Thursday, September 17, 2015

(2) The return of Krishna to Vraja

2.1. Krishna is never in reality separated from his devotees

After having established the basics of Krishnaite theology in KṛṣṇaS, Jiva turns next to the questions that affect the very structure of BhP's Krishna narrative. He starts with a question: "If Krishna eternally resides in Dvaraka, etc., then why is he seen to go from one place to another in the course of his manifest activities before finally ascending to Vaikuntha?"(13) The immediate answer is that this is what is visible (prakaṭa) to those of this world; in the aprakaṭa-līlā, he does remain permanently in each place in an appropriate form.(14)

This answer, however, leaves unresolved the separation (viraha) of Krishna's devotees from him in the prakaṭa-līlā; such separation having been made to stand out with all the poetic force that BhP's author could muster.(15) The only attempts at resolution of this separation in BhP take the form of a letter of instructions from Krishna, transmitted by Uddhava, which was intended to placate the gopis in their desperate sadness. This letter is couched in the language of aiśvarya if not monism, and Jiva has exercised considerable license in extracting desired meanings from its verses in KṛṣṇaS (para. 155ff) and GC (ii.12). He justifies the exercise by citing BhP xi.20.13: "Generally, instructions in knowledge and renunciation are not beneficial to a yogi who is devoted to me, whose soul is imbued with me." If such instructions are not beneficial to the ordinary devotee, then how much more true it must be of the gopis, who are the most exalted of all devotees?

The words of Uddhava's message must be understood by Krishna's intimates as a code, in the way that Yudhisthira had to interpret Vidura's message when he and the Pandavas were warned of the dangers about to befall them while living in the house of lacquer.(16) From a verse that seems to grant general license for sophistry, Jiva cites Krishna's words in BhP, "The seers speak obscurely, for obscurity of expression is dear to me."(17)

Krishna's letter to the gopis starts with the words, "You are never entirely separated from me due to [my presence as the] all-pervading soul."(18) Beyond the prima facie interpretation which explains the gopis' separation away through Krishna's or Brahman's divine omnipresence, this verse is taken by Jiva in conjunction with later statements to mean that just as Krishna by virtue of his unlimited powers is able to be present in unlimited manifestations simultaneously,(19) so too are the gopis and indeed all of Krishna's eternal associates through the Yogamaya potency. Thus, though apparently separated from each other in the prakaṭa or visible manifestation in this world, in the eternal abode they go on in uninterrupted union.

Rupa Goswami, whose descriptions of separation form a large part of his work, also made a point of including a caveat in at least his theoretical writings to the effect that the viraha he himself described was done so according to the prakaṭa manifestation, but that in reality Krishna was always united with his eternal associates.(20) Krishna Das Kaviraja writes that Rupa was told by Chaitanya himself "never to take Krishna out of Vrindavan."(21)


12. KṛṣṇaS 152, p.78; yadi nityam eva tathavidhaḥ śrī-kṛṣṇākhyaḥ svayaṁ bhagavān tatra tatra etaiḥ parikaraiḥ sārdham viharati tarhi. kathaṁ vā janmādi-līlayā krameṇa mathurāṁ gokulaṁ punar mathurāṁ dvārakāṁ ca tyaktvā vaikuṇṭham arūḍhavān iti.

13. ibid. tatha mathurādi-parityāgād yuktir avatāre prāpancika-jana-prakaṭa-līlāpekṣayaiva| tad-aprakaṭā tu līlā nityam eva vidyate.

14. Since Krishna must by nature always be situated in his dhāman, what is happening when he is at Kurukshetra or some other place? The answer is that at those times, these places are temporarily imbued with the characteristics of the dhāman: sa bhagavaḥ kasmin pratiṣṭhita iti sve mahimnīti (ChaU 7.24.1)... tatraivāvyavadhānena tasya līlā| anyeṣāṁ prakṛtatvāt na sākṣāt tat-sparśo'pi sambhavati dhāraṇā-śaktis tu natarām| yatra kvacid vā prakaṭa-līlāyāṁ tad-gamanādikaṁ śrūyate tad api teṣām ādhāra-śakti-rūpāṇāṁ sthānānām āveśād eva mantavyam, etc. (KṛṣṇaS 174, p.90).

15. For an elaborate discussion of the importance of the South Indian traditions that made separation such an integral part of the conception of devotion and the dramatic and theological essence of the Bhāgavata-purāṇa, see Friedhelm Hardy's Viraha-bhakti (London: Oxford University Press, 1983).

16. KṛṣṇaS 164, p.85. na hy atra tāsām ādhyātma-vidyā śreyaskarī bhavati… sādhāraṇa-bhaktanam apy anupādeyatvenoktavtvāt| na ca tac-cravaṇena viraha-jvālā śāmyati… tasmād vidurasyeva kūṭoktir iyam ity ukta evārtho bhavaty antaraṅgaḥ sa ca yudhiṣṭhirasyeva tāsām eva gamya iti.

17. BhP xi.21.35; parokṣa-vādā ṛṣayaḥ parokṣaṁ ca mama priyam/ Cited at BRSc iii.4.76, etc.

18. BhP x.47.29, discussed in KṛṣṇaS 155 (p.80), GC ii.12.12ff; bhavatīnāṁ viyogo me na hi sarvātmanā kvacit .

19. KṛṣṇaS 116, p.62; tataś ca līlā-dvaye kṛṣṇavat teṣām eva prakāśa-bhedaḥ| yada ca prakāśa-bhedo bhavati tada tat-tal-līlā-rasa-poṣāya teṣu tat-tal-līlā-śaktir evābhimāna-bhedam parasparam ananusandhānaṁ ca prāyah sampādayatīti gamyate.

20. This is stated in Pv 312ff, UN 15.185-7, LBhāg i.4.471, BRS iii.3.129, NatC. E.g. harer līlā-viśeṣasya prakaṭasyānusārataḥ varṇitā | virahāvasthā goṣṭha-vāma-bhruvām asau vṛndāraṇye viharatā sadā rāsādi-vibhramaih hariṇā vraja-devīnāṁ viraho'sti na karhicit. UN 15.185-6.

21. CC iii.1.65; kṛṣṇake bāhira nāhi kariha vraja haite / vraja chāḍi kṛṣṇa kabhu nā jāya kāṁhāte //

2.2 Dissatisfaction with the adhyatmika solution

Though Krishna explained to the gopis that he was in fact never separated from them, they could not be entirely satisfied with any instruction that did not lead to union in that specific manifestation. After all, the gopis, whether or not they were united with Krishna in some other manifestation, only had consciousness of the one in which they happened to be present.

As a consequence of the mādhurya imperative, it is also said of Krishna that none of his unlimited manifestations in a particular līlā is aware of any other.(22) For the gopis, mere intellectual knowledge of a higher state could not bring about satisfaction. The desire for union in the prakaṭa manifestation requires a solution in the same manifest situation.

Thus, in the KṛṣṇaS, Jiva explains that a second attempt at satisfying the gopis is found in a subsequent verse of the same letter brought by Uddhava from Krishna. That verse reads: “I (the atman) am experienced (by you) in the activities of the mind, in deep sleep, dreams and in wakefulness.”(23)

This verse is explained as an indication of the sphūrti phenomenon. The word sphūrti would most properly be understood to mean “hallucination.” Union with the beloved in dreams and hallucinations is included by Rupa in UN as gauṇa-sambhoga(24) and has been described to great effect by him in his Haṁsadūta.(25)

Jiva's Krishna makes a point of openly mentioning sphūrti several times in his letters to the gopis from Dvaraka. For example, in one verse he says:

It is true, my friends, that in abandoning you,
whose lives are dedicated to me,
I have not shown any principles whatsoever.
But listen to this submission of mine:
the unequalled love you have for me,
transcends all limits; it shames me
and makes me take a hidden form of like sentiment.
I am thus never far away from you.
Here I am in the city.
How can I openly do anything for your benefit?
Even so, I function here as a mere shadow of myself,
whereas I reveal my true form there in Vraja.
It happens in this way:
wherever someone is absorbed in thought of another,
that person personally appears there in sphūrti form,
according to that absorption, and not in any other way.(26)


21. BhP x.69.2 is cited to show how Krishna lived simultaneously in the houses of each of his 16,000+ wives. Uddhava is also present in more than one of these homes engaging in different activities with Krishna. tatra nānā-kriyādy-adhiṣṭhānatvād eva līlā-rasa-poṣāya teṣu prakāśeṣv abhimāna-bhedaṁ parasparam ananusandhānaṁ ca prāyaḥ sveccayorīkarotīty api gamyate. KṛṣṇaS 155, p.81.

22. BhP x.47.31; ātmā jnānamayah śuddho vyatirikto guṇānvayah | suṣupti-svapna-jāgradbhir mano-vṛttibhir īyate || Jiva takes ātmā to mean "I": ātma-śabdo'sminn asmac-cabdārtha-paraḥ, KṛṣṇaS 158, p.83.

23. UN 15.210-20. This type of union is not less real in the theological sense where a vision of Krishna, even in dreams, is not different from the real Krishna any more than his name or deity form is ontologically different from him.

25. Haṁsadūta, 105-13.

26. GC ii.6v9-10;

satyam saṁtyajya yuṣmān niyata-mad-anuga-prāṇana-niṣpramāṇa-
dharmyaṁ me nāsti kiñcit tad api savayasaḥ śrūyatāṁ man-nivedyam |
yuṣmākaṁ yatisetur mayi ratir atulā sā tu māṁ hrepayantī
tat-tulyā śakti-riktaṁ hnuta-tanum akaron nāsmi dūraḥ kadāpi ||
puryām asyāṁ yad asmi prakaṭam api hitaṁ hanta kuryāṁ kathaṁ tat
kintu cchāyā-sadṛkṣaḥ sphuṭam iha vihare tatra tu svena nityam |
āveśo yatra yasya sphurati sa niyataṁ tatra bhāti svayaṁ yat
sphūrtim svaṁ so'yam asmīty anubhajati yathā tena nānyena tadvat ||

2.3 Dissatisfaction with the sphūrti solution

Though the truth of Krishna's claims to personally be with the gopis in sphūrti form is nowhere denied, not even by the gopis who are on one level aware of Krishna's divinity, they cannot be said to be entirely satisfied with this attempt to assuage them. Upon hearing Uddhava recite Krishna’s message (in GC), they say,

It seems that [Krishna] is instructing us of his own brahman-ness, for he is calling himself "the soul of all".(27) There is no point in listening to these unpleasant things....

He appears to be explaining to us that which he has told us before about hallucinations: that our separation does not exist in every manifestation, but only in this one, in which he is absent in Mathura. Thus, even though situated there, he is united with us in our hallucinations of him. What is the use of listening to this irritating sound, which is like a grinding stone, going round and round and grinding that which has already been ground?(28)

Krishna due to his omnipotence can be personally present by the sphūrti, but on a further level of intensity of the suffering devotee, he manifests himself in another degree of "solidity" which is called avirbhava. Rupa says that the Vrajavasins feel separation in all its intensity for only a short time before they are relieved by sphūrtis.(29) These are direct meetings which, because fleeting, are nevertheless experienced as hallucination.(30)

That which is true for the gopis is similarly applicable to all the residents of Vraja. Krishna’s parents experience the same symptoms of separation and manifestations of their beloved child in sphūrti, etc., in the way described for the gopis. Thus, in GC, Krishna tells his mother in a letter that he had truly come and eaten the food that she prepared for him even in his absence.(31)

Yashoda answers, as might be expected, that though she remembered the incident well, it did not give her satisfaction, for the onset of astonished bewilderment interfered with her making the most of the situation before Krishna was again gone.(32) In short, then, sphūrti and avirbhava are only temporary measures providing fleeting relief from separation, which requires Krishna's return for a full cure.

Krishna is aware of the dissatisfaction with these solutions from majesty. When inviting the Vrajavasins to Kurukshetra, he says that only those who do not believe that he comes secretly to visit them in Vraja need come, that the rest should stay behind. (33) To the gopis he says that he too is subject to a similar perception of these real/illusory meetings:

Though I come to meet with you constantly
in such a way that you are only aware individually,
you believe [my presence] to be hallucination and false;
this is true not only for you, but alas for me as well;
therefore let us meet, even if only once, at Kurukshetra,
on the pretext of spying on our enemies,
and may that meeting resuscitate us.(34)

Nowhere is this dissatisfaction with anything but physical contact in the here and now better expressed by Jiva than in the context of the gopis' meeting with Krishna at Kurukshetra, where (in the Bhagavata) Krishna again repeats the instructions couched in the language of his all-pervasiveness, the essence of which is that they should content themselves with his memory. The gopis' response to this is a verse that might be interpreted as humble acquiescence to these lessons;(35) Jiva takes it rather as a statement saturated with sarcasm about Krishna's lofty idealism:

[The gopis] said: Oh lotus-navelled Krishna,
your lotus-feet are the object of meditation in the hearts
of the masters of yoga,
whose understanding is unfathomable.
They are like a helping hand that descends
to raise those fallen into the well of saṁsāra.
May they always appear in our minds,
for we are so deeply attached to our homes.(36)

According to Jiva's paraphrasing, the underlying implication or suggestion of the gopis speech is as follows:

“It is all very well for you to tell us to remember your feet when we want to see you and be with you. The yogins may well be able to meditate on them because they are so unfathomably deep that they are emotionally unaffected. We on the other hand fall into a faint the minute that we begin to remember you. If we could just touch your feet that are soft like the lotus, the pains of separation would be relieved, but this will not happen if we merely remember them.

You may think that we could be relieved from our separation in the way the yogins are raised up from the well of material life; but a well is one thing -- we have fallen into an ocean of separation, which is another. If you say to us, well come to Dvaraka, our answer is that we are attached to our homes in Vrindavan. That is where you also belong, with us in Vraja. Only your return there will save us."(37)


27. The reference here is to BhP x.47.29, sarvātmanā.

28. GC ii.12.13; nanv idam svasya brahma-jnānam ivoddiṣṭam sarvātmanā me mayeti samānādhikaraṇyāt. tad alam anabhiṣṭa-śravaṇena... Ibid, para. 15; nanv anena punar-uktena pūrva-pūrvam upadiṣṭaṁ sphūrti-lakṣaṇam ivādiṣṭam| sarveṇa prakāśena viyogo nāsti kintu mathurāsthena prakaṭena viyogaḥ| bhavatīṣu sphuratā tatrasthena saṁyoga iti| tad alaṁ piṣṭa-peṣaṇa-sarga-kara-cakra-vargasya gharghara-śabda-śravaṇena.

29. LBhāg i.4.467;

vraje prakaṭa-līlāyāṁ trīn māsān viraho'munā |
tatrāpy ajani visphūrtiḥ prādurbhāvopamā hareḥ ||

Rupa and Jiva appear to have a different idea of when Krishna physically returns to Vrindavan, though both agree that he does so. Rupa says he comes after six months, while Jiva and Sanatana calculate the great event as coming some 34 years after Krishna's departure.

30. KṛṣṇaS 158, p.83; ata eva sa ca sphūrti-rūpo'yam anubhāvaḥ kadācit sākṣātkāra-dvārāpi kalpyate iti cīra-kāla-virahe'pi tāsāṁ sandhūkṣaṇa-kāraṇaṁ jneyam.

31. GC ii.6v3;

ādye'hni kṣīra-bhaktam ghanam adhivalita roṭikā tasya paścāt
tat-paścād dugdha-pūpaṁ tad anu bahuvidhānnādyam anyeṣu canyat |
mātar mahyaṁ nikāyye mahati rasayate paryaveśi tvayā yan
na svapnas tan na vā tat-sphuraṇamayam iti smaryate kintu satyam ||

Compare this to Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's message to his mother, CC iii.12.89-93.

32. GC ii.7v2;

satyam tad divasam anu te bhojanam tat tad āsīd
itthaṁ citte sphurati mama ha tatra cāsīn na tṛptiḥ |
yasmān mohād ahaha mayakā putra tat-pūraṇāya
prāpto nāsīd avasara iti svāntam antar dunoti ||

33. GC ii.23v3:

yadyapy aham gokula-lokam āśu
pratisvam abhyasya raho bhajāmi |
tathāpi ye na pratiyānti te'mī
milantu māṁ tatra pare vasantu ||

34. GC ii.23v6:

yadyapy ātmaika-vedyā mama lasati muhuḥ saṅgatir yuṣmakābhiḥ
sphūrti-bhrāntyā pratītis tad api kila na vas tatra hā dhig mamāpi |
yad dviṣṭa-dveṣṭṛ-tarka-grahaṇa-miṣatayānyonyasaṅgaḥ
sambhāvyas tat priyālyaḥ kuru-bhuvi sakṛd apy astu sā prāṇanayā ||

35. Hardy, op. cit. 510, "...and in their reply, praising him, they show that they have understood the lesson."

36. BhP x.82.48,

āhuś ca te nalina-nābha padāravindaṁ
yogeśvarair hṛdi vicintyam agādha-bodhaiḥ |
geham-juṣām api manasy udiyāt sadā naḥ

37. KṛṣṇaS 170, p.86f. yogeśvarair hṛdi vicintyaṁ na tv asmābhis tat-smaraṇārambha eva murcchā-gaminībhiḥ… agādha-bodhaiḥ sākṣād-darśane'py akṣubhita-buddhibhir na tv asmābhir iva tad-darśaneccayā kṣubhita-buddhibhiḥ| caraṇasyāravinda-rūpakam ca tat-sparśenaiva daha-śāntir bhavati na tu tathā tat-smaraṇeneti jñāpanayā.

nanu tathā nididhyāsanam eva yogeśvarāṇāṁ saṁsāra-duḥkham iva bhavatīnāṁ viraha-duḥkhaṁ dūrīkṛtya tad-udayaṁ kariṣyatīti āśaṅkyāha saṁsāra-kūpa-patitānām evottaraṇāvalambaṁ na tv asmākaṁ viraha-sindhu-nimagnānām...

nanv evādhunāgatya muhur māṁ sākṣād evānubhavatā tatrāhuḥ… gehāṁ juṣām iti tava sangatiś ca tvat-pūrva-sangama-vilāsa-dhāmni tat-tad-asmat-kāma-dughe svābhāvikāsmat-prīti-nilaye nija-gehe gokula eva bhavatu na tu dvārakādāv iti… vṛndāvana eva yady āgacchasi tadaiva nistāra iti bhāvaḥ.

Jiva's reworking of this verse in GC (ii.23v39) also partially catches the spirit of this interpretation, adapting a famous cliché‚ which contrasts yogin with viyogin:

vṛṇīmahi padāmbujaṁ tava saroja-nābhā prabho
manasy api kathañcana sphuratu naḥ samantād iti
idaṁ hi bata yogināṁ smṛtatayā tamaś cyavanaṁ
viyogi-sudṛśāṁ tayā tamasi majjanaṁ pratyuta //.

2.4 Vipralambha and sambhoga

Jiva covers many of the same points in more detail while commenting on the 15th and last chapter of Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, which deals with the different manifestations of separation and union.

Generally four types of separation are listed in the works of the poeticians beginning with Rudra Bhatta.(38) The terms for the four corresponding types of union that follow them appear to have been coined by Bhoja.(39) The correlation between the two is kept strict and we thus have the following scheme:

vipralambha sambhoga
[1]pūrva-rāga (first love)saṁkṣipta -sambhoga
[2]māna (lover's quarrels)saṁkīrṇa -sambhoga
[3]pravāsa (exile)sam pūrṇa -sambhoga
[4]karuṇa (death)samrddhimat-sambhoga

Karuṇa or death is not considered an irresoluble state of separation in the Sanskrit dramatic context because the lovers can meet if one of them is brought back to life. Bhoja gives the example of Rati being reunited with Kama after he has been reborn as Pradyumna and Singabhupala adds that of Shiva being united with Sati after she comes back as Parvati.(40)

Rupa makes several changes in this taxonomy to fit the particular conditions imposed by the Krishna legend. As in the works of his predecessors, Rupa divides both separation (vipralambha) and union (sambhoga) into four categories. The correlation is not as neat as in the table given above, however. Rupa eliminates karuṇa, presumably since Krishna's separation from Radha by death would be impossible. A new category, prema-vaicittya, refers to the phenomenon of separation in union, a peculiar mental state described by Rupa alone amongst poeticians.(41) This type of separation is not followed by a union unique to it. Rupa divides pravāsa into two types, one the daily absences of Krishna from the gopis when he goes into the forest with the cows, which is followed by sampanna- ("consummated") sambhoga, and the other dīrgha-pravāsa, the long separation that comes when Krishna unwillingly leaves to perform his worldly duties of demon-killing. These are also characterized as buddhi-pūrva and abuddhi-pūrva, intended and unintended separation.

Rupa's schema thus appears as follows:

vipralambha sambhoga
[1]pūrva-rāga (first love)saṁkṣipta-sambhoga
[2]māna (lover's quarrels)saṁkīrṇa-sambhoga

pravāsa (buddhi-pūrva)sampanna-sambhoga
[4]pravāsa (abuddhi-pūrva)samṛddhimat-sambhoga

It is after he has described vipralambha and before he commences to describe sambhoga that Rupa gives, as he has on so many other occasions, the reminder that there is in fact, never any real separation of Krishna and the gopis other than the appearance of such in the prakaṭa-līlā. In his introduction to the discussion on sambhoga, Jiva takes this context into account as he stresses the necessity of describing the union of Krishna with the gopis in the prakaṭa-līlā, even in knowledge of such an undisturbed state of union.

First of all, Jiva argues that as a rule, wherever one kind of separation, pūrva-rāga, etc. is described, it is always followed by the corresponding form of union. If no such union were to follow, then the æsthetic experience would be incomplete. The proposed transcendental solution is also rejected on this basis, for even if it were accepted that the gopis were enjoying union with Krishna in one manifestation, the experience of separation they felt in the world of the incarnation was sufficiently real that even Krishna himself acknowledged their suffering (x.46.6). No description of any suffering at all would be possible if the happiness of union were a reality, consciously experienced by the gopis while apparently suffering separation.

Thus, the existence of a description of separation demands a parallel description of union. As even the mundane poeticians say, "Not without separation can union be fully experienced,"(42) the corollary of which is that without union, separation alone does not bear æsthetic fruit.

In view of the desire of the gopis and Krishna to be united with one another in the prakaṭa-līlā, Jiva advises the devotee against a misguided preference for the līlā of separation, for this would not be a sign of love, but rather a sign of selfishness, since one would be neglecting the wishes of Krishna's beloved gopis themselves. In saying this Jiva appears to have been anticipating a line of argument which states that separation is an exalted state, pleasurable in itself. Though Chaitanya by his example may well be the ultimate source of such a doctrine, it is Rupa who appears to first take such a position in the written word. In BRS, he states that though the various vyabhicari-bhavas and anubhavas may appear to be symptomatic of happiness and distress like the equivalent emotional manifestations resulting from the transformations of the material qualities, since they are experienced in relation to Krishna (kRRiSNAnvayAt), they are all transcendentally joyful experiences and to be called "hot" or "cool" rather than "distressful" or "pleasurable".(43)

Sanatan too, in his BṛBhāg stresses the inherently blissful quality of separation, stating that it is even greater than that of union. There, Krishna actually thanks Narada for inflaming the pain he feels at being distanced from the gopis. Though Sanatan hints at the even greater joy of ultimate reunion which is eventually to take place,(44) he never actually describes such a reunion in BṛBhāg, leaving such a conclusion to the imagination of the reader (as does BhP itself).

Jiva, in his commentary on the above-mentioned BRS verses, however, takes the position that it is precisely the ending of the apparent distresses in union which makes them "pleasurable"; he does not seem to find them pleasurable in their own right as does the later commentator Vishwanath.(45)

Jiva reminds us that Rupa Goswami wrote UN on the basis of the manifest līlā, as he did his plays and other books. He was similarly seen to worship Krishna according to that manifestation. Furthermore, Suka's own absorption in the prakaṭa-lila is self-evident. The revelation of the exalted position of the prakaṭa-lila is also the purpose of Brahma's words:

prapañcaṁ niṣprapañco'si
viḍambayasi bhū-tale
sandohaṁ prathituṁ prabho//

Though you are untouched by the world, you imitate the activities of the world in order to give great amounts of pleasure to the people who are surrendered to you.

Even acknowledging the existence of the nitya-līlā, Krishna's activities of being born, etc., alone bring great amounts of pleasure to the devotees. If Rupa did not prefer the prakaṭa-līlā but rather the aprakaṭa, says Jiva, then what would have been gained by extensively describing Radha and Krishna's separation, which is of a painful nature? The activities of the incarnation would be seen as a source of distress rather than joy! To avoid any such misunderstanding, Rupa ends his study of the madhura-rasa with a description of the various different kinds of union, culminating with the samRRiddhimat or "enriched" union, just as though he did not know the felicitous situation in the eternal līlā.(47)


38. Śṛṅgāra-tilaka (ŚṛT) 2.1;

vipralambhābhidhāno'yam śṛṅgāraḥ syāc catur-vidhaḥ
pūrvānurāgo mānākhyaḥ pravāsaḥ karuṇātmakaḥ

39. Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇam (Ska) 5.84. See also 5.59-63.

40. e.g. Sarasvatī-kaṇṭhābharaṇam

lokāntara-gate yūni vallabhe vallabho yadā
bhṛśaṁ duḥkhāyate dīnaḥ karuṇaḥ sa tadocyate

pratyāgate'pi yatraiṣa rati-puṣṭiḥ priye jane
sa kim āvarṇyate yūnāṁ tatraiva mṛta-jīvite
// (5.88)

punar ujjīvitam bhoga-samṛddhiḥ kiyatī bhavet
śivābhyām eva vijñeya ity ayam hi samṛddhimān
(Ras 2.225)

Singabhupala also gives the example of Kama and Rati who were reunited when he was reborn as Pradyumna.

41. priyasya sannikarṣe'pi premotkarṣa-svabhāvataḥ |
yā viśleṣa-dhiyārtis tat prema-vaicittyam ucyate
|| UN 15.147-9.

42. UN 15.3. Rupa attributes this verse only to the ancients (prāñcaḥ). The verse appears to be Bhojadeva's (Ska 5.53):

na vinā vipralambhena sambhogaḥ puṣṭim aśnute
kaṣāyite hi vastrādau bhūyo rāgo'bhivardhate

43. Cf. BRS ii.5.74,77-8:

kṛṣṇānvayād guṇātīta-prauḍhānanda-mayā api
bhānty amī triguṇotpanna-sukha-duḥkhamayā iva...
prāyaḥ sukhamayāḥ śītā uṣṇā duḥkhamayā iha
citreyaṁ paramānanda-sāndrāpy uṣṇā ratir matā
śītair bhāvair baliṣṭhais tu puṣṭā śītāyate hy asau
uṣṇais tu ratir atyuṣṇā tāpayantīva bhāsate

44. BṛBhāg i.7.126-7:

tathāpi sambhoga-sukhād api stutaḥ sa ko'py anirvacyatamo manoramaḥ |
pramoda-rāśiḥ pariṇāmato dhruvaṁ tatra sphuret tad-rasikaika-vedyaḥ ||

tac-coka-duḥkhoparamasya paścāc cittaṁ yataḥ pūrṇatayā prasannam |
samprāpta-sambhoga-mahā-sukhena sampannavat tiṣṭhati sarvadaiva ||

In BṛBhāg, Sanatana does not describe a return to Vraja in the prakaṭa-līlā, rather he speaks of regular departures for two month periods from the nitya-līlā, thus introducing dūra-pravāsa even there.

45. BRSc ii.5.74: kṛṣṇa-sphuraṇamayatvād dharṣādayas tāvad aprākṛta-sukha-mayā eva kintu tad-anvayād viṣadādayaś ca tādṛśa-sukhamayā eva vaktavyaḥ| duḥkhamayatvena teṣāṁ sphuraṇaṁ tu tad-aprāpty-ādi-bhāvanā-rūpanopādhinopādanenaiva jāyate kṛṣṇa-sphūraṇaṁ tu tatra nimitta-mātram| bhaktānām āyatyāṁ tat-prāpty-ādayāt tv avaśyaka eva prāpty-ādiṣu ca jāteṣu tad-bhāvanā-rūpasyopādher upādānasyāpagamād dharṣasya poṣaṇāc ca bubhukṣādivad viṣadādayo'pi sukhamayatvenaiva sphurantīti duḥkhamayā iva na tu duḥkhamayāḥ|

BRS ii.5.78: ābhāsatvam ādy-antayor asthāyitvād viyoga-lakṣaṇam upādhim anv eva madhye'py anyathā pratīyamānatvāt|

Compare GC i.1.26-7. Vishwanath Chakravarti stresses the inherently pleasurable aspects of separation in his commentary under the same verses.

46. BhP x.14.37.

47. UNc 15.187; tathāpi hanta hanta yatra prakāśe pūrva-rāgādi-vipralambho varṇitas tatraiva tat-tad-anantarah sambhogo varnaniyah| prakāśāntareṇa nitya-sambhoge tu prakaṭa-prakāśa-gatānāṁ tāsāṁ varṇita-virahāṇāṁ kā gatiḥ yaṁ vinā tad-varṇanaṁ virasam eva syāt yadi cāprakaṭa-līlā-gataṁ yat sukham tat tatra sankramed ity ucyate tarhi viraha eva na syād iti tad varṇanaṁ kathambhūtam kathaṁ vā svayaṁ śrī-kṛṣṇena

dhārayanty atikṛcchreṇa prāyaḥ prāṇān kathañcana
pratyāgamana-sandeśair vallabyo me madātmikāḥ ity uktam

tasmān mahā-vipralambhād anantaraṁ sambhogo'vaśyaṁ varṇanīyaḥ| na ca yasminn aṁśe sukhaṁ syāt tatraiva sartavyam seyaṁ prema-rītir na bhavati kintu sva-sukha-tat-parataiveti tat-priya-jananam upekṣaṇīyatvāt| astu tāvat tat-priya-jananam vārtā laukika-rasa-vidām api na vinā vipralambhena ity-ādinā sarvāyatyāṁ sambhoga-paryavasānatayaiva sammatir dṛśyate| tad-anusāreṇāpi nirvighna-sambhoga eva vipralambha-gaṇanaṁ phalatayā paryavasāyanīyaḥ| tam etam prakaṭāprakāśam evālambanīkṛtya grantha-kṛtām eṣa grantho nāṭakādayo'nye ca granthā upāsanā ca pravṛttya dṛśyante| śrī-śukādīnām apy atraivāveśaḥ spaṣṭaḥ śrī-brāhmaṇaś ca

prapañcam niṣprapañco'pi viḍambayasi bhūtale
prapanna-janatānanda-sandoham prathituṁ prabho

ity atra tathaivābhiprāyaḥ|prapañcānukāraṇaṁ hy atra janmādi-līlā-rūpam eva| tataś ca satyam api tasyāṁ nitya-līlāyāṁ janmādi-līlaiva prapanna-jana-vṛndānām ānanda-sandoha-hetur iti|

yadi ca grantha-kṛtām atrāgraho na syāt kintv aprakaṭa-līlāyām eva tarhi prakaṭa-līlayā vipralambha-duḥkha-viśeṣa-mayyā varṇanāyāṁ ko lābhah syāt tad etad āśaṅkya prakaṭa-līlāyāḥ pariṇāmataḥ kleśamayatvaṁ prāptam iti svayam api paritāpya tat-tan-nitya-līlā-sukha-nirūpita-līlā-krama-rasa-paripātīm adṛṣṭvā svayaṁ sarva-rasa-paripāṭī-surakān phala-rūpān samṛddhimat-paryantān sambhogān vaktum āha atha sambhoga iti|

I really hope no one is getting lost and that the argument so far is not getting lost to anyone.

This last section is particularly important. Jiva is arguing that separation adds to the pleasures of līlā, but only because it is followed by union. He is also saying that longterm separation is a condition only found in the prakaṭa-līlā.

The purpose of these arguments is to show that the līlā has to end with union, not with separation, as is apparent in the BhP, etc.

2.5 Samṛddhimat sambhoga

Samṛddhimat-sambhoga is defined by Rupa as follows:

When due to separation forced upon them by external forces over which they have no control, a couple are long unable to see one another, the extreme experience of pleasure [they experience upon union] is called "completely fulfilled happiness".(48)

Jiva draws attention to the word pAratantrya, and draws out the implication that the enjoyment of this highest state of union (upabhogAtireka) commences with such a sense of helplessness, which is not a prerequisite in the other types of separation. The union that follows implies the resultant dissipation of this helplessness. He points to Rupa's own description of the svakīyā heroines (UN 3.5), the wives in Dvaraka, who are stated expressly to serve Krishna daily, a-para-tantrah, in complete independence. But since the queens never know this state of helplessness, neither can they experience the great joy that comes after being separated due to “external forces over which they have no control.” For again, “not without separation can union reach its fulfillment.”

The objection may be raised that the gopis cannot experience samṛddhimat because, due to being parakīyā, they could never be free from subjection to external forces. The meeting at Kurukshetra could not have instanced the samṛddhimat sambhoga because the gopis' lack of freedom was not removed at that time. But if deprived of this ultimate joyful experience, which exceeds that of all the types of separation or union, how could they be considered supreme amongst all those loved by Krishna? Jiva says that it is to avert such incorrect conclusions that Rupa wrote his play Lalita-mādhava and cited it here in UN to give instances of samṛddhimat sambhoga (7.8 for Radha, 8.10 for Krishna).(49)

In other words, the experience of union is defined in terms of separation. Without separation, union becomes devoid of meaning. Thus, though Rupa pays lip-service to the state of eternal union, he shows his preference for Krishna's comings and goings in the material world. The reason for this is that there is a surfeit of esthetic pleasure to be had in the variety of experiences undergone there. This includes not only the experience of birth, growing up, falling in love with the gopis, meeting them for the first time, etc., but even the pains of separation itself, which are pleasurable because of the periodic experiences of sphūrti, āvirbhāva and finally, the various kinds of actual union including ultimately the samṛddhimat.(50)

Jiva therefore says in KṛṣṇaS that subsequent to their ascension into the supreme heaven of Goloka, the Vrajavasins continue not only to remain absorbed in identities that are formed by the constructs of the prakaṭa-līlā, but take pleasure in remembering activities engaged in during its course.(51) There is a potency in the variety of the separation and union experienced at that time that is not found in the aprakaṭa-līlā, and that continues to be a source of charm to the residents of the divine realm,(52) though they never wish for it to happen again.(53)

No doubt, the picture of the residents of Goloka, absorbed in hearing about the activities of the incarnation inspired Jiva to conceive the form taken by GC. This image would of course have no meaning if the Vrajavasins got no esthetic pleasure from hearing about the activities of Krishna's (and their own) incarnation. It is no accident then, that the prayer of Brahma quoted above is found amongst Jiva's first quotations at the beginning of Pūrva-campū, as well as being the last at the end of Uttara-campū.


48. UN 15.207;

durlabha-lokayor yūnoḥ pāratantryād viyuktayoḥ
upabhogātireko yaḥ kīrtyate sa samṛddhimān
49. The latter of these verses is also quoted in GC i.33.319.

50. Krishna Das Kaviraj appears to be saying the same thing in CC i.4.28: vaikuṇṭhādye nāhi je je līlāra pracāra | se se līlā kariba jāte mora camatkāra ||

51. Cf. GC i.1v38.

52. KṛṣṇaS 182, p.105: tatra prakaṭa-līlā-gata-bhāvasya viraha-saṁyogādi-līlā-vaicitrī-bhāravāhitvena balavattaratvād ubhaya-līlaikī-bhavanāntaram api tan-mayās teṣām abhimāno'nuvartata eva.

53. ibid., p.106; tena vayam aho samaya-gamanāgamanam api sambhālayitum na pārayāma iti|

2.6 Reunion in the prakaṭa-līlā

In his commentary on BRS 3.4.76, an example of parental love in union, Jiva is at pains to show that Rupa too supported the idea of Krishna's return to Vraja. He states that Rupa wrote for devotees of various tastes, those who worshipped the cowherd Krishna, others who worshiped Krishna the Yadu, and others again without specified tastes (taṭa-stha). He thus described all of Krishna's activities, whether in Vraja, in leaving Vraja or outside of Vraja, even though only the two latter groups can really find pleasure in stories of Krishna's leaving Vraja and his subsequent life, which bring no happiness to the Vrindavan devotees because of the separation they entail. Since by Rupa's own admission, the Vraja devotees are of the highest order, the pleasure of those devoted to the Vraja pastimes should be considered the highest priority. When he considered this priority, Rupa showed that his own heartfelt sentiment was in seeing the return of Krishna to Vraja and he says as much in LBhāg (i.4.479) where he quotes PadP in support of this idea.(54)

In seeking a solution for the tension between the desire for physical union on the part of the devotee and a philosophical state of union, in whatever terms it is expressed, Jiva argues for the integration of the two planes of Krishna's activity: prakaṭāprakaṭa-līlā-samanvaya . This must take place twice in the course of Krishna's incarnation: once for the Vrindavan cycle and again for the Dvaraka. The manner in which Krishna and his retinue depart from Dvaraka to return to his eternal abode is written of in BhP and MBh, but nothing is said anywhere of any ascension into heaven of the Vrndavana group of associates. Krishna is said to have returned to Vraja, etc., in an idiosyncratic (and thus probably interpolated) prose passage towards the end of the huge and overwhelmingly versified PadP (6.279.18-27). This provides the Gaudiya theologians with all the evidence they need. To quote part of the passage, it is said that after coming to Mathura to kill Dantavakra,

Krishna crossed the Yamuna and went to the cowherd settlement of Nanda. There he honoured his eager parents and gave them assurances; he was embraced by them choked with tears; he then bowed to all the senior cowherds and gave them assurances as well. He then satisfied everyone with gifts of cloth and jewellery.

On the banks of the Yamuna, covered with pious trees,
Kesava frolicked constantly with the cowhered women;
the Lord, wearing the clothes of a cowherd,
spent two months there, enjoying pleasant sports
with much of the flavour of love.

Then all the residents of the Vraja, Nanda and all the others, their sons and wives, all the birds and animals too, took on divine forms by the grace of Vasudeva, climbed on to celestial vehicles and went to the supreme Vaikuntha realm. Krishna, however, having granted the supreme destination of his own abode, entered Dvaraka while being praised by the gods in heaven.(55)

From BhP, Jiva finds support for these events only in a verse from its first book (i.11.9) which is spoken by the residents of Dvaraka upon Krishna's return there after the battle of Kuruksetra: "When, oh lotus-eyed one, you go to the land of the Kurus or Madhus to see your friends..."(56) The land of the Madhus is interpreted to mean Vrindavan, which lies within the district of Mathura, for all the friends from the city itself had been moved to Dvaraka long before.

Other verses (BhP x.82.44, 83.1, xi.12.8-19) are also given as further proofs that the desires of the residents of Vraja, in this case of the gopis in particular, were fulfilled. Elsewhere, Jiva states that to conceive of any other end for the līlā is impossible. He refers to the statement of Brahma of the extent to which Krishna is indebted to the residents of Vraja for their love for him. If even Putana the witch could attain a liberation in which she became Krishna's eternal nurse, just by having imitated one such, what could he do for them who had sacrificed their souls and everything they possessed out of a genuine love for him alone. Their desires for union with him must be fulfilled.(57)


54. BRSc iii.4.76: kim cātra granthe līlā-varṇanās trividhāḥ vraja-līlāmayyo vraja-tyāga-mayyah pura-līlāmayyaś ceti| śrotāraś ca trividhāḥ vraja-janānugāḥ purajanānugās taṭasthāś ca| sarveṣāṁ sukha-poṣārtham eva ca tā nirdiṣṭāḥ| tatra taṭasthānāṁ sarva eva sukha-poṣikā bhavanti śrī-kṛṣṇa-mātra-tātparyakatvāt| purajanānugānāṁ vraja-līlāś ca sukha-poṣikā bhavanti asmadīyāḥ śrīmad-anakadundubhi-nandanas tatra vraje sthitvā vicitra-līlā vidhāya puram āgatya tāsām upadhāraṇayā śrīmad-anakadundubhīnāṁ sukha-poṣikā jātā iti bhāvanayā| tasmād āsatām tāvad anye dve līle| vraja-janānugānāṁ pura-sambandhinyaḥ sukha-poṣikā na bhavanty eva pratyuta duḥkha-poṣikāḥ punas tasya vraja-gamanānuṭṭankanāt| tataś ca vraja-līlāmayyāś ca duḥkha-datvenaiva paryavasitāḥ kim uta vraja-tyāga-mayyāḥ| sarveṣām eva ca sukham poṣṭum iccadbhir grantha-kṛdbhiḥ sarvā līlā varṇitāḥ| viśeṣataś ca

alaukikī tv iyam kṛṣṇa-ratiḥ sarvādbhutādbhutā
tatrāpi vallavādhīśa-nandanālambanā ratiḥ
sāndrānanda-camatkāra-paramāvadhir iṣyate
(BRS 2.5.108-10)

iti spaṣṭokter vraja-janānugānām eva sarvādhikaṁ sukhaṁ poṣṭavyam| tasmād ukta-rītyā svayam eva samkṣepa-bhāgavatāmṛte likhitaṁ śrī-kṛṣṇasya punar vraja-gamana-pūrvakaṁ pura-gata-tat-tad-vijaya-śravaṇād api puṣṭa-sukhānāṁ vraja-janānāṁ madhye nityāvasthānam eva grantha-kṛtam hṛd-gatam| tena tac-cravaṇena vraja-janānugā api puṣṭa-sukhāḥ syuḥ| parokṣa-vādā ṛṣayaḥ parokṣam ca mama priyam (BhP xi.21.32) itivat| prakaṭaṁ tu tan na paṭhitam iti jñeyam.

55. kṛṣṇo'pi taṁ hatvā yamunām uttīrya nanda-vrajaṁ gatvā sotkaṇṭhau pitarāv abhivādyāśvāsya tābhyāṁ sāśru-kaṇṭham ālingitaḥ sakala-gopa-vṛddhān praṇamyāśvāsya bahuvastrābhāraṇādibhis tatrasthān sarvān santarpayāmāsa|

kālindyāḥ puline ramye punya-vṛkṣa-samācite
gopa-nārībhir aniśaṁ krīḍayāmāsa keśava
ramya-keli-sukhenaiva gopa-veśa-dharaḥ prabhuḥ
bahu-prema-rasenātra māsa-dvayam uvāsa ha

More information is given above, see note 12.

56. yarhy ambujākṣāpasasāra bhavān kvacit
kurūn madhūn vātha suhṛd-didṛkṣayā, etc.

57. Locana-rocanī to BRS 3.4.76; nityāvasthāṁ cātra kaimutyena gaty-antara-svīkāreṇa ca śrīmad-bhāgavate darśitam eṣāṁ ghoṣa-nivāsinām uta bhavān kiṁ deva rāteti naḥ (x.14.35) etc... tasya teṣu nitya-prāptes teṣām tat-prapteś cānādi-kalpa-paramparā-prāptatvān nityāvasthānām avagamyate...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Riding on the best of buffaloes within the domains of the great forest tribes, he is ornamented with snakes and carries an iron vajra.

His hair coloured ochre with bezoar and tied upwards in just the right way, with skulls around his head, let him apply ochre to his beard.

He exclaims the mantras HRĪḤ ṢṬRĪ, etc., brandishing his iron vajra.

This lion’s roar should be done that way because it is the vajra practice of Yamari.

And if he has developed the ability, let him enter a city playfully. In an auspicious dance, he sings “sweet confection” and other kinds of songs."

Kṛṣṇayamāri-tantra, XI.9–121

Quoted from 'Indian Esoteric Buddhism' (Page 168).


See also fragments of the Sahajālokapañjikā, a word-by-word commentary on the Kṛṣṇayamāri-tantra:

And the text of the Krsnayamari tantram with Ratnavali Panjika: