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Gaudiya Discussions Archive » PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY
Discussions on the doctrines of Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Please place practical questions under the Miscellaneous forum and set this aside for the more theoretical side of it.

On separation and union - Sambhoga and vipralambha



Jagat - Sun, 10 Aug 2003 18:43:30 +0530
QUOTE(Narayan Maharaja)
There are so many associates of Caitanya Mahaprabhu who wore saffron cloth. Svarupa Damodara also wore saffron cloth. What harm was there? Saffron cloth is the sign of renunciation. It is the color of anuraga, attachment for Krsna. Because it is a color, it is worn by sadhvis. Sadhvi means a married lady, a lady who is not a widow. 'Married' means having Krsna as one's beloved. We are not widows, but those who wear white cloths are widows.

Narayan Maharaj's widow/married metaphor is really strikingly confused.

Is this an insinuation that for the Babajis, Krishna is dead? Or does Narayan Maharaj mean that they are suffering in separation (relishing the superior viraha!)? By contrast, the Gaudiya Math's Krishna is living and they are experiencing sambhoga with him.

Anyway... alam!
vamsidas - Sun, 10 Aug 2003 19:00:38 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ Aug 10 2003, 01:13 PM)
Narayan Maharaj's widow/married metaphor is really strikingly confused.

Is this an insinuation that for the Babajis, Krishna is dead? Or does Narayan Maharaj mean that they are suffering in separation (relishing the superior viraha!)? By contrast, the Gaudiya Math's Krishna is living and they are experiencing sambhoga with him.

Anyway... alam!

Jagat,

Sripad Narayana Maharaja appears to teach that "suffering in separation" is NOT "relishing the superior viraha" as you suggest in your message. Note the following lecture:

http://www.purebhakti.com/lectures/lecture...e20030113.shtml

In that lecture, he says:

QUOTE
Some persons say that vipralambha is higher than sambhoga. Onlya neutral person can say this.... If vipralambha is higher than meeting, then Lalita and the other sakhis and manjaris would have been trying to keep Krsna out of Vraja. They would have tried to be very far away from Him. But have they done this? They can never do so. Do you want this? Do any of you want Krsna to be separated from Radhika? Do you want Radhika to weep and roll on the ground?...

Vipralambha is only needed to help nourish meeting. If this is not accomplished there is no necessity of vipralambha. It is stated in Sri Ujjvala-nilamani, "Na vina vipralambhena sambhoga pustimasnute without vipralambha, meeting will not be nourished."

Does meeting come first or does vipralambha come first? If the gopis had not met with Krsna, how would they have experienced vipralambha? First there is meeting, and then separation. Without meeting, the mood of separation cannot come and Srimati Radharani cannot weep for Krsna. Why are you not weeping? Can you weep for Krsna from the core of your heart? You cannot because you have never seen Him. If you will see His beauty, His qualities, His affection, and His love and mercy, then you can cry for Him. So first is meeting, sambhoga, then separation in the middle, and then meeting again.


One can draw some startling conclusions if one follows this perspective through to its logical conclusion, but for now I will leave that task to others.
Madhava - Sun, 10 Aug 2003 19:15:39 +0530
QUOTE
Some persons say that vipralambha is higher than sambhoga. Onlya neutral person can say this.... If vipralambha is higher than meeting, then Lalita and the other sakhis and manjaris would have been trying to keep Krsna out of Vraja. They would have tried to be very far away from Him. But have they done this? They can never do so. Do you want this? Do any of you want Krsna to be separated from Radhika? Do you want Radhika to weep and roll on the ground?...

I wonder how many strawmen one man can strike. I'm relatively certain the speaker here qualifies for a maharathi.

Of course saying that "vipralambha is higher" does not mean that "Radha and Krishna should be separated". "Vipralambha is higher" because during viraha the virahini sees all the world filled with her beloved, while during sambhoga the virahini only beholds her beloved before her. I'm sure Jagat can quote a dozen verses on this.


QUOTE
Does meeting come first or does vipralambha come first? If the gopis had not met with Krsna, how would they have experienced vipralambha? First there is meeting, and then separation. Without meeting, the mood of separation cannot come and Srimati Radharani cannot weep for Krsna. Why are you not weeping? Can you weep for Krsna from the core of your heart? You cannot because you have never seen Him. If you will see His beauty, His qualities, His affection, and His love and mercy, then you can cry for Him. So first is meeting, sambhoga, then separation in the middle, and then meeting again.

Purva-raga, one of the four categories of vipralambha, comes before sambhoga. During purva-raga the beloved may have only heard of the lover or seen him from a distance, but nevertheless the flames of separation are ablaze in her heart. Aside Vraja-lila, the example of Rukmini-devi is a classical one in this regard.
Jagat - Sun, 10 Aug 2003 23:58:14 +0530
Yes, I remember discussing this subject (of Narayana Maharaj's understanding of vipralambha vs. sambhoga). There I said that this was in accordance with Jiva Goswami's understanding and forms the basis of his svakiya-vada.

But my attempt at irony resulted from Saraswati's original criticism of the babajis for worshiping in sambhoga and not in viraha, and that his vision of worship in separation, i.e., the "Sikshashtakam" way of doing bhajan, was superior.

This is, again, a straw man argument. By imagining union, one feels separation. When one feels separation, one imagines union. The fact is that a sadhaka is in separation, like it or not. The trouble comes whenever one feels that one has got it. The Rasalila teaches that one has never really got it. Whether you're a babaji or a GM, the same rule applies. Krishna will "abandon" you the minute you think you have him. We must never lose sight of the metaphorical aspect of the Rasa lila.

That aside, Narayan Maharaj makes some good points. Union come first, in the form of mercy. That is followed by a sense of separation.

Though purva-raga is indeed prior to the first level of sambhoga, I am taking contact with Krishna through Hari-katha, his name, his devotees, etc., to be a prior "sambhoga" that creates faith and the hunger for further contact with a specific form of the Divine. Without such hunger, there is no vipralambha. You can't desire what you don't miss.

Looking at this latter metaphor, I see it has a major flaw, because we enter again into the innate/adventitious character of bhakti, which leads again into the whole falling from Vaikuntha debate. The words "specific form" are meant to clarify this. (tat-tad-rUpAdi-mAdhurye zrute dhIr yad apekSate...)
Madhava - Mon, 11 Aug 2003 00:17:49 +0530
Yes, I guess you're right, if we extend the concept of sambhoga to our very first contact with Radha and Krishna in the form of narration and hearing Their names. In that case, certainly sambhoga comes first and vipralambha afterwards.

However, I wonder whether the concepts of sambhoga and vipralambha can be extended to examining the sadhaka-samaja at all. We are speaking of two entirely different realms. Ujjvala-nilamani and other such works focus on examining the realm of lila, not the moods of the practitioners.

Jiva discusses sambhoga in Priti-sandarbha:

atha pUrva-rAgAnantara-jaH sambhogaH | tatra sambhogasya sAmAnyAkAreNa sandarzana-saMjalpa-saMsparaza-saMprayoga-lakSaNa-bheda-catuSTaya-bhinnatvaM dRzyate || prIti-saMdarbha 375 ||

Of the four kinds of vipralambha, it is evident that mana, prema-vaicittya and pravasa can only occur after sambhoga has taken place. I am uncertain whether the "sandarzana" mentioned in the passage above could be considered a form of sambhoga preceding the awakening of purva-raga.

QUOTE
The words "specific form" are meant to clarify this. (tat-tad-rUpAdi-mAdhurye zrute dhIr yad apekSate...)

The last time I read it, it was "bhAvAdi-mAdhurye", or am I missing something?
Jagat - Mon, 11 Aug 2003 03:32:58 +0530
Sorry, slip bhAva. You are right, of course. I was just trying to take the concept into the realm of sadhana, in an effort to understand what Saraswati was getting at when he talked about bhajan in the mood of separation.