Sunday, January 14, 2007

Footnote to comments on Advaitaji's blog

I responded to a posting on Advaitaji's Madan Gopal site, where I made reference to a Bengali verse from Kunja Bihari Das Babaji Maharaj's Mañjarī-svarūpa-nirūpaṇa. Advaitaji, always wary of Jagat's every word, stated that this was sahajiyā-vāda. Of course, I have a hard time seeing any difference between orthodoxy and sahajiyaism, so maybe he was right. At any rate, I made a further comment which Advaita decided not to post. We had a little followup discussion on email, which Advaita thought of posting as a separate blog, but later had second thoughts about. Anyway, here is the brief posting that did not make it.
For an advanced sādhaka, as I said, even trivial phenomena are inducements to ecstatic feelings and experiences of rasa. Less advanced sādhakas are indeed asked to observe restrictions on their hearing and chanting, i.e., put a Radha and Krishna label on everything. This is the meaning of the verse Kunja Bihari Dasji quotes near the end of  Mañjarī-svarūpa-nirūpaṇa.
For a translation of the verse quoted in the previous post, look here: Gaudiya Discussions (in its hayday) The discussion before and after is rather nice also.

There are two approaches to love: that of the bhajanānandī and that of the goṣṭhy-ānandī. Here is the  bhajanānandī version:


bāhire nayan nā deo kokhon, 
bhāvākrānta citta nāhi jad-avadhi
je bhāve abhāva, hoibek bhāva, 
nāile bhāvābhāse hobe nā tad-buddhi

mahatera bhāva, bhābite bhābite, 
tad-āviṣṭe sarva hobe vismaraṇ
antar-bāhye tabe ekākāra habe, 
mahad-bhāve rasa hobe āsvādan


Do not look outside yourself at any time
until your mind is overcome by love;
For if you know nought but love’s reflection,
you will not see the divine object of love
in every thing existing.


When the loving moods of the great
are contemplated constantly,
this world is all forgotten.
Both within and without become one,
and then, like the great souls, you will get
a taste of sacred rapture.

These verses have had a very strong influence on my thinking about bhakti and the nature of the  bhajanānandī path.

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