Thursday, July 01, 2010

Prema: As it is above, so it is below

I like this verse so much, I am just about adopting it as my new motto:

प्रेमा योऽसौ राधिकाकृष्णयुग्मं
स्वानन्देन प्लावयित्वा सखीश्च ।
शश्वद्विश्वं प्लावयन् सुप्रसिद्धः
सोऽयं बुद्धिं नः समिद्धां करोतु ॥


premā yo'sau rādhikā-kṛṣṇa-yugmaṁ
svānandena plāvayitvā sakhīś ca |
śaśvad viśvaṁ plāvayan suprasiddhaḥ
so'yaṁ buddhiṁ naḥ samiddhāṁ karotu ||

This love, which after inundating
the pair of lovers, Radha and Krishna,
with its own bliss,
and their girlfriends too,
constantly engulfs the entire universe,
as is well known.
May that love enflame
our intelligence. (Gopala-champu 15.4)
Interesting mixed metaphor. Inundates, engulfs... enflame.

Love inundates with joy. The essence of Vaishnavism is the recognition that love and joy are intimately connected. The receipt of joy... when you love, the object of love is a source of joy. When you love all, then all is a source of joy. At the same time, when you love, you seek to give joy. This requires practical intelligence, of course...

Though this is not a Gayatri mantra, it is formulated a bit like one, asking for the intelligence to be illuminated, but illuminated by love.

But that intelligence comes to one who places love in the center of his spiritual endeavor. Love is the aṁśī (whole), intelligence or wisdom is the aṁśa (part). Therefore St. Augustine was right: "Love and do as you will."

In 15.2 as well (two verse before this one) Jiva expresses the Truth as Love, which has manifested in a Dual Form.

इमौ गौरीश्यामौ मनसि विपरीतौ बहिरपि
स्फुरत्तत्तद्वस्त्राविति बुधजनैर्निश्चितमिदम् ।
स कोऽप्यच्छप्रेमा विलसदुभयस्फूर्तिकतया
दधन्मूर्तिभावं पृथगपृथगप्याविरुदभूत् ॥

Wise persons have determined that though
these Two are of a black and golden hue respectively,
in their minds they are of the opposite colors;
so too, externally, are their clothes.
This is some pure, unblemished love,
which has become incarnate,
taking on this form with a dual manifestation,
at once divided and a unity. (GC 1.15.2)

More discussion on that verse here: Rasaraja and Mahabhava

As far as I am concerned, this verse is the most perfect expression of Gaudiya Vaishnava philosophy, with the achintya-bhedabheda expressed in at least half a dozen ways. In essence, Love appears like an impersonal force, but it cannot exist without a subject and an object.

Everyone loves Love. But philosophically people postulate something higher than love. We say there is nothing higher. What it truly is, I don't really know. It is something that is continuously revealed.

But the verse quoted at the top of this post says something else, which I almost fall over in astonishment at seeing it in Sri Jiva Prabhu, it is such an explicit statement of one non-duality that we are accustomed to having thrust down our throats. That is the non-duality of love.

The verse is constructed as follows: yo'sau... so'yam. That love over there which inundates Radha, Krishna and the sakhis... is this love over here which is famously inundating this world. It is like the famous Ishopanishad verse -- yo'sav asau puruSaH so'ham asmi. That love there, which inundates Radha and Krishna and the sakhis, then inundates the world, that suprasiddha famous love (of our experience) is the same. May THIS love illuminate our intelligence.

If you check the UN verses on Mahabhava, you will see the expression, yāvad-āśraya-vṛttiś cet, which should be discussed in this connection. I wrote a post on this definition of Mahabhava a long time ago, but it does not seem to be on this blog. I will try to track it down and post it here.

Jai Sri Radhe.

4 comments:

Jagat said...

Pretty incoherent. I will rewrite it. Feels good to be posting here after such a long while.

Satya devi dasi said...

Radhe Radhe! You haven't posted here for a while. Have you moved to Wordpress?

Jagat said...

No. Just waiting for something to say.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Sorry for posting here but I could not find your email address.

I had downloaded some of the texts from the GGM website and have written a word macro to convert them from the Balarama encoding to Devanagari.

Let me know if you are interested. My email is veneet [at] gmail.com