Haribol Jagadananda prabhu, I have a book called Vrndavana Krishna, by a Gopinatham. It is published by the Gaudiya Matha. Do you know of it, and consider it to be in line with siddhanta? I seem to remember Srila Prabhupada criticising some author who made a distinction between a Mathura Krishna, Vrndavana Krishna, and Dwarka Krishna, and these diferent "Krsnas" are mentioned in this book, so I was wondering if this was the book he was thinking to not be bonafide.
I don't know what Prabhupada's intention was, but the Gaudiya siddhanta is that Vrindavan Krishna is the highest form of Godhead, superior to Krishna even in Mathura or Dwarka. This is a very significant siddhanta, because it highlights the superiority of parakiya madhura rasa.
You cannot really say that they are "different" Krishnas, either. Any more than you can say Allah is different from Krishna. And yet in a very real sense they are different.
In fact, I always say that no two Gods are ever absolutely the same. The two Christian priests standing on the same altar saying mass do not have exactly the same concept of God any more than two Hindus or two Muslims, because God reveals Himself to everyone through their experience of life, which is always an individual experience. We only have common families of belief, communities of spirit. This is extremely important to understand.
At the same time, historically these families of belief develop. Sometimes they come together and sometimes they separate. Krishna, Narayan, Vishnu, Vasudeva... all these personalities were originally the gods of different cults, tribes or peoples, which through similarity or analogy were identified with one another, their myths intertwined and their ethics merged.
It is so interesting that so much of the shastra is about identifying one with the other, and then Rupa Goswami comes along and announces--
rūpa eṣa rasa-sthitiḥ
This is one of the most important mahavakyas in Rupa Goswami's philosophy. It is basically saying that shastra is useless for higher faith. Everyone is quoting shastra about this one and that one being better, "because it says so." krishnas tu bhagavan svayam is a statement on this order. You can believe it or not believe it. What can be done if someone does not? You say, "to each his own."
But Rupa Goswami says that we are going to "judge" God's various forms on the basis of their effects. He says that if God is sat-chit-ananda, by axiomatic definition, then we must judge Him on the basis of ananda, joy. Where is there the most joy?
This is a huge first step to raganuga bhakti. Because if you are still discussing God's powers, you will never really experience His love.
In this vein, someone else communicated with me to ask for the provenance and correct reading of the following verse:
mūrtī-bhūtaṁ bhāga-dheyaṁ yadūnām |
ekībhūtaṁ gupta-vittaṁ śrutīnāṁ
śyāmībhūtaṁ brahma me sannidhattām ||
There are two variant readings, puñjībhūtaṁ in the first word, and rāśībhūtaṁ at the beginning of the second line. I think the first variant is the correct reading. The translation (off the cuff) is:
May that Brahman, which is the heaped up (or manifest in the world) love of the cowherd girls, the fortune of the Yadus taken form (or again piled up), the hidden wealth of the Vedas in one place, and has taken a black form, appear before me.
I found it quoted in Shiva Prasad Bhattacharya's commentary to Alankara Kaustubha 5.12. He credits it (and another) to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu himself, but I cannot recall seeing them in any other text. Perhaps S.K. De has it in his Padyavali as an interpolation. It would be nice to know where Bhattacharya got it.
At any rate, it is highly unlikely that it is Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's own, though it fits into a kind of genre of verses that are found in the Padyavali, where Krishna is differentiated in some way from Brahman. You will find many verses like this in Krishna Karnamrita, and others by Sarvabhauma Bhattacharya and Raghupati Upadhyaya, etc., follow a similar structure. Prabodhananda also does the same kind of thing, especially in Vrindavana-mahimamrita. "Brahman to me is this."
A good example from Raghupati Upadhyaya, which is quoted in Padyavali (98) and Chaitanya Charitamrita (2.19.98) is the following:
samprati ko vā pratītim āyātu |
gopa-vadhūṭī-viṭaṁ brahma ||
To whom can I say it? Who will believe me now when I say it? In the bowers by the banks of the Yamuna, the Supreme Brahman is flirting with the cowherd wives.
For the record, the other verse is as follows:
tad ekaṁ jagat-sākṣi-rūpaṁ namāmaḥ |
namaḥ purastād atha pṛṣṭhatas te
namo’stu te sarvata eva sarva ||
We worship that One, we remember that One, we bow down to that One who is the witness of all that takes place in the universe. We bow down to You from in front, from behind, we bown down from all direction as You are everything.
The last two lines are the same as in Gita 11.40, so if it is Mahaprabhu's, it is hard to give it much significance.
The following verse is quoted by Swami Veda in the beginning of the Yoga Sutra, vol. 1. He does not give the specific provenance or the Sanskrit.
Our homage to Shesha, the snake of eternal Kundalini, the residue that remains after the great dissolution, the one who incarnates again and again to teach the science of yoga.
I will find that verse in Sanskrit when I go back to Rishikesh. The reference to Sesha as the teacher of yoga comes from the belief that Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutra, was his incarnation.
Zvonimir commented: "It begins to be very interesting when considering our body as the universe, and in the bottom of that universe Sesa dwells; waiting to release its potential by rising above slowly in a magical dance."
Absolutely. It is one of the all-pervading ideas of tantra-yoga, yad asti pinde, tad asti brahmande. This line shows up in various forms, prominently or otherwise, in all yogic traditions. Though it is not given so much prominence in Vaishnavism, it is still present, for instance the second canto of the Bhagavatam appears to be following the idea when describing the universal form, etc. "Whatever is there in the body, is there in the universe." The body is a self-contained unit in which the entire universe can be analogically found.