Mahaprabhu and Aropa.

A few years ago I was examining the concept of aropa, i.e., projection or superimposition, in Gaudiya Vaishnavism. The term got a bad name because of the similarity to ahangrahopasana and its use in Sahajiyaism when lovers see themselves as manifestations of the eternal lovers, Radha and Krishna.

Expressed simply, it means seeing Krishna in the not-Krishna. In the earlier discussion, I believe I argued that since everything was in one sense Krishna, that to practice seeing him everywhere was to nothing other than aropa.

Since this world is a reflection of the eternal world, aropa simply means to remind oneself of that similarity. As I was reading Caitanya Caritamrita today (Madhya 1), I realized that the most famous verse of the CC is an example of such aropa, and Rupa Goswami explained it.

yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapās
te conmīlita-mālatī-surabhayaḥ prau‚hāḥ kadambānilāḥ
sā caivāsmi tathāpi tatra surata-vyāpāra-līlā-vidhau
revā-rodhasi vetasī-taru-tale cetaḥ samutkaṇṁhate ||382||
He who stole away my heart during my youth
is here again as my bridegroom.
And these are the same moonlit nights of the month of Chaitra.
The same fragrance of malati flowers is there
and the same sweet breezes blowing from the kadamba forest.
I too am the same person
with whom he made playful, ecstatic love.
Yet my unsatisfied mind yearns for that place
under the bullrushes on the bank of the Reva River.
So Mahaprabhu was reciting a verse that came from the Sanskrit poetic literature and was widely known, but the devotees did not understand because it was not about Radha and Krishna but about mundane lovers. This was recognized by Rupa Goswami, who spelled it out for everyone:

priyaḥ so’yaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ sahacari kurukṣetra-militas
tathāhaṁ sā rādhā tad idam ubhayoḥ saṅgama-sukham |
tathāpy antaḥ-khelan-madhura-muralī-pañcama-juṣe
mano me kālindī-pulina-vipināya spṛhayati ||383||
O companion! This is the same beloved Kṛṣṇa
meeting me here in Kurukṣetra;
and I am the same Rādhā;
both of us are feeling the same joy of union.
Even so, my mind
wishes for the forest
by the banks of the Yamunā
where the fifth note of his flute
reverberated sweetly within my heart. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, 2.1.76)
A more extensive explanation of these two verses is given here.

Comments

ankt said…
Beautiful. I love this article. Jagadananda das ji, I read you made a translation of Manjari Svarupa Nirupana. Do you know how I can obtain a copy?
Jagadananda Das said…
You can write to me personally at my yahoo identity, jankbrz .
Anonymous said…

Jagadananda Das stated:

O companion! This is the same beloved Kṛṣṇa
meeting me here in Kurukṣetra;
and I am the same Rādhā;
both of us are feeling the same joy of union.
Even so, my mind
wishes for the forest
by the banks of the Yamunā
where the fifth note of his flute
reverberated sweetly within my heart. (Caitanya-caritāmṛta, 2.1.76)

Anon replied: The fifth note of a flute is A:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQVrtZNaVWg

‘A’ represents the ultimate (अनुत्तर anuttara) state of liberation of one whom is still alive. It represents "the inner sound" one hears prior to "perceiving (and becoming as one with) the light."

Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta - Antya-līlā - Antya 18: Rescuing the Lord from the Sea:

CC Antya 18.113 — “This fisherman caught You in his net and rescued You from the water. Because of Your touch, he is now mad with ecstatic love for Kṛṣṇa.”

https://www.vedabase.com/en/cc/antya/18

This verse infers sahajiyaism; the metaphor of the fisherman is used to describe prāṇāyāma.

The fisherman repeatedly casts out and hauls back in the net of the lungs (representing the exhalation and inhalation of prāṇāyāma). The net of the lungs (draws in the fish hand-over-hand by repeated kumbhaka) to catch the fish (the fish “meen” describes a “star” [the “seed star” – or “door way”] seen in meditation).

The water is the ocean or consciousness (the great light), the fish represents the seed of yoga (the door way to the great light) .
Anonymous said…
Apology, the previous:

"The water is the ocean or consciousness (the great light), the fish represents the seed of yoga (the door way to the great light)."

Should read:

"The water is the ocean of consciousness (the great light), the fish represents the seed of yoga (the door way to the great light)."

N.B.* Repeated Kumbhaka is a preliminary yogic exercise (initially used to get one over the threshold), eventually over-time-and-practice one will permanently hear the fifth note of Kṛṣṇa’s flute and kumbhaka will no longer be required; by concentrating the mind single-pointedly on this sound, the light (seed of yoga - doorway) will be perceived (one then focuses single-pointedly on the light only to enter and become as one with the great light).

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