Tuesday, March 27, 2007


As I review this historical material, I am reminded of the things that struck me the first time around. As mentioned in the previous post, we have a problem--the CC date given at 1581 AD. Karṇānanda is supposed to be written in 1607 by Yadunandan, who was a disciple of Hemalata Thakurani, Srinivasa Acharya's disciple. Since there are numerous quotes and references to Caitanya-caritāmṛta in this work, if we accept the 1607 (1529 Saka) date of completion, our 1615 date for CC becomes problematic.

The Karṇānanda is dominated by the  svakīyā /pārakīyā question. This arises in particular in conversations between Ramachandra Kaviraja and King Birhambir. The issue seems to have arisen out of the impact that Gopāla-campū had when it came to Bengal. Everyone, it seems, had become quite used to the pārakīyā mood in song and story, and to suddenly have the GC come and say otherwise was confusing.

Ramachandra refers to the GC in words taken directly from CC, making it perfectly clear that Karṇānanda was written after it.

gopāla-campū nāme grantha mahāśūra
nitya-līlā sthāpana jāte vraja-rasa-pūra

Ramachandra says that rasa-pūra here refers to nitya-pārakīyā. Since all pastimes are nitya, the pārakīyā mood, which is also described in the Pūrva-campū, is nitya.

An important figure questioning these things is Vyasa Acharya (Chakravarti), who is seen by R.K. Chakravarty as one of the more important theologians amongst Srinivas's disciples. According to Prema-vilāsa, Vyasa Acharya was initiated by Srinivasa at the same time as Birhambir and that Srinivasa gave him the title "acharya." Here, Vyasa says to Ramachandra and others:

koho dekhi tomāra saba bolo pārakīyā
kirūpe koroho tāhā koho vivariyā
tabe to āmāra smaraṇa vyavasthā karilo
tāhā śuni citte āra kuṇṭha upajilo
tomarā kohile ei pārakīyā bhajan
svakīyāte prāpti hoy śunoho vacan
śrī-jīvera vākya ei ati anupam
tāhātei ei vākya āche paramāṇa

In short, "You practice pārakīyā, but you get svakīyā." And to support this he cites Jiva (though no specific quote is found here). Perhaps he is refering to the Gopāla-campū as a whole. (Chapter 4)

In order to resolve the problem, letters were sent to Vrindavan to Sri Jiva, through Ray Vasanta or Ray Sekhara (no doubt the famous pada-kartā). However, though the letters seem rather to be dealing with other questions, Yadunandan takes them as a resolution to the problem resulting from the GC's apparent promotion of the svakīyā mood.

Yadunandan makes something of a meal out of the fact that Jiva refers to the abovementioned Vyasa as Vyasa "Sharma," as no Vaishnava would use this brahminical pandit title for another Vaishnava. It is, in other words, a [perhaps not so] subtle put-down. Though at first I did not think that this was valid (and I am still not sure), when I consider how I felt when some devotees refered to me as Professor Brzezinski, I have to give some credence to Yadunandan.

Yadunandan quotes Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami in support of the principle that sādhane je dhan cāy, siddhe dehe tāhā pāy:

sādhane jei bhāvya sei prāpti hoy
patrite bujhāilo ihā nāhiko saṁśaya
ei tattva vastu śrī gosāñi kṛṣṇa dās
nija grantha mājhe tāhā korilo prakāś
"vrajera kono bhāva loiyā jei jana bhaje
bhāva jogya deha pāiyā kṛṣṇa pāya braje"

That which you meditate on in your sādhana is what you get as a result. Sri Jiva explained this in his letter, there can be no doubt of it. Krishna Das Goswami explained this truth in his own book [i.e. CC]: "One who worships after taking a particular mood of worship found in Vraja, attains a body appropriate to that mood and attains Krishna in Braja."

It is curious that in the letter where Jiva refers to Vyasa Sharma, he also mentions that he is in the middle of making some last changes to Uttara-campū, as well as some other books like Harināmāmṛta, Mādhava-mahotsava and Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. So this letter must have been written after 1592, as it is clear that Jiva revisited and reworked these titles, which had already been finished.

The Karṇānanda has three letters, written together as one, whereas Bhakti-ratnakara has four. Two of the five are common to both. I have revised the document posted on GGM, but we will have to wait for the site to be revamped before we can upload the revised document. Karṇānanda treats the three letters as one, and both books may possibly have mixed them up chronologically (as references to previous letters or events are made, etc.)

I have looking to see if Prema-vilāsa also has the letters, as some reference was made to such at the end of the appendix, but as yet I have not come across them. It would be interesting to see the context there. The BRK quotes the letters, but does not make much of them in terms of context. [This should be checked again.]

Once again, if the Karṇānanda was written in 1607, then the 1581 date for the CC would be possible. If the 1615 date for CC is correct, then Karṇānanda could not have been written then.

I also reread the Gopala Bhatta passages in the two books. Prema-vilāsa names Prabodhananda as well as stating that he died before GB came to Vrindavan, i.e., making it impossible for Prabodhananda to have been in Braj, or even to Puri, which is not credible. PV also tells the story of Harivamsa's head being cut off after the falling out with Gopala Bhatta over taking Radharani's pan prasad on Ekadasi. The Karṇānanda only tells the bit about GB being a boy when Mahaprabhu passed through Srirangam and telling him to come to Braja after his parents die; it does not mention Prabodhananda or Harivamsa. In the Karṇānanda, however, Mahaprabhu tells Gopala Bhatta that he will have an important job to do in Braj--writing the scriptures and then entrusting Srinivasa with preaching them in Bengal.

वन्दे गुरून् ईशभक्तान् ईशानीशावताराकान् ।
तत्प्रकाशांश्च तच्छक्ती: कृष्णचैतन्यसंज्ञकान् ।।

No comments: