Tuesday, September 02, 2014

More notes on separation and the aprakaṭa-prakāśa

Today is Radhashtami. 

The verse 10.82.49, quoted in the previous file, after his ambiguous instructions in the soul. Just thinking again, I was remembering that the Mahābhārata has an Anugīta, which is much more advaita in its philosophical orientation. Maybe this was a response.

The verses Krishna spoke are as follows:

gopyaś ca kṛṣṇam upalabhya cirād abhīṣṭaṁ
yat-prekṣaṇe dṛśiṣu pakṣma-kṛtaṁ śapanti
dṛgbhir hṛdīkṛtam alaṁ parirabhya sarvās
tad-bhāvam āpur api nitya-yujāṁ durāpam
The gopis saw their beloved Krishna [at Kurukshetra] after their long separation. They cursed the creator for creating eyelids that interfered with their vision, [and so] they secured him in their hearts through their eyes and embraced, and thus attained a depth of emotion so intense that not even those who are with him in eternal union can attain it. (10.82.40)
So right away you can see this theme of separation being more powerful than union, and the mental more powerful than the physical, being repeated again.

Then Krishna says:

api smaratha naḥ sakhyaḥ svānām artha-cikīrṣayā |
gatāṁś cirāyitāñ catru pakṣa-kṣapaṇa-cetasaḥ ||
O dear friends, do you remember us, who have been gone away for so long, in the desire to serve our relatives, being of a mind to destroy their enemies. (10.82.42)
This one is interesting here. Krishna says the Yadavas are "his relatives" (svānām, i.e., "his own"), implying that the residents of Braj are not his "own." How, then, can this be the Krishna who made the Brajavasis his own?

That Krishna never left, never leaves Vrindavan.

mayi bhaktir hi bhūtānām amṛtatvāya kalpate
diṣṭyā yadāsīn mat-sneho bhavatīnāṁ mad-āpanaḥ ||
Devotion unto me certainly awards immortality to living beings. By good fortune you have love for me, and by that you will attain me. (10.82.45)
This is generally considered the most important verse in the series. To Jiva Goswami, it means that Krishna's promise to the devotees is that he awards them himself in the form that they desire, and that therefore the gopis will attain him in Vrindavan.

Then the next two verses are the so-called adhyātma-śikṣā:

ahaṁ hi sarva-bhūtānām ādir anto'ntaraṁ bahiḥ |
bhautikānāṁ yathā khaṁ vār-bhūr-vāyur-jyotir aṅganāḥ ||
evaṁ hy etāni bhūtāni bhūteṣv ātmātmanā tataḥ |
ubhayaṁ mayy atha pare paśyatābhātam akṣare ||
adhyātma-śikṣayā gopya evaṁ kṛṣṇena śikṣitāḥ |
tad-anusmaraṇa-dhvasta-jīva-kośās tam adhyagan || 
O beautiful ladies, I am the beginning and end of all beings. I am within them and also without, just like earth, water, air, fire and sky [that are the beginning and end] of all material objects [and exist both within and without them]. These five elements exist in all material objects, which are pervaded by the self. But these both are in me, the imperishable and transcendental: See them as such. (10.82.46-47)
In this way being instructed in spiritual knowledge, the gopis, remembering it continuously became free from the limiting ego and understood Krishna. (10.82.48
Those two verses are the ones that Jiva Goswami has to explain to mean that Krishna is eternally present in the aprakaṭa-prakāśa, only absent in the prakaṭa-prakāśa. The gopis' attention fluctuates between the two. But when they understood the deeper meaning of the verses, they understood or attained him (tam adhyagan). It is a bit long to explain so I won't for the moment.

Then 10.82.49 (quoted earlier in the previous post) shows how they understood. Then Jiva points to 10.83.1 to show that Krishna will do as they ask. Krishna always appears in the end. That is the assurance of the Rasa-lila, and so the following verse is nearly always quoted:

tāsām āvirabhūc chauriḥ smayamāna-mukhāmbujaḥ
pītāmbara-dharaḥ sragvīsākṣān manmatha-manmathaḥ
Then Krishna suddenly appeared among the gopis, his lotus face decorated with a smile. Wearing yellow garments and decorated with a flower garland, he appeared like the churner of the heart of Cupid himself. (10.32.2)
At the end of Lalita-mādhava also, we have this verse, which is also meant to parallel the themes of the Bhagavata and this Kurukshetra incident, but approaching the same siddhānta in a different way.

When in Dwaraka, in New Vrinda’s garden, Radha asks Krishna to bestow the following blessing on those who have taken up residence in Vraja—

cirād āśā-mātraṁ tvayi viracayantaḥ sthira-dhiyo
vidadhyur ye vāsaṁ madhurima-gabhīre madhu-pure
dadhānaḥ kaiśore vayasi sakhitāṁ gokula-pate
prapadyethās teṣāṁ paricayam avaśyaṁ nayanayoḥ
O Krishna! Kindly bless all those who have abandoned everything but the hope of attaining you to remain steadfastly committed to residence in the region of Mathura, which is filled with intense sweetness. O Lord of Gokula! You must show them friendship and reveal yourself to them in your form as a charming cowherd youth. (Lalita-mādhava 10.37)
This verse can be read on two levels—either as a blessing to the sādhaka bhaktas who have taken up residence in Vraja Dham, or as a blessing in the context of the Lalita-mādhava, where even after being united with Krishna in Dwaraka, Radha, Chandravali and the other gopis show their preference for their old lives in Vrindavan. It thus shows the superiority of the sweet Vraja pastimes in the parakīyā-rasa over the svakīyā mood found in Dwaraka.

The verse that follows in Lalita-mādhava clarifies the second interpretation, though the first is no less important.

yā te līlā-rasa-parimalodgāri-vanyā-parītā
dhanyā kṣauṇī vilasati vṛtā māthurī mādhurībhiḥ |
tatrāsmābhiś caṭula-paśupī-bhāva-mugdhāntarābhiḥ
saṁvītas tvaṁ kalaya vadanollāsi-veṇur vihāram ||
That land of Braj is most glorious, for it is filled with forests that emit the sweet fragrance and flavors of the lilas you performed there and is thus surrounded by this sweetness. [Therefore we ask for the boon that] with the flute brightening your face, you engage in those pastimes there along with us, who are completely identified with the mood of simple cowherd girls. (LM 10.38)
Krishna says, "So be it, my beloved! (priye tathāstu)."

By the way, the queens are there, in the Bhagavata version. They speak the following verses to Draupadi in the last verses of the following chapter (10.83)

na vayaṁ sādhvi sāmrājyaṁ svārājyaṁ bhaujyam apy uta
vairājyaṁ pārameṣṭyaṁ ca ānantyaṁ vā hareḥ padam
kāmayāmaha etasya śrīmat-pāda-rajaḥ śriyaḥ
kuca-kuṅkuma-gandhāḍhyaṁ mūrdhnā voḍhuṁ gadābhṛtaḥ
vraja-striyo yad vāñchanti pulindyas tṛṇa-vīrudhaḥ
gāvaś cārayato gopāḥ pāda-sparśaṁ mahātmanaḥ
The queens continued: “O saintly Draupadi, we do not covet lordship over the earth, over Indra’s domain in the heavenly planets, nor for the lordship of the Bhojas. Nor do we seek the eight mystic perfections, Brahma’s post, liberation, nor even residence in Vaikuntha.

The only thing we desire is to sprinkle our heads with the dust of Sri Krishna’s lotus feet, mingled with the scent of saffron and camphor that is smeared on Lakshmi [Srimati Radharani]’s breasts.

[We desire] the touch of this great soul's feet, which is coveted by the damsels of Vraja, the low-caste Pulinda womenfolk, the grass and creepers, and the cowherds grazing the cows in Vraja. (SB 10.83.41-43)
The only interpretation of Sri possible is Radha, since the last verse of this sequence clearly refers us back to the following verse from Veṇu-gīta.

pūrṇāḥ pulindya urugāya-padābja-rāga-
śrī-kuṅkumena dayitā-stana-maṇḍitena |
tad-darśana-smara-rujas tṛṇa-rūṣitena
limpantya ānana-kuceṣu juhus tad-ādhim ||
The Pulinda girls are fully accomplished for they have been freed from the malady of love that arose on seeing Krishna. They were cured by smearing the Vrindavan grass on their face and breasts, for it was covered with reddish kumkum powder on his feet, which had come from the breasts of his beloved. (10.21.17)
Explaining this verse takes a long while and I am not going to do it. Sri Jiva says it is a reference to Radha's first meeting with Krishna, after she fainted from hearing his perfected education in the flute, which had as its very purpose the awakening of her deepest sentiments of love for him. Paurnamasi and Vrinda, knowing that only the touch of his feet on her breasts could save her, dragged him to the place where she was lying, unconscious. So then afterwards, Krishna walked barefoot in the forest and that dust of his feet mixed with the kumkum from Radha's breast fell on the grass and other small plants.

So the combination of Radha's breasts and Krishna's feet, which are mentioned also in the last verse of the Gopī-gīta, along with the grass of Vrindavan, is the recipe for the magic elixir that cures lust.

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