None of this is a dream. A dream is a mental creation, there is no solid substance, no ongoing existence in a dream. This material world is not a dream, it is very real, it is comprised of the bahiranga-sakti of the Lord. It is substantial and what we experience is also very real e.g. we are born, grow, etc. This world is real, the reason it is compared to a dream is because it is temporary. The reason people in material consciousness are compared to living in a dream state is because in a dream you are unaware of the true nature of the situation you are in e.g. you believe so much that isn’t real as being real. So for a person in material consciousness he doesn’t know how thismaterial world functions, he doesn’t know that everything he experiences be it in themind or or outside the mind, that it is all God and controlled by God at every second. He sees the world and sees so many different factors which he may believe have control or are ultimate causes of the effects he witnesses and experiences. But that is all an illusion, a dream like reality.

Sri Krsna explains this in Srimad Bhagavatam 11.13.31-35

Those states of existence that are conceived of as separate from the Supreme Personality of Godhead have no actual existence, although they create a sense of separation from the Absolute Truth. Just as the seer of a dream imagines many different activities and rewards, similarly, because of the sense of an existence separate from the Lord’s existence, the living entity falsely performs fruitive activities, thinking them to be the cause of future rewards and destinations.

While awake the living entity enjoys with all of his senses the fleeting characteristics of the material body and mind; while dreaming he enjoys similar experiences within the mind; and in deep dreamless sleep all such experiences merge into ignorance. By remembering and contemplating the succession of wakefulness, dreaming and deep sleep, the living entity can understand that he is one throughout the three stages of consciousness and is transcendental. Thus, he becomes the lord of the senses.

You should consider how, by the influence of My illusory energy, these three states of the mind, caused by the modes of nature, have been artificially imagined to exist in Me. Having definitely ascertained the truth of the soul, you should utilize the sharpened sword of knowledge, acquired by logical reflection and from the instructions of sages and Vedic literatures, to completely cut off the false ego, which is the breeding ground of all doubts. All of you should then worship Me, who am situated within the heart.

One should see that the material world is a distinct illusion appearing in the mind, because material objects have an extremely flickering existence and are here today and gone tomorrow. They can be compared to the streaking red line created by whirling a fiery stick. The spirit soul by nature exists in the single state of pure consciousness. However, in this world he appears in many different forms and stages of existence. The modes of nature divide the soul’s consciousness into normal wakefulness, dreaming and dreamless sleep. All such varieties of perception, however, are actually māyā and exist only like a dream.

Having understood the temporary illusory nature of material things, and thus having pulled one’s vision away from illusion, one should remain without material desires. By experiencing the happiness of the soul, one should give up material speaking and activities. If sometimes one must observe the material world, one should remember that it is not ultimate reality and therefore one has given it up. By such constant remembrance up till the time of death, one will not again fall into illusion.

In the bold text above Sri Krsna states:

“One should see that the material world is a distinct illusion appearing in the mind, because material objects have an extremely flickering existence and are here today and gone tomorrow.”

“Just as the seer of a dream imagines many different activities and rewards, similarly, because of the sense of an existence separate from the Lord’s existence, the living entity falsely performs fruitive activities, thinking them to be the cause of future rewards and destinations.”

It’s not that the material world really is a dream or an illusion, but because it is temporary therefore it is compared to a dream and called illusory, and because the conditioned soul doesn’t understand the relationship of this world with the Supreme Lord his condition is comapred to that of a person in a dream

Sri Krsna explains this in Srimad Bhagavatam 11.13.22-24

: My dear brāhmaṇas, if, when asking Me who I am, you believe that I am also a jīva soul and that there is no ultimate difference between us — since all souls are ultimately one without individuality — then how is your question possible or appropriate? Ultimately, what is the real situation or resting place both of yourselves and of Me?

If by asking Me “Who are You?” you were referring to the material body, then I must point out that all material bodies are constituted of five elements, namely earth, water, fire, air and ether. Thus, you should have asked, “Who are you five?” If you consider that all material bodies are ultimately one, being constituted essentially of the same elements, then your question is still meaningless, since there would be no deep purpose in distinguishing one body from another. Thus, it appears that in asking My identity, you are merely speaking words, without any real meaning or purpose.

Within this world, whatever is perceived by the mind, speech, eyes or other senses is Me alone and nothing besides Me. All of you please understand this by a straightforward analysis of the facts.

The dream is not understanding reality for what it really is. The material world is real, our existence here is real, our material bodies are real,what we experience in the material world is real. It is not a dream. It is compared to a dream because it is all temporary. The material world is eternal but it is constantly changing and our experience of it is temporary therefore it is compared to a dream. Also when a jiva is covered over by avidya, ignorance of what we are and what this world is, ignorance of how this world and how we function, this misperception of reality is also compared to dream. But we shouldn’t misunderstand the dream metaphor and think that this world is not real.

Akruranatha you asked

Now here is an interesting theological question: Why does the Lord bother having fragmented energies? Why can’t He simply enjoy in His unlimited plenary expansions with His unlimited plenary potencies? Why does He have fragmental energies who are capable of turning their back on Him and in so doing undergo a miserable life of torment and evil?

The answer should be obvious. If the Lord didn’t have the jiva souls then the Lord would be alone. His plenary expnasions are Him, there is only the Lord (Sri Sri Radha Krsna) and their plenary expansions, who are all the Lord, and the jiva souls, in existence.

» Posted By shiva On Oct 13, 2007 @ 9:57 pm

Bhakta Rod, I don’t have the time right now, but your understanding of vedic philosophy, pertaining to the material world as a dream, is without justification. If you have time read Sri Jiva’s Paramatma Sandarbha where he goes into detail on refuting the “world is a dream” ideology.

» Posted By shiva On Oct 12, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

Bhakta Rod you keep quoting the same few statements about the material world or material existence being a dream from Srila Prabhupada over and over as if these few statements legitimize the rest of your theological speculations. One of your many mistakes is taking those statements about the dream like quality of material existence too literally. The material world is not a dream, we are not dreaming that we are in the material world, we are not dreaming that we left Vaikuntha.

The material world and material consciousness is dreamlike, but it is not an actual dream. The metaphor of a dream is used because a dream is temporary and the dreamer has limited mental acuity in the dream e.g. the dreamer doesn’t know that he is in a dream, (lucid dreaming notwithstanding) his mental awareness of the nature of the reality of the dreamscape he is in is limited to varying degrees. The main points in the metaphor is that the person in the dream doesn’t understand reality for what it really is and that eventually he will wake up and live in a more permanent reality. So a person in material consciousness living in the material world is not really “dreaming that he has left Vaikuntha but in reality is living in Vaikuntha” while his “nitya baddha consciousness” dreams it lives in the material world. Those ideas are simply your speculative extrapolations from your misunderstanding of various things you have read.

When it is described that Maha Visnu is dreaming the material world we shouldn’t take that analogy of a dream too literally. It’s really not a dream in the sense of what we experience as a dream, it is called yoga-nidra, a relaxing trance like condition. The metaphor is meant to convey that Visnu’s work in creating and maintaining the material world is not causing any difficulty for Him, it is no problem, there is no terrible exertion which strains God in the work of creating and maintaining the material world. In fact it is so easy that it is described as being done in a state of yoga-nidra, a restful mystic trance like condition. These teachings are simply meant to convey the ease of creating and maintaining the the material world. They are not meant to create a theological conception where we think we live in an actual dream. That is in fact what the mayavadis teach. They teach that the fallen souls under the grip of maya are simply dreaming that they are different from Brahman and that therefore this world is a dream of Brahman and has no actual reality. Jiva Goswami goes into refuting this dream ontology deeply in his Paramatma Sandarbha.

You tend to quote bits and pieces of things Srila Prabhupada has written or said taken out of the context they were written in to prove your various points. When it is said that we never left Vaikuntha but only dream we do, this is a metaphor, not meant to be taken literally. The idea is that anywhere can be Vaikuntha for the person who is Krsna conscious.

Srimad Bhagavatam, 4.9.7

My Lord, You are the supreme one, but by Your different energies You appear differently in the spiritual and material worlds. You create the total energy of the material world by Your external potency, and after creation You enter within the material world as the Supersoul. You are the Supreme Person, and through the temporary modes of material nature You create varieties of manifestation, just as fire, entering into wood of different shapes, burns brilliantly in different varieties.

Purport

Dhruva Maharaja realized that the Supreme Absolute Truth, the Personality of Godhead, acts through His different energies, not that He becomes void or impersonal and thus becomes all-pervading. The Mayavadi philosopher thinks that the Absolute Truth, being spread throughout the cosmic manifestation, has no personal form. But here Dhruva Maharaja, upon realization of the Vedic conclusion, says, “You are spread all over the cosmic manifestation by Your energy.” This energy is basically spiritual, but because it acts in the material world temporarily, it is called maya, or illusory energy. In other words, for everyone but the devotees the Lord’s energy acts as external energy. Dhruva Maharaja could understand this fact very nicely, and he could understand also that the energy and the energetic are one and the same. The energy cannot be separated from the energetic

There are countless verses and place where we are told by guru, sadhu, and sastra, that the jivas in the material world are not in Vaikuntha, so any other statements which contradict that basic idea have to be taken as having metaphoric intent.

» Posted By shiva On Oct 11, 2007 @ 10:04 pm

Japa Jim you wrote:

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 2.96 purport.

“The external and marginal potencies are so called under various conditions, but in the original, internal potencies there are no such conditions, nor is it possible for the conditions of the external potency to exist in the marginal, or vice versa.”

So, the marginal condition of the jiva is a condition that does not exist in the original internal potency as exhibited in Goloka Vrindavan. Marginal shakti is manifested by Maha-Vishnu from the Viraja where he lies down and casts his glance over Prakriti.

You misunderstand what Srila Prabhupada is saying. The marginal and external energies exist under “various conditions” as marginal and external energies i.e. for the jiva that condition is that of being a tiny weak separate conscious entity as well as able to come under the influence of the external energy, those conditions do not exist in the internal potency. What is being said is that the internal potency in it’s pure or original form does not possess the qualities of the jivas nor the external energy, e.g. the jivas are different then the internal energy as is the external energy different from jiva etc. So in fact this verse contradicts your position rather then supports it. It is saying the jivas are different then the internal energy.

From Mahaprabhura Siksa: The Teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by Bhaktivinoda Thakura

Sri Jiva says:

tad evam ananta eva jivakhyas tatasthah saktayah
tatra tasam varga-dvayam eko vargo’ nadita

eva bhagavad-unmukhah anyas tv anadita eva bhagavat-paranmukhah svabhavatas tadiya-jnana-bhavat tadiya-jnanabhavat ca tatra prathamo’ ntaranga- sakti vilasanu
grhito nitya-bhagavat-parikara rupo garudadikah asya
ca tatasthatvam jivatva-prasiddher isvaratva-kotav
apravesat aparam tu tat paranmukhatva-
dosena labdha-chidraya mayaya paribhutah samsari

The number of jivas is unlimited. They are divided into two classes. One class is favorable to the Lord without beginning. The other class is averse to the Lord without beginning. The first class is favorable to the Lord because of knowledge of relationship with the Lord. The second class is averse to the Lord because of lack of that knowledge. The favorable jivas are all recipients of the Lords splendid internal energy. They are the eternal associates of the Lord, such as Garuda. They are not in the category of the Lord, as in shown by the scriptures. They are still tatastha or jiva. The second class of jivas is devoid of the help of the internal energy as they are averse to the Lord. Because of this lack, they are overwhelmed by maya and take repeated birth in the material world.

You also wrote

Śrī Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 4.74-75

“The beloved consorts of Lord Kṛṣṇa are of three kinds: the goddesses of fortune, the queens, and the milkmaids of Vraja, who are the foremost of all. These consorts all proceed from Rādhikā.”

So, all the gopis proceed from Radha.
If a jiva attains svarupa-siddhi as a milkmaid of Krishna and attains Goloka, then such a jiva is manifested in Vrindavan via the expansion of Radha as hladini-shakti as opposed to being tatastha-shakti of Maha-Vishnu from the plane of Viraja.

You are extrapolating a theology. There are no direct statements which back up your claim and there are many direct statements which contradict your claim. The above verse is not talking about jivas, it is talking about Sri Radha’s plenary expansions as Srila Prabhupada points out in the verese that follow:

CC Ādi 4.76: Just as the fountainhead, Lord Kṛṣṇa, is the cause of all incarnations, so Śrī Rādhā is the cause of all these consorts.

CC Ādi 4.77: The goddesses of fortune are partial manifestations of Śrīmatī Rādhikā, and the queens are reflections of Her image.

CC Ādi 4.78: The goddesses of fortune are Her plenary portions, and they display the forms of vaibhava-vilāsa. The queens are of the nature of Her vaibhava-prakāśa.

CC Ādi 4.79: The Vraja-devīs have diverse bodily features. They are Her expansions and are the instruments for expanding rasa.

CC Ādi 4.80: Without many consorts, there is not such exultation in rasa. Therefore there are many manifestations of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī to assist in the Lord’s pastimes.

CC Ādi 4.81: Among them are various groups of consorts in Vraja who have varieties of sentiments and mellows. They help Lord Kṛṣṇa taste all the sweetness of the rāsa dance and other pastimes.

PURPORT

As already explained, Kṛṣṇa and Rādhā are one in two. They are identical. Kṛṣṇa expands Himself in multi-incarnations and plenary portions like the puruṣas. Similarly, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī expands Herself in multiforms as the goddesses of fortune, the queens and the damsels of Vraja. Such expansions from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī are all Her plenary portions. All these womanly forms of Kṛṣṇa are expansions corresponding to His plenary expansions of Viṣṇu forms. These expansions have been compared to reflected forms of the original form. There is no difference between the original form and the reflected forms. The female reflections of Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency are as good as Kṛṣṇa Himself.

The plenary expansions of Kṛṣṇa’s personality are called vaibhava-vilāsa and vaibhava-prakāśa, and Rādhā’s expansions are similarly described. The goddesses of fortune are Her vaibhava-vilāsa forms, and the queens are Her vaibhava-prakāśa forms. The personal associates of Rādhārāṇī, the damsels of Vraja, are direct expansions of Her body. As expansions of Her personal form and transcendental disposition, they are agents of different reciprocations of love in the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa, under the supreme direction of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. In the transcendental realm, enjoyment is fully relished in variety. The exuberance of transcendental mellows is increased by the association of a large number of personalities similar to Rādhārāṇī, who are also known as gopīs or sakhīs. The variety of innumerable mistresses is a source of relish for Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and therefore these expansions from Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī are necessary for enhancing the pleasure potency of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Their transcendental exchanges of love are the superexcellent affairs of the pastimes in Vṛndāvana. By these expansions of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s personal body, She helps Lord Kṛṣṇa taste the rāsa dance and other, similar activities. Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, being the central petal of the rāsa-līlā flower, is also known by the names found in the following verses.

So these verses which you quote to support your position are in fact contradictory to your position unless you think jivas can become God.

You also claim that “The other devotees of Krishna in Goloka as manifested via sandhini-shakti.”

That is also false. Sandhini is the aspect of the cit sakti which manifests and maintains forms and eternal existence. It acts upon the jiva, it manifests the forms of the jiva, and it is present in a minute way within the jiva.

Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi 4.62

anandamse hladini, sad-amse sandhini
cid-amse samvit — yare jnana kari’ mani

Hladini is His aspect of bliss; sandhini, of eternal existence; and samvit, of cognizance, which is also accepted as knowledge.

PURPORT

In his thesis Bhagavat-sandarbha (103), Srila Jiva Gosvami explains the potencies of the Lord as follows: The transcendental potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead by which He maintains His existence is called sandhini. The transcendental potency by which He knows Himself and causes others to know Him is called samvit. The transcendental potency by which He possesses transcendental bliss and causes His devotees to have bliss is called hladini.

Caitanya Caritamrita Adi 4.71, purport

“The sandhini portion, Sri Krishna’s internal potency, has manifested the all-attractive form of Sri Krishna, and the same internal potency, in the hladini feature, has presented Srimati Radharani”

From Bhaktivinoda’s Jaiva Dharma

The samvit-vrtti of svarupa-sakti manifests all the various moods of the relationships (sambandha-bhavas) within Vraja. Sandhini manifests everything in Vraja that consists of water, earth and so on, such as the villages, forests, gardens, and Giri-Govardhana, which are places of Krsna’s pastimes. It also manifests all the other transcendental objects used in Krsna’s pastimes, as well as the transcendental bodies of Sri Radhika, Sri Krsna, the sakhis, sakhas, cows, dasas and dasis, and so on. Sri Krsna is always engrossed in supreme bliss in the form of the pranaya-vikara of hladini, and being endowed with the various bhavas manifested by the samvit-vrtti, He relishes pranaya-rasa. Through the samvit-vrtti of His para-sakti, Krsna performs activities such as attracting the gopis by playing upon His vamsi, taking the cows out for grazing (go-carana), rasa-lila and other pastimes. Sri Krsna, who is Vraja-vilasi (the enjoyer of pastimes in Vraja), always remains immersed in rasa in His transcendental dhama, which is manifested by the sandhini potency. Amongst all the abodes of His pastimes, the abode of His Vraja pastimes is the sweetest.

Vrajanatha: You have just explained that sandhini, samvit, and hladini are all manifestations of svarupa-sakti. You have also said that jivasakti is an atomic part of svarupa-sakti, and that maya-sakti is the reflection of svarupa-sakti. Now kindly explain how the sandhini, samvit, and hladini tendencies act upon the jiva and on maya.

Babaji: Jiva-sakti is the atomic potency of svarupa-sakti, and all three aspects of svarupa-sakti are present in it to a minute degree. Thus, the hladini-vrtti is always present in the jiva in the form of brahmananda (spiritual bliss); samvit-vrtti is present in the form of brahma-jnana (transcendental knowledge); and sandhini-vrtti is present in the jiva’s minute form. I will explain this subject matter more clearly when we discuss jiva-tattva. In maya-sakti, the hladinivrtti is manifest in the form of mundane pleasure (jadananda); samvit-vrtti is manifest in the form of material knowledge (bhautika-jnana); and the sandhini-sakti is manifest in the form of the entire material universe, which consists of the fourteen planetary systems and the material bodies of the jivas…

… You have explained that cit-sakti, jiva-sakti, and maya-sakti are three manifestations of svarupa-sakti; that hladini, samvit, and sandhini are three functions (vrttis) of svarupasakti; and that these three functions – namely, hladini, samvit, and sandhini – act on the three manifestations, cit-sakti, jiva-sakti, and maya-sakti. All of this is simply the work of sakti.

From Mahaprabhura Siksa: The Teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu by Bhaktivinoda Thakura

krsnera svabhavika tina sakti parinati
cic chakti, jiva sakti ara maya sakti

Lord Krsna naturally has three enegetic transformations, and these are known as the spiritual potency, the living entity potency and the illusory potency. (C.C.Madhya 20,111)

There is a karika to elaborate on this:

saktih svabhaviki krsne tridah cety upapadyate
sandhini tu balam samvij jnanam hladakari kriya
sakti-saktimato bhedo nastiti sara samgrahah
tathapi bheda-vaicitryam acintya-sakti- karyatah
sandhinya sarvam evaitat nama-rupa-gunadikam
cin-maya-bhedato bhedo visva-vaikunthayoh kila
samvida dvi-vidham jnanam cin-maya bhedatah kramat
cin-maya-bhedatah siddham hladinya dvi- vidham sukham
hladini sri svarupa ya saiva priyankari
mahabhava-svarupa sa hladini varsabhanavi

In the scriptures, Krsna’s three intrinsic energies are described as bala (sandhini) , jnana (samvit) and kriya (hladini) . The energies and the source of the energies are non-different. This is the conclusion of the scriptures. However, through the operation of the inconceivable energy of the Lord, variety becomes manifest. The function of the sandhini (existence) sakti is manifestation of name, form and qualities of things. This brings about the material existence through sandhini’s material function and the spiritual existence through its spiritual function. Jnana also has two varieties, spiritual and material samvit. Similarly there are spiritual and material hladini energies which give rise to spiritual and material pleasure. The hladini sakti is the dear servant of Krsna. She becomes Radha, the daughter of Vrsabhanu in manifesting mahabhava, the highest ecstasy of spiritual love…

…In the realm of cit sakti, the sandhini gives rise to the qualities, the objects, and all other things which assist in the Lord’s pastimes. Krsna’s form, name, qualities and pastimes are all due to the sandhini potency. By the influence of the samvit sakti on the cit sakti all the spiritual moods arise. By the hladini influence on the cit sakti, prema expands.

By the influence of the sandhini on the jiva sakti, the jiva’s spiritual existence, name and place appear. Through the influence of samvit on the jiva sakti the knowledge of God arises. Through the hladini influence the jiva experiences spiritual bliss. The jiva’s experience of bliss of samadhi by practicing astanga yoga and merging into brahman are also the effects of the samvit on the jiva.

By the influence of sandhini on maya sakti, the material universe composed of fourteen material planetary systems, the gross and subtle bodies of the jivas and material senses, and the goals of the jivas such as svaga, are manifested. The material name, form qualities and actions of the conditioned jiva all arise from this. By the influence of the samvit on the maya sakti, the worries, hopes, speculations and thoughts of the conditioned jiva arise. By the influence of hladini on the maya sakti, gross material bliss and the subtle material happiness of svarga arise.

One should understand that the sandhini, samvit and hladini manifest their pure, full form in the cit sakti. In the jiva sakti, these appear in very minute quantity. In the maya sakti these appear in a perverted or shadow form. For the jiva, the forms manifested in maya are detrimental. In the jiva himself, these three influences are not detrimental but dilute. Without joining to the hladini manifested in the cit sakti, the jiva cannot experience full spiritual bliss. Such joining cannot be accomplished, except through the mercy of Krsna or his devotee.

From Bhaktivinoda’s Jaiva Dharma

Vrajanatha: What is the Vedantic meaning of the word tatastha?

Babaji: The space between the ocean and the land is called the tata (shore), but the place that touches the ocean is actually nothing but land, so where is the shore? The tata is the line of distinction separating the ocean and the land, and it is so fine that it cannot be seen with the gross eyes. If we compare the transcendental realm to the ocean, and the material world to the land, then tata is the subtle line that divides the two, and the jiva-sakti is situated at the place where the two meet. The jivas are like the countless atomic particles of light within the sunrays. Being situated in the middle place, the jivas see the spiritual world on one side and the material universe created by maya on the other. Just as Bhagavan’s spiritual sakti on one side is unlimited, maya-sakti on the other side is also very powerful. The innumerable subtle (suksma) jivas are situated between these two. The jivas are marginal by nature because they have manifested from Krsna’s tatasthasakti (marginal potency).

Vrajanatha: What is the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature)?

Babaji: It is the nature that enables one to be situated between both worlds, and to see both sides. Tatastha-svabhava is the eligibility to come under the control of either of the saktis. Sometimes the shore is submerged in the river because of erosion, and then again it becomes one with the land because the river changes its course. If the jiva looks in the direction of Krsna – that is, towards the spiritual world – he is influenced by Krsna sakti. He then enters the spiritual world, and serves Bhagavan in his pure, conscious, spiritual form. However, if he looks towards maya, he becomes opposed to Krsna and is incarcerated by maya. This dual-faceted nature is called the tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature)…

…Vrajanatha: So maya has nothing whatever to do with creating the svarupa of the jivas – this has to be accepted. At the same time, I have also clearly understood that the jiva is by nature subject to the influence of maya. Now I want to know, did the cit-sakti create the jivas and give them their tatastha-svabhava (marginal nature)?

Babaji: No, the cit-sakti is paripurna-sakti, the complete potency of Krsna, and its manifestations are all eternally perfect substances.The jiva is not nitya-siddha, although when he performs sadhana, he can become sadhana-siddha and enjoy transcendental happiness like the nitya-siddhas, eternally perfect beings. All the four types of Srimati Radhika’s sakhis are nitya-siddha, and they are direct expansions (kaya-vyuha) of the cit-sakti, Srimati Radhika Herself. All the jivas, on the other hand, have manifested from Sri Krsna’s jiva-sakti. The cit-sakti is Sri Krsna’s complete sakti, whereas the jiva-sakti is His incomplete sakti. Just as the complete tattvas are all transformations of the complete potency, similarly innumerable atomic, conscious jivas are transformations of the incomplete sakti.

And then some more from Jaiva Dharma about gopis

Vrajanatha: Will you please explain who are the nitya-siddha gopis and who are the sadhana-siddha gopis?

Babaji: Srimati Radharani is Sri Krsna’s svarupa-sakti, and the eight principal sakhis are Her first kaya-vyuha (bodily expansions). The other sakhis follow behind as Her further kaya-vyuha. All these sakhis are nitya-siddha; they are svarupa-sakti-tattva, not jiva-tattva. The general sakhis of Vraja – who attained perfection by performing sadhana – follow Srimati Radharani’s eternal associates (parikara), and they are known as sadhana-siddha jivas. Having been imbued with the potency of hladini-sakti, they attained salokya (residence in vraja-aprakrta-lila) with the nityasiddha sakhis of Vraja. Jivas who attain perfection by the path of raganuga-sadhana in srngara-rasa are included amongst the sadhana-siddha sakhis.

The gopis described as “svarupa sakti tattva” have been explained by Srila Prabhupada earlier in this post where he describes them as “plenary expansions of Radha” and “womanly froms of Krsna” who are “as good as Krsna himself”. They are not jivas, jivas cannot become them, they are all “womanly froms of Krsna”, they are all God.

As for Sri Radha’s ontological position vis-a-vis Krsna, she is Krsna, as a female, nothing more nothing less. If and when you encounter Sri Sri Radha Krsna in this life you will be dealing with only one person, I guarantee that.

» Posted By shiva On Oct 9, 2007 @ 11:56 pm

Japa jim you wrote:

He fled this discussion on another forum when his misconceptions were exposed with shastric siddhanta.

I stopped debating because we had reached an impasse where there was no point in simply repeating what had already been said. You nor anyone else exposed any so called “misconceptions” with “shastric siddhanta” there, nor can you do it here.

You also wrote:

Shiva is confused on a few of the detailed points of siddhanta.
He thinks Radha is a plenary expansion of Krishna and that the liberated pure devotees of Krishna in Goloka Vrindavan are marginal energy.

I never said that Radha is a “plenary expnasion of Krishna”. And if you read this thread you will find citations from the previous acaryas which state that liberated jivas are still tatastha sakti. For example from Jiva Goswami’s Paramatma Sandarbha

tad evam ananta eva jivakhyas tatasthah caktayah. tatra tasam varga-dvayam. eko vargo ‘nadita eva bhagavad-unmukhah. anyas tv anadita eva bhagavat-paragmukhah. svabhavatas tadiya- jnana-bhavat tadiya-jnanabhavac ca.

tat – that; evam – thus; ananta – limitless; eva – inded; jivakhyah – called individual souls; tatasthah – marginal; caktayah. – potencies; tatra – there; tasam – of them; varga-dvayam. – two groups; ekah – one; vargah – group; anadita – from time immemorial; eva – indeed; bhagavad-unmukhah. – favorable to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; anyah – others; tv – but; anadita – from time imemmorial; eva – indeed; bhagavat-paragmukhah. – averse to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; svabhavatah – by nature; tadiya – of Him; jana – knowledge; bhavat – because of the nature; tadiya – of Him; jnana – the knowledge; abhavat – because of the absence; ca – also.

Thus the Lord’s marginal [tatasthah] potencies, who are called the individual spirit souls are limitless in number. Still, they may be divided into two groups: 1. the souls who, from time immemorial, are favorable to the Supreme Lord, and 2. the rebellious souls who, from time immemorial, are averse to the Supreme Lord. This is because one group is aware of the Lord’s glories and the other group is not aware of them.

Sri Radha is the counterwhole of Sri Krsna, so she is not a plenary expansion, she is simply the female aspect of the Supreme Lord.

From Srila Prabhupada’s intro to the Teachings of Lord Caitanya

Radha and Krsna are one, and when Krsna desires to enjoy pleasure, He manifests Himself as Radharani. The spiritual exchange of love between Radha and Krsna is the actual display of the internal pleasure potency of Krsna (Radha’s display). Although we speak of “when” Krsna desires, just when He did desire we cannot say. We only speak in this way because in conditional life we take it that everything has a beginning; however, in the absolute or spiritual life there is neither beginning nor end. Yet in order to understand that Radha and Krsna are one and that They also become divided, the question “When?” automatically comes to mind. When Krsna desired to enjoy His pleasure potency, He manifested Himself in the separate form of Radharani.

From Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Adi lila:

tara madhye vraie nana bhava-rasa-bhede
krsnake karaya rasadika-lilasvade

Among them are various groups of consorts in Vraja who have varieties of sentiments and mellows. They help Lord Krsna taste all the sweetness of the rasa dance and other pastimes.

PURPORT

As already explained, Krsna and Radha are one in two. They are identical. Krsna expands Himself in multi-incarnations and plenary portions like the purusas. Similarly, Srimati Radharani expands Herself in multiforms as the goddesses of fortune, the queens and the damsels of Vraja. Such expansions from Srimati Radharani are all Her plenary portions. All these womanly forms of Krsna are expansions corresponding to His plenary expansions of Visnu forms. These expansions have been compared to reflected forms of the original form. There is no difference between the original form and the reflected forms. The female reflections of Krsna’s pleasure potency are as good as Krsna Himself.

Your idea that jiva souls can “become expansions of Radha” is refuted above unless you can prove that jiva souls can become “womanly forms of Krsna” and “as good as Krsna himself”. Jiva souls cannot “become expansions” of Radha anymore then jiva souls can “become expansions” of anything else. Jiva souls are eternally tatastha sakti. Sri Radha’s personal expansions are not jivas.

From Baladeva Vidyabhusana’s Govinda Bhasya:

Because she is not different from the Supreme Lord, Goddess Laksmi is also all pervading. In the Smriti-sastra it is said:

Goddess Laksmi is the mother of the worlds. She is the constant companion of Lord Visnu. As Lord Visnu is all pervading, so is she.

To think that Goddess Laksmi is different from Lord Visnu, but still all-pervading, is a false, a heretical idea. In this way the idea that Goddess Laksmi is an individual spirit soul, like the many millions of other individual spirit souls is refuted.

» Posted By shiva On Oct 8, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

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