Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hita Harivamsa’s method of worship

Unique features of Hita Harivamsa’s method of worship. This discussion is based on Hita Dasji Maharaja’s commentary of Harivamsa’s Chaurasi-pada. To be retained here, Radhavallabhis consider Radha-sudha-nidhi to be HHV's writing. Other works by HHV are Chaurasi-pada and Sphuta-vani.

Hitadasji says that according to the other Vaishnava sampradayas (Rupa Goswami is obviously the source of the purva-paksha), Krishna is the object (vishaya) of love and Radha and the sakhis are the ashrayas. In HHV, this is reversed and Radha is seen as the object of love, with Krishna and the sakhis being the ashrayas. I am curious about the difference between Krishna and sakhis as ashrayas of love. I.e. It doesn't really make sense to consider Radha the vishaya because of the way she is defined, even in RRSN. (Verses to follow).

As pramana, he points to this verse from RRSN—


premṇaḥ san-madhurojjvalasya hṛdayaṁ śṛngāra-līlā-kalā
vaichitrī-paramāvadhir bhagavat pūjyaiva kāpīśatā
īśānī cha śachī mahā-sukha-tanuḥ śaktiḥ svatantrā parā
śrī-vṛndāvana-nātha-paṭṭa-mahiṣī rādhaiva sevyā mama

Radha, the principal queen of the Lord of Vrindavan, is the object of my service. She is the heart of the love known as erotic and effulgent, she is the ultimate limit of the varieties of expertise in sensual pastimes, she is worshipable to the Lord, for she possesses some kind of divine supremacy, she is Ishani, Sachi, a supremely independent Power (Shakti), the embodiment of great joy. (79)

Ananta Das says “she is a more independent power than Ishani or Sachi.” īśitā is translated as “order-giver.”

[As an aside, I cannot say what mahā-sukha connotes here, but certainly it has significance in Buddhist Sahajiyaism as a description of the ecstasy of the refined sexual union.]

Hita Dasji in particular emphasizes the terms bhagavatḥ pūjyā, rAdhaiva sevyA mama to show that Radha is worshipable to both Krishna and the sakhis. Furthermore, though the term rasika is used for Radha, Krishna and the sakhis, but a close look at Chaurasi shows that really only Krishna and the sakhis can be called rasikas, while Radha is rasa-adhishthatri, the deity of rasa, rasa-datri, the giver of rasa, and rasa-svarupa.

vidagdhānāṁ mitho līlā-vilāsena yathā sukham
na tathā samprayogeṇa syād evaṁ rasikā viduḥ
Clever lovers find that there is more pleasure in all the varieties of their mutual dealings that in sexual union per se. This is the conclusion of the knowers of rasa. (15.253)
Jiva Goswami adds in Priti-sandarbha (376), vidagdhānāṁ ca yathā vanitānurāgāsvādane vānchā na tathā tat-sparśādāv api “Clever lovers desire to relish the loving feelings of the beloved more than they wish to experience their physical touch, etc.”

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