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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.

Ontological position of Srimati Radharani - in Gaudiya Vaishnavism



Gaurasundara - Fri, 14 Oct 2005 08:11:49 +0530
mahAbhAva-svarUpa zrI-rAdhA-ThAkurANI
sarva-guNa-khani kRSNa-kAntA-ziromaNi

Sri Radha Thakurani is the very form of mahabhava. She is the
repository of all good qualities and the crest-jewel of all of Krishna's lovers.

tayor apy ubhayor madhye
rAdhikA sarvathAdikA
mahAbhAva-svarUpeyaM
guNair ativarIyasI

"Of these two [Radhika and Candravali], Radhika is greater in every way. She is the very
nature of mahabhava and She surpasses all with Her good qualities." (Ujjvala-Nilamani)

kRSNa-prema-bhAvita yAGra cittendriya-kAya
kRSNA-nija-zakti rAdhA krIDAra sahAya

Her whole mind, senses and body are steeped in love for Krishna; and being of His own sakti, She assists Him in pastimes.

Ananda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhAvitAbhis
tAbhir ya eva nija-rUpatayA kalAbhiH
goloka eva nivasaty akhilAtma-bhUto
govindam Adi puruSaM tam ahaM bhajAmi

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, who resides in His own realm, Goloka, with
Radha, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency
[hlādinī]. Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her
bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa."
(Brahma-samhita 5.37)

kRSNere karAya yaiche rasa asvAdana
krIDAra sahAya yaiche, zuna vivaraNa

Listen now to the description of how Krishna is assisted in His endeavour
to taste the mellows of rasa, and how He is assisted in His loving plays.

kRSNa-kAntA-gaNa dekhi tri-vidha prakAra
eka lakSmI-gaNa, pure mahiSI-gaNa Ara
vrajAGganA-rUpa, Ara kAntA-gaNa-sAra
zrI rAdhikA haite kAntA-gaNera vistAra

The lovers of Krishna are seen as three types; one, the
Laksmis, then the Queens [Mahishis of Dvaraka], and the
beautifully-formed ladies of Vraja who are the foremost of
the three. These categories of lovers all emanate from Sri Radhika.

avatArI kRSNa yaiche kare avatAra
aMzinI rAdhA haite tina gaNera vistAra

Just as Krishna, the source of all incarnations, takes
incarnations, so is Radha the source of these three groups.

vaibhava-gaNa yena tAGra aGga-vibhUti
bimba-pratibimba-rUpa mahiSIra tati

The Laksmis are powerful expansions of Her limbs, and the
Mahishis are expansions of Her reflections and counter-reflections.

lakSmI-gAna tAGra vaibhava-vilAsAMza-rUpa
mahiSI-gaNa vaibhava-prakAza-svarUpa

The Laksmis display the forms of vaibhava-vilasa and are Her
fragments, and the Mahishis are the epitome of Her vaibhava-prakasa.

AkAra svabhAva-bhede vraja-devI-gaNa
kAya-vyUha-rUpa tAGra rasera kAraNa

The Vraja-devis exemplify different features and natures. They are
Her own bodily expansions and are the means by which She expands rasa.

bahu-kAntA vinA nahe rAsera ullAsa
lIlAra sahAya lAgi' bahuta prakAza

Without many lovers there is no happiness in rasa, and
therefore many manifestations are occupied in assisting the lilas.

tAra madhye vraje nAnA bhAva-rasa-bhede
kRSNake karAya rAsAdika-lIlAsvAde

Among these paramours in Vraja exist various differences in mood and mellows,
which all assist Krishna in tasting the bliss of the Rasa-dance and other lilas.

govindAnandinI rAdhA, govinda-mohinI
govinda-sarvasva, sarva-kAntA-ziromaNi

Radha is She who gives bliss to Govinda, She who bewilders Govinda, She
who is the all-in-all of Govinda. Verily, She is the crown-jewel of all the lovers!

devI kRSNa-mayI proktA
rAdhikA para-devatA
sarva-lakSmI-mayI sarva-
kAntiH sammohinI parA

"Sri Radhika is known as Devi, Krishnamayi, Supreme Goddess in
whom all Laksmis reside; Her beauty and charm defeat that of all others.

'devI' kahi dyotamAnA paramA sundarI
kimvA, RSNa-pUja-krIDAra vasati nagarI

'Devi' means effulgent and most beautiful, or it can
mean the repository of the worship and loveplays of Krishna.

kRSNA-mayI, kRSNa yAra bhitare bAhire
yAGhA yAGhA netra paDe tAGhA kRSNa sphure

'Krishna-mayi' means one whose within and without is
Krishna. Wherever Her eyes fall, there Krishna appears.

kimvA, prema-rasa-maya kRSNera svarUpa
tAGra zakti tAGra saha haya eka-rUpa

Or it can mean that She is the real nature of Krishna
and the epitome of loving rasa, as His sakti is one with Him.

kRSNa-vAchA-pUrti-rUpa kare ArAdhane
ataeva 'rAdhikA' nAma purANe vAkhAne

Her worship of Krishna consists of fulfilling His
desires. Therefore the Puranas address Her as 'Radhika'.

anayArAdhito nUnaM
bhagavAn harir IzvaraH
yan no vihAya govindaH
prIto yAm anayad rahaH

"This one worshipped Hari, who is the Supreme Lord. Therefore Govinda,
being pleased with Her, left us aside and led Her to a solitary place." (SB 10.30.28)

ataeva sarva-pUjyA, parama-devatA
sarva-pAlikA, arva jagatera mAtA

Therefore, being the supreme goddess, She is worshipable for all.
She is the protectress of all and the mother of the whole universe.

'sarva-lakSmI'-zabda pUrva kariyAchi vyAkhyAna
sarva-lakSmI-gaNera tiGho hana adhiSThAna

I have previously explained the meaning of
'sarva-laksmi'. She [Radha] is the abode of all the Laksmis.

kimvA, 'sarva-lakSmI' - kRSNera SaD-vidha aizvarya
tAGra adhiSThAtri zakti - sarva-zakti-varya

Or, 'sarva-laksmi' can mean that She epitomises the six
opulences of Krishna. She is the empress and the best of His saktis.

sarva-saundarya-kAnti vaisaye yAGhAte
sarva-lakSmI-gaNera zobhA haya yAGhA haite

'Sarva-kanti' means She is one from whom all forms of beauty and
splendour emanate. All the Laksmis derive their opulences from Her.

kimvA 'kAnti-zabde kRSNera saba icchA kahe
kRSNera sakala vAcha rAdhAtei rahe

Or 'kanti' may also mean 'all of Krishna's desires'.
All of Krishna's desires are reopsed in Radha.

rAdhikA karena kRSNera vAchita pUraNa
'sarva-kAnti'-zabdera ei artha vivaraNa

Radhika fulfills the desires of Krishna.
This is the descriptive meaning of 'sarva-kanti'.

jagat-mohana kRSNa tAGhAra mohinI
ataeva samastera parA ThAkurANI

Krishna enchants the universe, yet She enchants
even Him. Therefore She is the supreme goddess of all.

rAdhA - pUrna-zakti kRSNa - pUrna-zaktimAn
dui vastu bheda nAi, zAstra-paramANa

Radha is the fullness of sakti, and Krishna is the full possessor
of sakti. The two are not different, as evidenced by the scripture.

mRgamada, tAra gandha - yaiche aviccheda
agni, jvAlAte - yaiche kabhu nAhi bheda

Just as musk and it's scent are inseparable and just as fire
and it's heat are insperable, so too are are They nondifferent.

rAdhA-kRSNa aiche adA eka-i svarUpa
lIlA-rasa AsvAdite dhare dui-rUpa

In this way Radha and Krishna are of one nature, and
have manifested in two forms in order to taste lila-rasa.

That's some heavy food for thought we have there! biggrin.gif Anyone have any thoughts on Srimati's ontological position?
Gaurasundara - Thu, 20 Oct 2005 05:23:22 +0530
What, no thoughts at all? biggrin.gif

I haven't got around to reading Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushan's Govinda-bhashya commentary to the Vedanta-sutra, so I'm unsure about the arguments and reasonings that he employs in order to present the dual-deity worship as performed by Gaudiyas. It would be very interesting to hear some of these arguments. I am under the impression that interpreting the Vedanta in such a way to strengthen the dual-divinity concept is something rather new and unusual as compared to other interpretations.

On a more direct note, I'm impressed with the various references to how Srimati is the origin of the Lakshmis, Mahishis, and so on. I think that this section of CC is one of those that present core Gaudiya siddhanta, and that this conception of Swamini ias the origin of all other 'female' tattvas is just as much a core Gaudiya tenet as any other.

I assume that we're all familiar with how traditional Hindu mythology and exegesis reveres Krishna as an incarnation of Vishnu Whereas Gaudiyas differ from everyone else on this point, it's quite astounding to learn that Radha is the source of Lakshmi!
suryaz - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 08:38:30 +0530
This quote is fromGaurasundra's Radha quotes above

quote

anayArAdhito nUnaM
bhagavAn harir IzvaraH
yan no vihAya govindaH
prIto yAm anayad rahaH


This one worshipped Hari, who is the Supreme Lord. Therefore Govinda,
being pleased with Her, left us aside and led Her to a solitary place." (SB 10.30.28 )


end of quote


Gaurasundra,

There is no reference to Radha in SB

She is of secular poetry pre-Jayadeva

It was Jayadeva's Gita Govinda that first named Radha as a bhakti archetype and as Krsna's lover gopi. [Krsna was a young boy]

Also in Jayadeva, Radha [the love of Krsna] is a good many years older than Krsna [see the first verse].

It is in Rupa Goswami that Radha is a gopi [15 years] one year younger than Krsna.
Talasiga - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 09:08:11 +0530
Gaurasundara raises a question about Raadha's ontological position. Suryaz responds with a historiographic bent which is usually not relevant to the ontological consideration. (Unless, of course, the ontology relies on, or claims, historiographical evidence.) Questions on ontology are, by nature, noetic, and noetics is generally disapproved in missionary Gaudiya movements.

The examination of historiographical evidence is less noetic than the examination of ontology. smile.gif
Sakhicharan - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 09:32:25 +0530
QUOTE(Talasiga @ Dec 8 2005, 09:38 PM)
and noetics is generally disapproved in missionary Gaudiya movements.

Why would you make such a statement? I really don't understand where you are coming from... unsure.gif Kindly elucidate...
Talasiga - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 10:03:24 +0530
QUOTE(Sakhicharan @ Dec 9 2005, 04:02 AM)
...............
Why would you make such a statement? I really don't understand where you are coming from... unsure.gif Kindly elucidate...



If you look at my profile which has been unchanged for quite some time you might conclude correctly that I make such a statement based on experience. If you look up a good dictionary you will see what "noetic" and "ontology" mean and how a question on the latter must necessarily invoke a degree of the former if the question is to be discussed in any understandable way.
Sakhicharan - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 10:48:17 +0530
QUOTE(Talasiga @ Dec 8 2005, 10:33 PM)
QUOTE(Sakhicharan @ Dec 9 2005, 04:02 AM)
...............
Why would you make such a statement? I really don't understand where you are coming from... unsure.gif Kindly elucidate...

If you look at my profile which has been unchanged for quite some time you might conclude correctly that I make such a statement based on experience. If you look up a good dictionary you will see what "noetic" and "ontology" mean and how a question on the latter must necessarily invoke a degree of the former if the question is to be discussed in any understandable way.

This has nothing to do with vocabulary baba, I just thought a little more regard should be afforded to those wiho are putting so much effort into spreading the prema-dharma of Mahaprabhu. The missionary sadhus surely know more than I, because I am of no use to anyone. I wish I had such a heart as those who give up their lives to serve others.
suryaz - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 10:49:22 +0530
QUOTE(Talasiga @ Dec 9 2005, 03:38 AM)
Gaurasundara raises a question about Raadha's ontological position. Suryaz responds with a historiographic bent which is usually not relevant to the ontological consideration. (Unless, of course, the ontology relies on, or claims, historiographical evidence.) Questions on ontology are, by nature, noetic, and noetics is generally disapproved in missionary Gaudiya movements.

The examination of historiographical evidence is less noetic than the examination of ontology. smile.gif




Yes - understood.


However, that is a popular view developed by some groups to justify their antics.

In BVT, noetic is acceptable at the madhyama stage

It is not present at the kanista and not drawn upon at the uttama stages
Talasiga - Fri, 09 Dec 2005 16:33:15 +0530
QUOTE(Sakhicharan @ Dec 9 2005, 05:18 AM)
.......I just thought a little more regard should be afforded to those wiho are putting so much effort into spreading the prema-dharma of Mahaprabhu.
.......



I was not aware that the devotionalism of Lord Chaitanya was averse to either noetics or poetics. Therefore I am not able to see anything in my earlier post repugnant to Lord Chaitanya's "prema-dharma".

What I find questionable is the quest to establish or rationalise Raadha's ontology on the basis of material historicity. That Raadha may, ultimately, prove to be only knowable through the "evidence" of myth and poetics, does not, to my mind discredit her. Rather it increases her attraction and power. That Raadha may be claimed proven through materialistic evidence does not discredit her either. However, it throws into question the faith of those whose devotion is premised on such evidence and those who seek to convert or influence others on the basis of this. That does not mean to say that it is blasphemous to research the historical and other material evidence regarding her. It is interesting and good.

Gaurasundara - Sat, 10 Dec 2005 06:22:35 +0530
QUOTE(suryaz @ Dec 9 2005, 03:08 AM)
Gaurasundra,

There is no reference to Radha in SB

She is of secular poetry pre-Jayadeva

It was Jayadeva's Gita Govinda that first named Radha as a bhakti archetype and as Krsna's lover gopi.

Yes I know this already, but it's kind of irrelevant to the point I was making. As you can see, that was a collection of quotes from the CC that purport to describe the ontological position of Radharani. As for no reference to Radha in SB, it is very well known that the Gaudiya theology points to SB 10.30.28 as a mention of Radha. I do not have that reference handy, perhaps someone else does?

In any case, does anyone happen to have a copy of Sri Vidyabhushan's Govinda-bhashya by which they can furnish some reasonings to help us understand how the 'shakti' aspect of Gaudiya theology (represented by Swamini Herself) in the light of Vedantic theology?
suryaz - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 10:11:23 +0530
That is just a manipulation of language - the SB does not mention Radha.

Yes I have a copy but it is packed away.

Here is a bibliography reference

Baladeva Vidybhaa. 1700>1768. Govinda-bhya (Tr. Savu, Chandra. 1912). In The Vednta Stras of Bdaryaa: with commentary of Baladeva. India: Apurva Krishna Bose, Indian Press.

You can most probably get it through a uni library
Gaurasundara - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 10:29:37 +0530
QUOTE(suryaz @ Dec 11 2005, 04:41 AM)
That is just a manipulation of language - the SB does not mention Radha.

Well, unfortunately for you, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada disagrees with you. I read his views just today in an IGM edition of his Sarartha-darsini tika.

Thanks for the Govinda-bhasya reference by the way. I was thinking of getting the one by S.C. Vasu.
suryaz - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 11:09:18 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Dec 11 2005, 04:59 AM)
QUOTE(suryaz @ Dec 11 2005, 04:41 AM)
That is just a manipulation of language - the SB does not mention Radha.

Well, unfortunately for you, Sri Visvanatha Cakravartipada disagrees with you. I read his views just today in an IGM edition of his Sarartha-darsini tika.

Thanks for the Govinda-bhasya reference by the way. I was thinking of getting the one by S.C. Vasu.




Well go on..... smile.gif

What did he say?

Haven't hear of the Vasu tr.
Gaurasundara - Mon, 12 Dec 2005 07:04:01 +0530
I'm afraid I do not possess that text as I was skimming though it in a temple bookshop. I do know that he definitely treats this verse as an indication of Radha's mention.

Can anyone who has Sarartha-darshini kindly post the relevant text here, please?