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Showing posts from August, 2016

Bhakti Sandarbha :: Tirthas and Sadhu Sanga

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I just want to say that as I slowly start to get deeper into Bhakti Sandarbha (I reached Anuccheda 10 today), I am gaining even more appreciation for Satya Narayan Dasji, not only of his understanding of the Sanskrit text, but his commentaries. These, I feel, are getting better as we go through the Sandarbhas, and I am sure that the Priti Sandarbha will truly be the crown jewel, the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. In the meantime, we follow Jiva Goswami's path through these six books, where we have just now arrived at the abhidheya, bhakti.

In a sense you could say that the other four books were just preparations for this. The actual journey really starts with Bhakti Sandarbha. Jiva stated in the very beginning that you should know what to do now that you have gone through the first four books (and in fact, just by going through them, you already have), but now you are going to stop looking so much at the external tattvas and start to consider what is going on inside you…

The appearance day of Gadadhar Bhatta Goswami

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The appearance and disappearance days of Gadadhar Bhatta Goswami, the disciple and successor of Raghunath Bhatta Goswami, come on successive days, the dwadashi and trayodashi of the dark fortnight in Bhadrapada month. This year that fell on August 28th and 29th.

Raghunath Bhatta (1505-1579) was especially noted for his sweet presentation of Srimad Bhagavatam and as the innovator of the Bhagavata vachak tradition in Vrindavan. Gadadhar Bhatta was his successor and to this day his descendants maintain the tradition of preaching from the Bhagavata Purana.

Gadadhar Bhatt was a reservoir of all virtues and a bringer of pleasure to all. He was naturally gentleman and a strict follower of the teachings of the acharyas. He was free of flaws like envy and desire, and an ocean of compassion to the less fortunate. It was as though he had taken birth only to awaken exclusive devotion to Radha and Krishna in the people of the world. Once he had come to stay in Vrindavan he never left, absorbed in…

More on Bhakti Sandarbha, Anuccheda 1

So in the previous post I left things open a bit in order to follow up on the context, to see whether the asti nāsti was specifically refering to any particular debate. The chapter does begin with an inquiry into differences of opinion about the number of tattvas according to different analyses of the Sankhya categories. Krishna said they are all okay depending on the particular point of view. After explaining what the different enumerations of the tattvas intend and how these differing views can be reconciled, he stops at verse 11.22.25. Uddhava then asks further about the Sankhya philosophy, in particular about its dualism of Consciousness and Matter, prakṛti and puruṣa.
prakṛtiḥ puruṣaś cobhau yady apy ātma-vilakṣaṇau |
anyonyāpāśrayāt kṛṣṇa dṛśyate na bhidā tayoḥ |
prakṛtau lakṣyate hy ātmā prakṛtiś ca tathātmani ||

Consciousness and Matter, though differing in essence, appear to not be different because of their interdependence. Thus the ātmā is observed in Nature and Nature is s…

First Anuccheda of Bhakti Sandarbha :: Guru Devatatma

So, I have finally been able to retrieve my mind from its incessant detours and brought it squarely back into Jiva Goswami’s mind and the Bhāgavata-purāṇa.

I am working on Bhakti-sandarbha now. And I am thinking about this verse, which Jiva Goswami is going to use as the first cornerstone of that book, in the first of nearly 400 anucchedas or sections, each centered around a single important verse from the Bhāgavata-purāṇa.

The central verse of the first anuccheda (11.2.37) is important and worthy of extended reflection, and thus somewhat difficult to translate. This is my job: to edit Satyanarayana Dasaji’s translation and process it through my understanding to most perfectly illustrate Jiva Goswami’s thought process. I don’t pretend to understand better than Satyanarayana Dasaji -- I consider him my Sandarbhas guru and that is the way I do this work. But we are both serving Jiva Goswami, and as a servant of the servant of Jiva Goswami, I try to present my understanding of his th…

Starting work on Bhakti Sandarbha: Entering the first anuccheda

As anyone following me will know, I am working as part of a team with Satya Narayana Das Babaji of the Jiva Institute in his great project of making an authoritative and comprehensive translations of the Bhāgavata Sandarbha or "Six Sandarbhas," Jiva Goswami's principal contribution to the world of Indian philosophy and theology. The first three volumes have been published and my work on the Krishna Sandarbha has been completed, and so I am now turning my attention to the fifth book, Bhakti Sandarbha.

The first four deal with sambandha, the fifth with abhidheya and the sixth with prayojana. The first anuccheda, or section, (of which there are 382) is introductory in nature and serves to act as a bridge between what has gone before and the subject of this book, which is the abhidheya.

The word abhidheya is an interesting one in itself and seems to have acquired its technical meaning in the context of the anubandha-catuṣṭaya, or four things that an author sets out to clari…

New Book :: Sadhaka Pathyam

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Along with several other titles, Himalayan Yoga Publications Trust has published a book I did to facilitate Sanskrit teaching to the students of Swami Rama Sadhaka Gram. This publication was made to coincide with the first anniversary of Swami Veda Bharati's Mahasamadhi.

This book contains first of all a guide to understanding the Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary of many of the essential materials used at SRSG, such as the morning and evening prayers, many of Swamiji's favorite verses from the Bhagavad Gita, and so on.  There is also a section of additional materials and exercises to help the Sanskrit student, such as sandhi rules, principal parts of verbs, as well as supplementary reading exercises.

This handbook was originally conceived as a collection of supplementary reading exercises for students of Sanskrit at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama. The primary goal was to help non-Indian students of yoga and Indian philosophy to acquire a working knowledge of textual Sanskrit as well…