Showing posts from July, 2008

Reflections on impulsiveness.

Reflecting on the Sampradaya Sun comments. There were a few letters back and forth between myself and Rocana. Finally, I apologized for my unpleasant telegrams.

So Krishna says, "kama esa", it is "lust" that drives us impulsively to act, even against our will, in sinful activities.

At the same time, we hope to be able to act naturally, in harmony with our best nature, the will of God, etc. Spontaneous action in some circles is often called the highest state--the "zone," zen, or whatever. In other words, it seems that there is a place where we are free from the need to use our intelligence, or at least to agonize over difficult decisions. Where we can believe that our actions are at one with the purpose of the universe. Is that liberation?

Buddhi has an internal and an external aspect. Externally it is called reason, internally, it is called intuition.

Impulsive action is often followed by reflection--sometimes lengthy. Because we frequently act impulsively an…

Yoginis and viyoginis

I am still writing my posts on Na Hanyate, which are backdated to when I first started working on it at June 19. At any rate, quite coincidentally, I came across the following terse statement in Bhojaraja's commentary to YS, given in the context of defining yoga in 1.1: pum-prakrityor viyogo’pi yogaH. The intention here is, "Separation between the conscious self and its attachment to matter is also yoga." (Swami Veda's translation, See YS I, p.75).

But the wording as given could be rendered: "The separation of purusha (man) from prakriti (woman) is also yoga." On one level, of course, this is the very basis of the yoga idea, in which the goal is kaivalya: "A human being is a compound of the power of pure consciousness and the corruptible, alterable, mutable material, including mental, components. When a person rediscovers the separation of the spiritual component from the material one, that is called isolation of the self from matter (kaivalya)"…

A letter to the Sampradaya Sun

Rocana Das is an old friend of mine from Toronto and other places in Canada, where we were in Iskcon together. Our paths diverged many years ago, but we came into contact a few years ago, in the early days of the Internet, when he first started his website and a listserve group called Garuda. We engaged in some fairly civil debates there, but Rocana and I were generally on the opposite sides of issues.

On the whole, Rocana cannot see past the fact that I don't seem to be a true "Prabhupadanuga" and indeed, though he made a pretense of politeness, he always managed to let it be known that he considered me to be a guru-tyagi and all that accompanies such a dreadful epithet.

Anyway, I still visit his Sampradaya Sun website every few days, though to be honest, I am completely bored with Iskcon politics; I have little or no vested interest in that organization and find most of the issues, philosophical or political, to be irrelevant to me personally. Nevertheless,…

Prataparudra and Chaitanya (3)

Prataparudra’s disappearance

According to the Sarasvati-vilasa, Prataparudra had four queens: Padma, Padmalaya, Ila and Mahila. Some other wives are named in other sources. Dibakar Das says in the Jagannatha-caritamrita that the King’s chief queen, who became Jagannath Das’ disciple, was named Gauri Devi. Ishwar Das mentions a queen named Bhanumati, while Sudarshan Das says that he had a queen named Vidyutkanti. Jayananda also mentions a queen named Chandrakala in his Caitanya-mangala.

According to the Madala-panji, Prataparudra left thirty-two sons at his death. Sarasvati-vilasa names one of these, Purushottam. The Caitanya-caritamrita (3.9.99) and Bhakti-ratnakara (6.65) also speak of Purushottam Jana. (Jänä was the title given to the Orissan crown prince.) Other sources name three other sons: Kalua Deva, Kakharua Deva and Birbhadra Deva. The first two of these had short rules after the death of Prataparudra, lasting only a few months each, while Birbhadra is known to have been the go…

Prataparudra and Chaitanya (2)

King Prataparudra receives Mahaprabhu’s blessings

The blessings that Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu showered on King Prataparudra have been documented in most of the Lord’s biographies: Murari Gupta’s Kadaca, Vrindavan Das’ Caitanya-bhagavata, Kavi Karnapur’s Caitanya-caritamrita-maha-kavya and Caitanya-candrodaya-nataka, Lochan Das’ Caitanya-mangala and Krishna Das’ Caitanya-caritamrita. These different accounts are at some variance with each other, but are not essentially contradictory.

Murari Gupta’s version

The earliest biography of Lord Chaitanya is named Sri-sri-krishna-caitanya-caritamrita, consisting of Murari Gupta’s original notes describing the Lord’s pastimes. In the sixteenth chapter of the fourth canto of this book, Prataparudra’s relations with Mahaprabhu are described as follows:

King Prataparudra wished to have an audience with Mahaprabhu and so called Ramananda and Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya, and after greeting them with respect and humility, said, “Tell me how I can meet Gaurac…

Prataparudra Deva and Krishna Chaitanya (I)

(This is an upgraded version of a translation of Sri Kshetra by Sundarananda Vidyavinoda. I revised it for Journal of Vaishnava Studies, where it will be published in the next issue. The Sanskrit and Oriya verses have been removed.)

Sri Krishna Chaitanya, the ecstatic Vaishnava saint, accepted by his followers as an incarnation of Krishna and called Mahaprabhu, spent most of his latter life in Jagannath Puri in Orissa. After taking sannyasa in 1510, he established himself there until his death in 1534. During his stay there, Chaitanya attracted numerous followers and his brand of Vaishnavism, based on the chanting of the names of Krishna, spread throughout Orissa. Prominent amongst his devotees was the king, Prataparudra, whose meeting with Chaitanya plays a large part in the saint’s hagiographies. In this article, we will give a summary of those accounts.[1]

Prataparudra Deva acceded to the throne in 1497, succeeding his father, Purushottam Deva. Like his predecessors, Prataparudra use…