The curious case of multiple swarupa

Removing the misconceptions related to multiple swarupa

Why would any nitya siddha change his swarupa when he has attained his sthayi bhava ?

It is stated by many devotees to us that  the first acarya after Sriman Nityananda´s wife Jahnava Ma is Sri Dhananjaya Pandit who is a gopa in Krishna Lila according to Gaura-ganoddesha-dipika (127)

vasudama sakha yash ca panditah shri-dhanañjayah-
“Krishna’s friend Vasudama became Dhanañjaya Pandit in Gaura-lila.”

So if a guru in one parampara is a gopa then how can we practice manjari bhava sadhana ? Why do we say that Dhananjaya Pandit has a manjari swarupa ? Why would he bother to change his sthayi bhava when he happy being a cowherd boy ? Shouldn’t  those who belong to such paramapara of Gopas practice in sakhya bhava only ?

Now first we should understand that Dhananjaya Pandit did not change his svarupa or his sthayi bhava ”. His form as Madana Manjari is as eternal as his form as Vasudama. So there is no question of changing his swarupa or sthayi bhava.

The jiva, the soul, can attain several svarupas when liberated then what to speak of the nitya siddhas who can assume many swarupas and participate in different rasa.


Vedanta Sutra 4.4.12 states:

“For this reason, Badarayana holds that Muktas are of both kinds (they are both bodiless and have bodies),
just as the twelve days’ sacrifice (is both an ahina and a satra).”

From the COMMENTARY by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhushana:

“…There is no contradiction in this. In the same way the liberated soul may, by his own wish, either have a body or not have a body. That is the meaning. The truth is that they who by the power of transcendental knowledge have broken the bonds of material existence are in a situation where all their desires are at once fulfilled. Those amongst them who desire to have a body can at once have any body they wish. This is described in Chandogya Upanishad (7.26.2).

sa ekadha bhavati dvidha tridha bhavati pancadha saptadha navadha caiva punas caikadasa smritah. satam ca dasa caikas ca sahasrani ca vimsatih.

‘He becomes one. Then he becomes two. Then three. Then five. Then seven. Then nine. Then eleven. He becomes one hundred and ten. He becomes one thousand and twenty.’

They who do have no desire to have a body do not have a body. This is described in Chandogya Upanishad (8.12.1). They who desire always to employ a spiritual body in the service of the Supreme Lord attain such a body by their spiritual powers.”

The mukta has botha body and a bodiless nature because the scriptures describe them in both ways. A technical example of a Vedic sacrifice is given to illustrate this point. However, due to the muktas’ release from the body and their quality of ‘satya-sankalpa’ (having their wishes realised instantaneously), ATTAIN a body by the force of their mere will, and they can have as many as they like. Those muktas who do not wish to possess a body will not choose to do so. Those muktas who choose to assume bodies do so out of their wish to serve Hari. Then it is described that the mukta’s body has a nature like that of Hari’s, whereby they see, hear, smell, perceive and know through His energy alone. Verily, the mukta’s body is am amsa of Hari!


Now Srila Jiva Goswami has stated.

vaikunthasya bhagavato jyotir-amsa-bhuta vaikuntha-loka-sobha-rupa ya ananta murtayas tatra vartante,
tasam ekaya saha muktasyaikasya murtir bhagavata kriyata iti vaikuntasya murtir iva murtir yesham ity uktam ||
Priti- sandarbha 10

“In the spiritual world, the Supreme Lord has unlimited spiritual forms;
they all are expansions (AMSAS) of Himself illuminating that world.
 With each one of those forms, the Lord enjoys pastimes with a single individual liberated soul.”

Srimat Baladeva writes that the will of the mukta, which is operative in all of this, has to be cultivated from the beginning of the sadhaka’s spiritual practice, and that it is the same will that was cultivated during the time of sadhana. “Since this had been his aspiration, even before Mukti, it becomes realised in the state of Mukti.”


Brahma Sutra 4.4.21 – Similarity of God and mukta is in matter of enjoyment only.

Jiva Goswami’s opinion – Krsna Sandarbha – Anuccheda 156, Text 8

tatra nana-kriyady-adhisthanatvad eva līlā-rasa-posaya tesu prakasesv abhimana-bhedam parasparam ananusandhanam ca prayah svecchayori-karotity api gamyate. evam tad-icchamayatvat tat-parikaresv api jneyam. tatra tesv api prakasa-bhedo yatha, kanya-sodasa-sahasra-vivahe sri-devaky-adisu. uktam hi tikakrdbhih anena devaky-adi-bandhujana-samagame pi pratigrham yauga-padyena sucitah iti.

In order to relish many līlās ( and many different forms of rasa ) Krsna displays many prakāsa forms, each having a separate mentality. Moreover, each prakāsa form ( in its own līlā prakāsa ) hasn’t a clue about what all of His other prakāsa forms are doing. Yet similarly, because Krsna’s nitya parikaras are His cid-saktī, they also manifest many prakāsa forms, each having a separate mentality. So as a bhakta’s various prakāsa forms serve in Krsna’s various līlā prakāsa, none of those prakāsa forms know about what all of the others are doing either !


 

Srila Narottama das Thakur in his Prema Bhakti Chandrika also states:

yugala carana sevi, nirantara ei bhavi,
anuragi thakibo sadaya.
sadhana bhavibo yaha, siddha-dehe pabo taha
raga pathera ei se upaya (Prema Bhakti Chandrika, verse55)

“I will always think of the devotional service of the lotus-feet of the Divine Pair, and I will always remain attached to that. Whatever I think of during my spiritual practice, I will attain in my siddha deha when I reach perfection. This is the means of raga bhakti.”

So the point is if the liberated jiva can attain several svarupas, what to speak of the eternal associates of the Lord. They can have several svarupas  eternally from beginningless time in different rasa.

 

Let us see that Sriman Mahāprabhu himself has to say  on this topic.

Kavi Karnapura was extremely dear to Sriman Mahāprabhu. His father was Mahāprabhu’s dear associate, Shivananda Sena. First let us  understand that Caitanya Candrodaya is an authorised work of Gaudiya Vaishnavism and accepted by all. In the end of Śrīla Kavi Karṇapūra’s Śrī Caitanya Candrodaya  Śrīman Mahāprabhu personally blessed Sītānātha (Advaita Prabhu), saying:

vṛndāraṇyāntarasthaḥ sarasa vilasitenātmanām ātmānam uccair
ānanda syanda vandīkṛta manasam urīkṛtya nitya pramodaḥ
vṛndāraṇyaika niṣṭhān svaruci sama tanūn kārayiṣyāmi yusmān
ityevās te’vaśiṣṭam kim api mama mahat karma tac cātaniṣye
(Śrī Caitanya Candrodaya Act X, 72) Text 280 in some versions

“O ācārya! I’m always absorbed in My blissful luscious pastimes, residing in Vṛndāvana, and I will give you all (spiritual) bodies suitable for joining Me (according to your own taste) in these Vṛndāvana-pastimes. That one remaining great duty I will swiftly perform!”

api ca—
dāsye kecana kecana praṇayinaḥ sakhyaika evobhaye
rādhā-mādhava-naiṣṭhikāḥ katipaye śrī-dvārakādhīśituḥ
sakhyādāv ubhayatra kecana pare ye vāvatārāntare
mayy ābaddha-hṛdo’khilān vitanavai vṛndāvanāsaṅginaḥ
(Śrī Caitanya Candrodaya Act X, 73) Text 281 in some versions

“Those of you whose hearts are bound to Me in this form of Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu, even if your rasas are friendship or servitude to Shri Shri Radha-Madhava or Lord Dvarakadhisha, or if your rasas are friendship or servitude to any of My other incarnations, I will make into My eternally liberated associates in Goloka Vrindavana.”

tathāstu—
nijecchayā prāpaya yad yad eva
sthalāntaraṁ no vapur antaraṁ vā |
tavaitad āścarya-caritram eva
jātismarā eva ciraṁ smarāmaḥ (Śrī Caitanya Candrodaya Act X, 73) Text 282 in some versions.

Advaita Acarya says “So be it. By Your desire, may You give us all different eternal forms and different eternal residences. We will eternally remember Your wonderful transcendental pastimes.”

Now one can say that Dhananjaya Pandit gets a nice eternal form as a cowherd in sakhya-rasa according to the above statement But it is not. Sri Chaitanya Mahāprabhu clearly says: “…EVEN IF your rasas are friendship or servitude to Shri Shri Radha-Madhava” and thus we can clearly see that he is promising Madhurya Rasa

It also justifies the below statement of Chaitanya Charitamrita where he seems to bestow the special gift of unnata ujjvala rasa (Madhurya Rasa)

anarpita-carīṁ cirāt karuṇayāvatīrṇaḥ kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasāṁ sva-bhakti-śriyam hariḥ puraṭa-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandīpitaḥ sadā hṛdaya-kandare sphuratu vaḥ śacī-nandanaḥ(CC)

“He who descends in the Kali Yuga as the avatar of mercy to bestow his most precious treasure, namely the highest aspect of madhura prema rasa, which had not been awarded before, and whose form is dazzling like molten gold, let that Supreme Lord Sri Sachinandan always be manifest in the innermost chamber of your heart.”

Now, one can say that this multiple  “Goloka-svarupa” only applies  to Sriman Nityananda Prabhu who is Balaram and Ananga Manjari in Goloka and  it cannot apply to all eternal associates.

But when we carefully analyse what  Śrī Advaitācārya replied it will be clear

tathāstu—
nijecchayā prāpaya yad yad eva
sthalāntaraṁ no vapur antaraṁ vā |
tavaitad āścarya-caritram eva
jātismarā eva ciraṁ smarāmaḥ ||74||

“So be it. By Your desire, may You give us all different eternal forms and different eternal residences.
We will eternally remember Your wonderful transcendental pastimes.”

US ALL”…nothing further to add here. Sri Dhananjaya Pandit is an eternal associate of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and most dear to Sriman Nityananda Prabhu. So he too belongs to “US ALL”, no single doubt in the words of Advaita Acarya. Śrīman Mahāprabhu is the combined form of Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. In the form of Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, He is always absorbed in sweet pastimes in Śrī Vṛndāvana and in His Navadvīpa-pastimes He is bestowing the relish of this sweet taste in Vraja’s nikuñjas to His associates in their mentally conceived forms of Rādhā’s maidservants — this is Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s final duty!

 

Earlier  I had a discussion with Sri Advaita Das,a renouned sanskrit and Gaudiya Vaishnava scholar in Advaita Pariwaar who has translated a huge number of books of achayas in English.

My question was

The idea that a sadhaka who has attained his or her ideal in the Vraja lila may at some point change rasas is not explained in Bhaktirasamrita-sindhu or any where else. The very idea is questionable at best because each devotee is fully satisfied with the prema he or she attains. Their sthayi bhava is the basis of their experience of rasa and the stahyi bhava is not transient like sancari bhavas are. So how will one change one’s sthayi bhava, the dominant emotion that is the very basis of one’s spiritual existence? And why would one want to to? The clear teaching is that no such desire for change has scope for arising. Indeed from the perspective of one’s developed sthayi bhava in rasa one does not see that other rasas are better or more desirable, but rather that one has attained the best possible ideal.

Advaita Das: Yes it is correct.

Me: If it is right then it contradicts the theory of multiple swarupas of Gour parshads . isn’t it ? It is true sthayi bhava does not change , But how to harmonise with multiple swarupas like of Advaita acharya and other gour parshads  who have manjari swarupa in addition ? How can Śrīla Kavi Karṇapūra’s Śrī Caitanya Candrodaya, a bonafide scripture be wrong ?

Advaita Das: No it does not contradict, the multiple swarups are all eternal. they do not change from one sthayi bhav to another

Me: You mean they are from beginningless time ?

Advaita Das: Yes

Me: Then how does the special mercy of Gourchandra stands valid ?

Advaita Das: There are sadhaks and siddhas.The mercy is given to sadhaks so they can start bhakti.

Me: I quoted from Śrīla Kavi Karṇapūra’s Śrī Caitanya Candrodaya act 10 text 280 -282 to him.

Advaita Das: Yes that is for sadhaks

Me: But Mahaprabhu seems to bestow his mercy to siddhas here.
Advaita Das: No No. He’s making a philosophical point here only.Just for an example yudhisthir gambled away his wife, though he was siddha only to teach us something. this is only teaching, like a lila.

 

So the point is that the mercy Mahaprabhu appears to be bestowing here to siddhas have already been bestowed eternally . We know very well this is not the first time of Mahaprabhu’s advent. It has been going on from beginingless time. Just for the sake of pastimes he is mentioning this. However it clearly like a victory flag states that Gour parshads have multiple swarupas. But it does not  mean that they changed their swarupa or rasa. It is already there eternally.
Another most wonderful example of this very special aspect of Sriman Mahāprabhu’s mercy is the case of Srila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati Thakur.

Srila Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj  writes:

Śrīpada Prabodhananda Sarasvati is the object of Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s unlimited mercy, therefore he is conscious of the elevated ujjvala rasa (amorous sentiment) of Vraja and thinks of himself as a maidservant  of Śrī Rādhā in the forest bowers (kuñjas) of Vraja. Śrīpada  Kavi  Karṇapura  has written in  his  book  ‘Gaura  Gaṇoddeśa Dīpikā‘  that in Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes Śrīpāda Prabodhānanda Sarasvatī was Tuṅgavidyā-sakhī, one of Śrī Rādhikā‘s eight chief  girlfriends, but while  reading his book ‘Rādhā Rasa Sudhānidhi’ we can see that, by Mahāprabhu’s grace, his heart was filled with the astonishing rasa of a maidservant, or kiṅkarī, of Śrī Rādhā.(end)

So, although Sri Dhananjaya Pandit may be a gopa in Krishna-lila, by the mercy of Sriman Mahāprabhu he serves in a form of a manjari too. In our parivar, we worship Sri Dhananjaya Pandit in his eternal manjari-svarupa, named Sri Madana Manjari. So there is absolutely NOTHING wrong if  all acaryas of our parivar practice manjari-bhava-sadhana with the goal to follow the maidservants of Srimati Radhika.

 

HDG A C Bhaktivedanta swami Prabhupada quoting Srila Bhakti Siddhanta saraswati Thakura in his purport to Adi 7.17 states :

Sri Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura explains in his Anubhashya: “There are specific symptoms by which the internal devotees and the unalloyed or pure devotees are to be known. All unalloyed devotees are sakti-tattvas, or potencies of the Lord. Some of them are situated in conjugal love and others in filial affection, fraternity and servitude. Certainly all of them are devotees, but by making a comparative study it is found that the devotees or potencies who are engaged in conjugal love are better situated than the others. Thus devotees who are in a relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in conjugal love are considered to be the most confidential devotees of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Those who engage in the service of Lord Nityananda Prabhu and Lord Advaita Prabhugenerally have relationships of parental love, fraternity, servitude and neutrality. When such devotees develop great attachment for Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, they too become situated within the intimate circle of devotees in conjugal love.”
Some devotees claim that Sriman Nityananda Prabhu and Sri Advaita Acarya can only “bestow general bhakti”  and that they  have “no role in Vraja-lila”. But it is not true.

Srila Narottama das Thakur states:

heno nitāi bine bhāi, rādhā-kṛṣṇa pāite nāi
“Unless one takes shelter under the shade of the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, it will be IMPOSSIBLE to attain Radha- Krsna.”

ye bhakti gopikā-gaṇer kabe bhāgavate
nityānanda hoite tāhā pāila jagate

“The love for Krishna in the mood of the gopis which is described in the Bhagavata is attained in the world through Nityananda.” (Caitanya Bhagavata, 3.5.303)

caitanyera adi-bhakta nityananda-raya
caitanyera yaso vaise yanhara jihvaya
ahar nisa caitanyera katha prabhu kaya
tan’re bhajile se caitanye bhakti haya
CB Adi 9.217-218

Lord Caitanya’s first and foremost devotee is Nityananda Raya. The glories of Lord Caitanya are always on his tongue. Day and night Lord Nityananda speaks only of Lord Caitanya. Whoever worships Him is a real devotee of Sri Caitanya. Nityananda is the gateway through which all service to Lord Caitanya must pass.

jaya jaya nityananda, nityananda-rama
yanhara kripate painu vrindavana-dhama
jaya jaya nityananda, jaya kripa-maya
yanha haite painu rupa-sanatanasraya
yanha haite painu raghunatha-mahasaya
yanha haite painu sri-svarupa-asraya
sanatana-kripaya painu bhaktira siddhanta
sri-rupa-kripaya painu bhakti-rasa-pranta
jaya jaya nityananda-caranaravinda
yanha haite painu sri-radha-govinda
CC Adi. 5.200-204

All glory, all glory to Lord Nityananda Balarama, by whose mercy I have
attained shelter in the transcendental abode of Vrindavana. All glory, all glory to the merciful Lord Nityananda, by whose mercy I have attained shelter of Sri Rupa and Sanatana. By His mercy, I have attained the shelter of the great Sri Raghunatha dasa Gosvami, and by His mercy I have found the refuge of Sri Svarupa Damodara. By the mercy of Sanatana Gosvami I have learned the final conclusions of devotional service, and by the grace of Sri Rupa Gosvami I have tasted the highest nectar of devotional service. All glory, all glory to the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda, by whose mercy I have attained Sri Radha-Govinda.

As for Advaita Acharya:

Sri Murari Gupta eulogises Advaita Prabhu in the introduction of his Sri Krishna Caitanya Carita Maha-kavya (1.20):

sri-yuktadvaita-varyah parama-rasa-kalacarya iso vireje
“The most glorious Advaita is the Supreme Lord and the greatest teacher of the  highest rasa, the divine amorous flavour.”

Advaita Das who is initiated in the Advaita- parivar writes:

“All pārṣadas (associates) of Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu have a svarūpa in madhurya-rasa. All lines descending from Mahāprabhu’s parshadas can bestow gopī-bhāva and gopī-prema. Though they may be famous as personalities in Vraja outside of gopī-bhāva (f.i. Nityānanda is Balarāma but also Ananga Mañjari), they all have a place in gopī-bhāva as well.” The same is with Sri Dhananjaya Pandit. He is Vasudama Sakha in sakhya-rasa AND Sri Madana Manjari in madhurya-rasa.

———————————————————————————————-

Special Thanks to Sri Tarun Govinda Das and Sri Advaita Das. Most of the content is taken from their work and have been included here only for preaching purpose .

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