Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Panchapadi

I was forced to reflect, once again, after some respondents on this blog made statements that indicate a prurient interest in the sexual aspects of the sadhana I am supporting. I have to admit that I have foreseen some of these questions and think that if one is solidly fixed in the Goswamis’ siddhanta, one will resist the temptation. Indeed, this is the reason why I have emphasized and will continue to emphasize the following three things:

(1) The necessity of the pravartaka stage.
(2) The necessity of understanding the parallelism between one’s sadhana partner and Guru Tattva.
(3) The necessity of taking the female point of view or identity.
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Due to time considerations, what I am going to post today is background information for what will follow. On January 12, 2006, I posted the following texts on Gaudiya Discussions:

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viharati vane rādhā sādhāraṇa-praṇaye harau
vigalita-nijotkarṣād īrṣyā-vaśena gatā'nyataḥ
kvacid api latā-kuñje guñjan-madhu-vrata-maṇḍalī
mukhara-śikhare līnā dīnāpy uvāca rahaḥ sakhīm

When Radha saw Hari frolicking in the forest,
treating all the women with equal affection,
she felt her own special status had melted away.
Envy and anger arose in her, and she went off.
Somewhere, in a vine covered bower,
where bees buzzed in circles overhead,
she hid, and forlorn in her solitude,
confided to her friend.

kaṁsārir api saṁsāra-vāsanā-baddha-śṛṅkhalām
rādhām ādāya hṛdaye tatyāja vraja-sundarīḥ

Krishna, the enemy of Kamsa,
took Radha,
the chain binding him to his desires for the worldly life,
into his heart,
and abandoned all the beautiful damsels of Vraja.


itas tatas tām anusṛtya rādhikām
anaṅga-bāṇa-vraṇa-khinna-mānasaḥ
kṛtānutāpaḥ sa kalinda-nandinī-
taṭānta-kuñje viṣasāda mādhavaḥ

Madhava looked for Radhika everywhere,
his mind burning with the wounds
inflicted by the arrows of Cupid.
Overcome with remorse, he came to a bower
by the banks of the Yamuna
and began to lament.
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And so the eternal cycle begins.
What is the difference between
the Rasas of autumn and spring?

The first tells of God and the jiva,
the second of God and his hladini shakti;
the former is an archetype of the spiritual path,
the latter of the divine comedy.

Both are circle dances,
revolving in opposite directions:
The Bhagavata is the external circle,
Gita Govinda the inner.
Krishna is in the center of the outer,
Radha the center of the inner.

Together they are the center of both.

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I would here like to explain this a little more. But first, another poem, again first posted on GD. This is also for the record, to explain a little about the Bhagavata or Sharadiya Rasa Lila:


Panchapadi

Om ! Sriji ! Purushottam!

O Krishna ! Crusher of sin !
You pull me with this mantra
like a baby calf led by the nose,
like a deer enchanted by the hunter’s flute.

Here in the forest, black as your skin,
I come to you.

O Govinda !
You invade me with your mantra
you cling to me like a second skin
you weigh down my senses
with unbearable expectations.

You are in the Veda and in the cows,
You are in the world and in my senses.
You are in the mantra,
and still I must search for you.

O Gopijana ! O Radha ! O sakhis !
You flutter on every side of the mantra
like petals, effulgent and infinite.
You stand in the heart of the mantra
like pistils, golden guardians of the mead.

You are my gurus, I follow you,
I join you in your song, I sing this mantra.
It is you. It is yours.

O Vallabha! Beloved !
Beloved of the gopis,
Beloved of every soul ! Beloved of my soul!
You have come, O enchanter of Eros,
to tell me you have always been here,
present in the mantra.

Svaha!
I have reached the eighteenth syllable,
The charama shloka:
I throw my soul into the circle of flames,
the Rasa mandala of the mantra.

I have reached the fifth segment,
the final chapter, the brahma muhurta;
the dance is over and I must go home,
I must await again
the call of your flute.
A brief tika on the above: The idea came to me that the five segments of the Gopala mantra (as described in Gopala Tapani Upanishad, i.e. panchapadi, could be seen in correspondence to the Rasa Panchadhyaya. It actually works fairly well.

(1) Klim Krishnaya = first chapter. Krishna calls.

(2) Govindaya = Krishna leaves the gopis who then look for him. (vinda = search or find.) End chapter one, beginning of chapter 2.

(3) Gopi-jana = end of second and third chapters. The gopis meet Radha, their guru, under whose guidance they sing the song that will bring Krishna back to them. Like the Rasa Panchadhyaya, the gopis are central, i.e. in the middle. At the same time, they are the petals on the lotus of the yantra.

(4) Vallabhaya = Chapter 4.

tāsām āvirabhūt sauriḥ smayamāna-mukhāmbujaḥ
pītāmbara-dharaḥ sragvī sākṣān-manmatha-manmathaḥ

You have always been in the mantra: mayā parokṣaṁ bhajatā, etc.

(5) Svaha = the purnahuti of the last chapter. The yantra of the mantra or the altar of the fire sacrifice is identified with the Rasa mandala. Full absorption in the Rasa.

In this last part, I have made a correspondence between the eighteen syllables of the mantra and other eighteens, like the eighteen chapters of the Gita, which ends with the charama shloka, sarva-dharmān parityajya, etc.

Most of the other glosses of the names given here are based on the Gopala Tapini Upanishad (1.4).

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