Tuesday, April 14, 2009

No sanga-dosha between devotee men and women

Finally, a quote that says what I have been saying all along. This is from Madhva's Bhāgavata-tātparya to BhP 3.31.35. I mean, it is just common sense, but sometimes the most commonsensical things don't seem to have their "authoritative scriptural backing."

sat-puṁṣu ca tathā strīṣu na saṅgo doṣam āvadet |
yathā-yogyaṁ guṇā naiva doṣa-kṛd dṛṣṭa-jantuṣu
There is no saṅga doṣa or flaw in association of saintly men with saintly women. Virtues, appropriately expressed, are not seen to be the source of vice in any creature.
I have to verify the reading as the second line is a bit odd, though the first line is clear. Ascribed to the Varāha-purāna. Unfortunately, this is verified only in the GM edition, and not in the 1980 Bannanje Govindacharya edition.

At any rate, as I have been saying, there is no automatic saga-doṣa between devotee men and women.

Furthermore, in HBV 10.301 and following, it is said that the primary characteristic of undesirable association is someone who is without devotion.

bhagavad-bhakti-hīnā ye mukhyā'santas ta eva hi |
teṣāṁ niṣṭhā śubhā kvāpi na syāt sac-caritair api ||
Those who are without devotion to the Lord are primary among the impious. Their destiny is never auspicious, even if their moral behavior is good.
Sanatan Goswami's commentary: "Even though people attached to women and sense gratification have been designated as impious (asat), it should still be recognized that the non-devotees are primary amongst the asat, because the absence of devotion to the Lord is the basis of all impiety."

From my point of view, it is very damaging to think that sexual love is inherently detrimental to spiritual life. In someone whose consciousness has not been prepared by sadhana, it may cause problems. For such persons, a normal, regulated married life is the best option. But it is not necessary to renounce sexual relations in order to cultivate Bhagavad-bhakti. And, of course, the point really is, that it might well be a big plus.

Also quoted in the same segment of HBV and seen before here on this blog:

akṣṇoḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-darśanaṁ hi
tvacaḥ phalaṁ tvādṛśa-gātra-saṅgaḥ
jihvā-phalaṁ tvādṛśa-kīrtanaṁ hi
sudurlabhā bhāgavatā hi loke
The goal of the eyes is to see someone like you; the goal of the skin is to embrace the body of one such as you. The goal of the tongue is to sing the glories of one such as you, for great devotees of the Lord are rare in this world. (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 13.2, quoted in HBV 10.288)


dr.jaya said...

Well said Jagat ji. Thanks.
Lord Shiva and Devi Parvati have provided us with their 'pramANa'.

ArAdhanAnAM sarvezam viSNor ArAdhanam param
tasmAt parataraM devI tadIyAnam samArcanam

Once, Parvati devi asked Lord Siva,
"Of all kinds of worship, whose worship is best?"
Lord Siva told her plainly, "The worship and devotional service of Lord Narayana, Visnu, is the highest."

Devi Parvati became a little mortified and disappointed, thinking, "But I am serving Siva, so I hold a lower position."
Then the next line came - tasmAt parataraM devI tadiyAnam samArcanam.

"But higher than the worship of Narayana is worship of the devotees of Lord Narayana. That is even greater than devotion to the Lord Himself."

Parvati ji smiled, thinking, "Then I am serving the devotee of the Lord. Siva is a devotee: vaiSNavAnam yathA zambhuH. So, I am doing the best thing."

This is also confirmed by Krishna, in the Adi Purana :

ye me bhakta-janAH pArtha ne me bhaktas ca te janaH
mad bhaktAnAM ca ye bhaktas te me bhaktatama mataH

"Those who worship Me directly are not real devotees; real devotees are those who are devoted to My devotees."

Jaya Sri Radhe!

runhild roeder said...

This discourse is rather timely.
A great blessing

Anonymous said...

who dont follw the rules are disturbance to society utpata eva kalpate

Ananda Krishna Lila devi dasi said...

I'll translate your blog post to portuguese.
Thank you!
Hare Krishna Jaya Radhe

Jagadananda Das said...

Thank you, Ananda Krishna Lila devi dasi. People from Brazil have shown some interest in my ideas over the years. So I think Portuguese translations would be very good in reaching a wider audience.