Monday, August 07, 2006

Too much work, too little energy

Anybody who knows me will be aware of the Gaudiya Grantha Mandir. I haven't been able to do much on there lately, for many reasons. One being that the software that we use has been rendered inactive, making it impossible for me to upload documents or to edit the pages. A few months ago, I thought it might be possible to seek donations or grants to further the objectives of the site, but not much came of that. Now that it has become pretty much impossible for me to interact with the site itself, the question has become moot. Our webmaster, who is after all a volunteer himself, has not been able to find the time to take care of it.

I personally should not have the time either. Not even my partners seem to see the importance of this project, which distresses me no end. Most of the texts that have been uploaded are in lamentable condition. I am constantly making corrections, but how much can one person do, especially when there are so many other things that need getting done?

Most of my available time of late is being frittered away in correcting the Gopala-tapani Upanishad edition of Bhagiratha Jha. It is an excellent work and very worthwhile. I am intending to use it to supplement my annotations to the translation of GTU that I finished in 2001, but still have not published. Bhagiratha provides too much insight, however, especially in the Vedantic roots of the texts, to not make as much use of it as possible, which will enrich the edition considerably. This edition, once completed, will be a scholarly work which will be of great use to academics and learned devotees.

Temporarily on hold, once again, is the book on Guru Tattva that I have been working on and off for the past eternity. This is not my own work, but that of Bhakti Promode Puri Maharaj. I have been blocked on several chapters that need drastic revisions. I shall have to return to this with a wholehearted effort very soon.

The Govinda Lilamrita of Gadadhar Pran is also on hold. I could not just skip through this easily. I had to work on it thoroughly, and it has now unfortunately been left sitting on the sidelines again. How much work can one person do for free? And why shouldn't I have the right to live?

And I sure would like to blog some of the little discoveries that I make in all this. One thing that I picked up last year in Vrindavan were a number of issues of the Sarvesvara-patrika, found at the Sriji temple in Vrindavan town. One issue is on lila tattva, with contributions from representatives of many different sampradayas, including one that was new for me, the Lalita Sampradaya. This group was founded by a member of the Radha-vallabha sampradaya, Vamsi Ali, in probably the 18th century. He wrote quite a number of works in both Sanskrit and Braj, in which he establishes Radha as the Parama Tattva. Some titles: (Sanskrit) Radha-stotra, Radha-siddhanta, Radha-tattva-prakasa, Vrishabhanupura-madhurya-satakam, Hridaya-sarvasva; (Braj) Priyaju ki badhai, Lalita-mangala, Madhurya-sata, Vrindavan-sata. The article's author, Babulalji Goswami, has apparently published his thesis in Hindi on this sampradaya called "Lalita-sampradaya: siddhanta aur sahitya." (no details available)

It made me think of the discussions that I had with Shiva recently and earlier, as this is his position also, but I couldn't help doubting that Aliji would have been puzzled by some of Shiva's other ideas. Ali's verses, for the most part, have the flavor of Prabodhananda's Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi, by which he was no doubt heavily influenced.

Here is a sample:

yad-dhūlir manasāpy agamya-viṣayā stotrair na vaktuṁ kṣamāḥ
śrautair nanda-sutena vāpi nu kathaṁ tais tair varākaiḥ suraiḥ
yan-nāma smaraṇād vikarma-niratā hitvā vimukty-ādhikaṁ
saṁyāti sma rasaṁ padaṁ yad api vai śrī-rādhayādhiṣṭhitam

The dust of Vrishabhanupur Barsana cannot be adequately glorified by the Vedic scholars, nor even by Nandasuta himself, so what can those pitiful gods have to say about it? Just by remembering its name, even those attached to sinful activities give up these activities and attain a taste of divine love that is beyond liberation. (Vṛṣabhānupura-mādhurya-śatakam, 9)


shiva said...

My ears were burning and now I know why :)

Which of my ideas do you think Vamsi Ali would find puzzling, and can you expand a little on what that sampradaya teaches, that is if you have read much.

p.s this is a little something I threw together with music by The Jeevas (crispian mills' interim band between the ending and reforming of Kula Shaker)

Jagat said...

Hi Shivaji. You discovered my blog. I don't have enough of Vamsi Ali's material at hand to be able to say much more than that he thinks Radha is the Supreme God and that Krishna is her bhakta. But my impression is that he identifies with Lalita and her gana rather than in a male role. That is what I think he would find puzzling.

I think about you often. You have been a source of much intellectual stimulation.

shiva said...

Thanks Jagat. So he doesn't consider Krishna to be God? The way I found your blog is that occasionally I do a technorati search for new blogs by vaisnavas, I searched for gaudiya and your blog came up first.

Jagat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jagat said...

I only found the one article. I had never heard of this author before and he only gets a brief mention in the histories of the Radhavallabha sampradaya. So the info is pretty inconsistent. I will try to find out more next time I go to Braj, that's for sure. In particular I would like to get hold of the Sanskrit texts for the Grantha Mandir.

The Radhavallabhis are not famous for their Sanskrit writings. They mostly write in Brajbhasha. This line also has a lot of Brijbhasha texts. I'll translate the section in the article about Krishna and post it later on.

shiva said...

appreciate it, thanks.

"Gaurasundara das" said...

I discovered this blog through a link from Kamala's blog. *blush*

I would be very interested in a critical edition/revision of Gopala Tapani Upanishad. I have recently purchased the translation of Govinda-bhashya of Srisha Chandra Vasu, and Baladeva references GTU a lot. It would be good to have a good edition of GTU to refer to often.

Jagat said...

Jai Radhe, Gaurasundarji.

Thank you for your interest and encouragement. It is slow going, as I really want to incorporate some of Bhagiratha Jha's insights. He is important because he is so widely versed in the Vedanta and Upanishads and brings a lot of relevant insights to this work as a result.

Excuse me for not publishing more here. That will hopefully come again in the not-too-distant future.