Sri Brihat Bhagavatamrta

Karnamrita Das - June 18, 2005 9:26 pm

Our Thursday evening Phone Sanga call with Swami was especially nectarean! Alas I wasn't able to record it, but I am taking steps that it won't happen again. In the mood of uncovering and remembering that call I quote the verse that prompted his answer. With every passing minute the call fades from my memory. Perhaps some tattva-vivekis could churn the mood of this verse which so affected some and share their insights and further questions, including whoever was on the call including Swami .


In response to a verse quoted from the lastest (3rd) volume Swami took off on a dance of inspiration to speak for about 40 minutes on this topic, including insight from his just completed commentary of verse 8 of Lord Chaitanya's Siksastakam which was a perfect fit. A summary of the mood of the BB verse was that KC turns the world upside down, and inside out. In the higher service of Krsna what we considered enjoyment before becomes like poison and what was poison before is like nectar.


Here is the verse with commentary from chapter 6 vs 292 (the gopis speak to Sri Krsna as he is about to depart Vrndavan with Akrura to go to Mathura:


"For the sake of You, the forests have become our homes and our homes the forest, our enemies our friends and our friends enemies, poison sweet nectar and nectar poison. Without you we will die."


Commentary: The gopis are sure that if Krsna refuses to accept their prayer they will very soon die. After all, didn't Krsna turn their lives upside down? The forests were their homes because in the forests they enjoyed Krsna's company. And their homes were like an empty wilderness because Krsna wasn't there. Their rivals for Krsna's affection were actually friends because with the help of those friends they were able to meet Krsna. And by preventing the gopis from going to Krsna, their husbands and children acted as enemies. In fact the gopis' love for Krsna was so potent that it even transformed poisonous substances into the most palatable nectar. And for gopis eager to die in the torment of separation, poison became attractive. Nectarean things like moonlight, sandlewood paste, and nice food were like poison for the gopis because the gratification afforded by such things impeded their association with Krsna, and when they were suffering separation from Him their so-called pleasures became unbearable. Sri Narada has already explained to Gopa-kumara why pure love for Krsna affected the gopis in these strange ways."

Karnamrita Das - June 26, 2005 4:25 pm

On last Thurday's call I began by quoting a verse from the BB about the special humility that comes from Prema, and in fact GM was very familar with it. He gave quotes from this section of the BB in his commentary on the Siksatakam vs 7.


Here is the verse I quoted (part 2 chapter 5 vs 225)which our Maharaja commented on and which then sparked further questions from the other devotees.


"When dainya fully matures, prema unfolds without limit. And so we see dainya and prema acting n a relationship in which eahc is both cause and effect."


Commentary: If prema is supposed to be the final result of all devotional endeavors, how can dainya be a consequence of prema? In answer: Yes, prema is the final goal, but dainya is not altogether different from prema. Dainya is an integral component of prema, and both foster one another.


It is a misunderstanding to think that because there is always another level of perfection to achieve, one can never reach the supreme goal of life. What the progressive development of prema shows is not that there is no goal but that in spiritual likfe there is endless variety. By pure love for the lotus feet of Sri Gopinatha, the fruit one achieves is the attainment of Sri Goloka; by that attainment, the direct sight of Sri Gopinatha; by that direct vision, His special mercy; by that mercy, the highest ecstacies of viraha-bhava, and so on. This endless sequence is not a fault but simply the unfolding of spiritual variety. Even in Vaikuntha, what to speak of Goloka, the bliss of devotional service unfolds in an infinite variety that puts the happiness of liberation to shame."


A definition of dainya is given a few verses previously:


"Wise men define dainya as the state in which one always thinks oneself exceptionally incapable and low, even when endowed with all excellences."


The Sri Brihat Bhagavatamrta is such a sublime literature, transporting one to Goloka!!! Now if only I could stay there when I put the book down!.....Just now coming!