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Discussions on the nectarine qualities and pastimes of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri-Sri Radha-Krishna. Please don't copy and paste here without starting a discussion.

The Case of the 16,000 Wives -



Gaurasundara - Wed, 30 Nov 2005 12:16:46 +0530
On another forum a discussion ensued about the nature of Krishna-lila, namely the lila describing Krishna's marriages to 16,108 damsels. Various points were made relating to the symbolic or literal nature of this lila, the former category of points making little sense. There were also some careless errors suggesting that the damsels were gopis, that the marriages themselves were symbolic and not literal, and so on. The main thrust of the 'symbolic' debate is that the lila is a metaphorical rendition of the Kundalini energy's journey to merge with the thousand-petalled lotus Sahasrara-chakra in the brain. Being an advocate of the literal position, I've looked through Srimad Bhagavatam for the references to this lila and have managed to collect various points that show without doubt that the literal interpretation is the one that fits most sensibly within the context of the entire narrative. I make these points here for the pleasure of the assembled Vaishnavas.

--)(--

The questions first comes up in the very beginning of the narrative, when Maharaja Pariksit humbly asks Sukadev Gosvami to relate to him the entirety of Krishna's life story. He asks several questions for starters; How could Balarama appear first in Rohini's womb before Devaki's? Why did Krishna leave Vraja? Where did He live then? What did He do there? Why did He kill Kamsa? How many years did he live in Dvaraka? And then:

patnyaH katy abhavan prabhoH

"How many of the Lord's wives were there?"
(SB 10.1.11)

Sukadeva Gosvami's immediate and joyful reply was that such narrations destroy the sins of Kali-yuga and that also: vAsudeva-kathA-praznaH/ puruSAmz trIn punAti hi// vaktAraM pracchakaM zroTrMs/ tat-pAda-salilaM yathA//: "Questions about the stories of Vasudeva purify the three parties involved - the speaker, inquirer and listener - just like the Ganges water, which flows from the feet of Vishnu, purifies the three worlds."

The point at which Krishna meets the 16,000 damsels is related in SB 10.59. Briefly, Bhaumasura (aka Narakasura) kidnapped the virginal damsels (33), the daughters of various kings, and held them hostage in his residence. This shows that they were royal princesses instead of gopis, and that immediately upon beholding beautiful Krishna they became filled with the desire to have Him as their husband (35). It is quite common in Indian society (especially the Vedic society of bygone ages) for a woman to be rendered 'impure' after prolonged association with males. To cite just one example of this, we can remember the incident in Ramayana where Sita-devi was subjected to a test of fire to determine Her "purity" after suspicions are aroused due to her kidnap by Ravana. It is highly unlikely that anyone would have married any of these princesses due to the 'taints' of being associated with Narakasura and, considering this fact, is it any wonder that they had no choice but to surrender unto Krishna after having no other shelter?

To counteract the claim that this surrender was itself a spiritual connection and not an actual marriage of sorts, the Bhagavata does confirm that Krishna married them. How did He do this? Did He marry them all at once, or one after the other?

atho muhUrta ekasmin |
nAnAgAreSu tAH striyaH ||
yathopayeme bhagavAn |
tAvad-rUpa-dharo 'vyayaH ||
gRheSu tAsAm anapAyy atarka-kRn |
nirasta-sAmyAtizayesy avasthitaH ||
reme ramAbhir nija-kAma-sampluto |
yathetaro gArhaka-medhikAmz caran ||

"After all this, Bhagavan [Krishna] married those
women in different houses simultaneously, according
to the appropriate rites. The imperishable one
assumed as many forms as there were women.
He lived with them, without leaving, in those incomparable residences.
Krishna is immersed in His own pleasure, but He took pleasure with His
wives, while performing His household duties, just like anybody else.
He performs deeds that are beyond comprehension."
(SB 10.59.42-43)

Does any of this sound symbolic? Rather it speaks of Krishna's incomparable glories and infinite capabilities; fancy expanding into 16,000 forms to live in 16,000 different palaces and carrying out different duties thereof! Critics found it hard to swallow the idea that Krishna could do all of this not to mention more. And what to speak of having children? After all, the Bhagavata does say elsewhere (10.90.31) that Krishna had ten sons with each and every wife! And as if that wasn't enough, the names of eighteen of the 'best' sons are specifically noted. SB 10.90.41 also relates that there were 38,800,000 teachers for the purpose of educating the youth of the Yadu dynasty. How is all of this possible for the material mind to comprehend?

It is easy to see why one would choose to hide behind logic and rationalisty, but the answer to the question is contained in the last line of SB 10.59.43 as quoted above, and this is especially brought out in another episode of Krishna-lila. Upon hearing Krishna's separate marriages to 16,000 damsels and His taking up residence with each and every one of them, Devarsi Narada became astonished!

Sri Suka said: "Hearing that Naraka had been killed, and that one person, Krishna, had married many women, Narada desired to see this. 'It is astonishing that one person with one body has married 16,000 women, and lives simultaneously in many houses.' Saying this, the eager sage of the gods came to see Dvaraka." (SB 10.69.1-3)

Whatever did Sri Narada find there? Upon reaching Dvaraka (with fantastic descriptions of the city's opulences), he was welcomed by Krishna who offered him His own personal seat to sit. After an exchange of reciprocal affection, Krishna asks Narada what he wishes, to which the latter replies that it was enough to have had a darshan of Krishna's lotus feet. Narada then leaves the palace and enters into another only to be welcomed again by Krishna, who is apparently unaware of the previous exchange in the previous palace! See? smile.gif

Narada was amazed. He rose silently and went to another residence. There, too, he saw Govinda, who was indulging His infant children. Then in another residence, Narada saw that preparations had been made for taking a bath. Elsewhere, Krishna was placing oblations in the three sacrifical fires, worshipping with the five sacrifices, feeding the twice-born and eating their remnants. In another place, Krishna was sitting down at dusk and silently chanting japa-mantras. In yet another place He was manoeuvring around in the fencing area with sword and shield.

Elsewhere, Krishna, the elder brother of Gada, was wriding horses, elephants and chariots, and, somewhere else again, He was lying on a couch being eulogised by bards. In one place, Krishna was consulting with His ministers such as Uddhava, while elsewhere He was enjoying sporting in the water surrounded by women and courtesans. In another place He was giving beautifully bedecked cows to distinguished members of the twice-born castes, and listening to auspicious storis from the Puranas and epic histories. At some point, in another beloved's house, Krishna was telling jokes and laughing, while elsewhere He was pursuing dharma, artha or kama. In some other place He was meditating on the supreme being who is beyond prakriti, and serving His gurus with desirable objects, enjoyments and worship. And somewhere else Keshava was preparing for war against certain people, and elsewhere again, alliances with others. In yet another palace, Krishna was contemplating the welfare of the righteous, along with Balarama.

Narada saw Him making arrangements for traditional marriages with due pomp for His sons and daughters, with suitable brides and grooms at the appropriate time. He saw great celebrations by the Lord of the lords of yoga for His children when they were sent off and when they returned. All this astonished the people. In some placs, Narada saw Krishna offering sacrifices to all the gods wth elaborate rituals, of fulfilling His dharma by building monasteries, groves and wells. In other places, He was roaming around in the hunt, mounted on a horse from the Sindh province, and killing sacrificial animals, surrounded by the Yadu heroes. Elsewhere, the Lord of yogis was wandering about in disgust among His ministers in the inner section of the city, wanting to find out the attitudes of each. (SB 10.69.22-36)


Get the idea yet? smile.gif

The mind of the critic runs amok as he tries to comprehend all of these things whereas the devotee, who views the Beloved with eyes tinged with the salve of love, simply sighs joyfully as He exults upon hearing his Beloved and His opulences being glorified in such a beautifully descriptive manner. The devotee who has nothing but pure love for Krishna does not consider any of these opulences a big deal, since pure love is as pure love does and any glorification becomes a background presence. It is worth considering, however, exactly how and by what potency any and all of the above takes place.

"After seeing the exhibition of yogamaya by Krishna, who was following the ways of humans, Narada said to Hrishikesh with a smile: "We know that Your yogamaya is hard to perceive, even for magicians. But it will become manifest, O soul of lords of yoga, by service to Your lotus feet. Give me Your leave, O Lord, for I will wander about the worlds, which are overflowing with Your glories, singing about Your lilas which purify the earth." (SB 10.69.37-38)

Therefore, even though it is surprising that the critics who doubt these things claim to be devoted to Krishna, it can be clearly seen that Krishna's relations with His 16,000 wives are an effortless manifestation of His power, which is incomparable, inconceivable, and which is infinitely astonishing. If insistence is made that all of these things are purely symbolic, the the burden of proof is on such critics to show how this incident is symbolic in the context of the wider narrative. What is the symbolic nature of Krishna's children borne from the 16,000 queens, for example?

Sukadeva Gosvami closes the chapter with a final word:

yAnIha viszva-vilayodbhava-vRtti
karmAny ananya-viSayANi harIz cakAra
yas tv aGga gAyati zRNoty anumodate vA
bhaktir bhaved bhagavati hy apavarga-mArge

"Hari, the cause of the manifestation, maintenance and destruction
of the universe, did these things; no one else is able to. Devotion
for Bhagavan, who is the path to liberation, will arise in the person
who sings about, hears and rejoices in them, dear king."
(SB 10.69.45)

--)(--

Any thoughts?


[All translations (some slightly modified) by Edwin F. Bryant.]
vijayalakshmi - Thu, 01 Dec 2005 22:03:16 +0530
shankha chakra gadapane dwaraka nilayacyuta
govinda pundarikaksha rakshamam sharanagatam
Kulapavana - Fri, 02 Dec 2005 00:26:12 +0530
thank you Gaurasundara for this wonderful narration. Jaya Sri Krishna!

I often marvel at the numbers of living entities inhabiting the "world" under my fingernails, so contemplating Krishna's marriage to 16,108 girls is quite easy laugh.gif

where were these girls to go after being rescued? who would have married them in those days? they had absolutely no other shelter then Krishna... and they knew it very well too... their surrender was complete, and their love was real... what girl could resist her savior, especially one so handsome as Krishna? so Krishna was also captivated by their love...

such a sweet pastime... making it into something "symbolic" seems downright offensive... ohmy.gif
Anand - Fri, 02 Dec 2005 17:39:37 +0530
QUOTE
where were these girls to go after being rescued?


Home, like Elizabeth Smart?

QUOTE
who would have married them in those days?


Well, Krishna could have arranged their marriage without being involved directly. He has that power, doesn't he?

QUOTE
what girl could resist her savior, especially one so handsome as Krishna?


A girl who is not willing to share her husband with another 16,000 or so, no matter how handsome the guy is?

(Hope my answers aren't offensive.)

QUOTE
in those days


As soon as we speak of "those days" or "nowadays", we are introducing the element of relativity into the lila. And when that happens, there is no escaping symbolism.

I believe that nowadays a Krishna who, out of love, would chose to be loyal to one sweetheart only, would be more impressive and more popular among girls than the Krishna of "those days". Other than that, the story of the 16,000 brides is pretty amusing.
Kulapavana - Fri, 02 Dec 2005 22:17:25 +0530
QUOTE(Anand @ Dec 2 2005, 08:09 AM)
As soon as we speak of "those days" or "nowadays", we are introducing the element of relativity into the lila.† And when that happens, there is no escaping symbolism.

I believe that nowadays a Krishna who, out of love, would chose to be loyal to one sweetheart only, would be more impressive and more popular among† girls than the Krishna of "those days".† Other than that, the story of the 16,000 brides is pretty amusing.



relativity or not, Krishna's lila here on Earth does not happen in vacuum. negating the reality of the time period and interoducing "politically correct" frames of reference from modern times seems quite misguided.

each one of these girls had Krishna only to herself. did you read the story? do you think any of them would have preferred an arranged marriage with somebody else? or going home? rolleyes.gif
Anand - Fri, 02 Dec 2005 23:51:34 +0530

QUOTE
each one of these girls had Krishna only to herself. did you read the story?


Yes, we all have read the story. Each girl had Krishna to herself, but we know He was in fact simoultaneously with many (we read the story, did They?). Here, in this world, we have to deal with that type of knowledge - we are not covered by yogamaya but by mahamaya. And so as a consequence, the lila may take symbolic meanings for us.
vijayalakshmi - Sat, 03 Dec 2005 02:39:51 +0530
QUOTE
Home


Excuse me if I am incorrect, but I believe the birth family would not welcome them back either. unsure.gif

QUOTE
... a Krishna who, out of love, would chose to be loyal to one sweetheart only...


There is such an incarnation; His name is Ramacandra.
Anand - Sat, 03 Dec 2005 03:13:01 +0530
Ramacandha's loyalty was out of duty, not exclusively love. He gave up Sita over duty. That was the quality of His love.
Madanmohan das - Sun, 04 Dec 2005 16:24:39 +0530
Oho. Rama's love for Sita was out of duty-please! ohmy.gif
That's what makes him so fantastic. His name is also Bahujanavallabha or one who can entertain many lovers both severaly and simultaneously, aha! biggrin.gif
don't mind.
Lava and Kusa is worth seeing, particularly the heart rending plight of their mutual viraha.
And if you mention Rama's behaviour in sending Sita away, what about Krsna's abanonment of Vraja?
Anand - Sun, 04 Dec 2005 18:07:17 +0530
QUOTE
That's what makes him so fantastic.


Precisely. We relate to the lila as something fantastic, out of the ordinary. And we do so because we are told, by books and by acaryas, that this is the reaction to have.

While in this world, under the influence of material time and space, there is a tendency of us seeing these things as symbolic of events and states of consciousness we experience here. Thus, my impression is that for people in this world, in present times, a Krishna whose fantastic feat is to collect thousands of wives is more of an embarassment than a hero. So the lila becomes removed in that way, as the tendency of treating it as myth only increases. But the aspect of the lila which is closer to the heart will become real. Krishna in Dvaraka is passť, while His surrendering to Srimati Radharani out of extreme attraction for Her qualities speaks closer to the ideal of humans' need. This need is for transcending the temporary and becoming established in eternal love.

Thus Krishna, transformed by love, descends as Caitanya Mahaprabhu and gives us our opportunity. The times call for Manjari Bhava!

(Speaking of embarassment, I wouldn't start comparing Rama against Krishna...)
Madanmohan das - Sun, 04 Dec 2005 20:55:50 +0530
Wow! You covered alot of ground there. It's not merely because we're expected in some way to be wondersruck, some actually are so, and indeed in the theory of relishing rasa, wonderment is one of it's defining characteristics. 16,000 may have some numerical symbolism, but to me it simply implies that unlimited jivas can commune with Krsna or any Bhagavat svarupa severally and simultaneously. It is even more so in the Vraja Lila where Krsna is said to court with millions or may be billions of cowherd damsels.

You yourself Anandaji, proposed to compare the svarupas of Rama and Krsna by suggesting that Rama's love was something less than it is. Which by reflex I took exception to; appolgies. smile.gif
Anand - Sun, 04 Dec 2005 21:39:22 +0530
Actually, the comparison started with someone else bringing in Ramachandra as a solution to the need for a loyal Krishna. I simply tried to indicate that such an attempt does not apply. Rama remains Rama. We are concerned with Krishna.

Obviously I am not enough acquainted with Lord Ramacandra's love. But I do understand that His primary concern was with duty. Hence I said His love was for duty first, then for Sita. And as proof I offered the fact that He left Sita to comply with duty.

As far as krishna's lila, it is said that the unlimited number of gopis He courts are in fact expansions of Srimati Radharani. So Krishna is in reality absolutely dependent on Her. This is best understood from the experience of manjarihood.

Wonderment does not necessarily mean awe but can in fact come from extreme identification. Please note that those directly interacting with Krishna do experience rasa while not aware of His simoultaneous exchanges with millions, trillions. In fact, they experience rasa by being unaware of such thing. So what do they experience, and what does that mean to us? We are told we are to aspire to the experience of the ragatmikas. Does being raganugas make us forever play-watchers?
Madanmohan das - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 01:50:29 +0530
To participate in the play by emulating the ragatmikas was, I thought, the aim.
But really I shy away from that in public debate. These subjects might have been gone through on earlier threads.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was given to understand that in Ayodhya situated beyond the cosmic sphere, Sita and Rama remain always united in happy union. And there separation was a particular characteristic of the earthly manifest past times. To say that proof was offered in judgement of Rama's love by reference to their separation is a bit hasty.
Some of what you say there is a bit incoherant, such as the awareness of wonderment in the ragatmikas. Wonder or camatkAra was not suggested as awe, but rather an ever novel fascination and astonishment, and that is very much what I would expect the eternal associates experience, beyond my present comprenhsion obviously. The fact as you say, that all the cowherd damsels are expansions of Sri Radha is no less a wonder, than Krsna expanding himself in as many forms.

Attrocious spelling I know. blush.gif

PS In Krsna's loyal aspect he is called Dhiralalita-Anukula in ujjvala Nilamani.
Anand - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 05:23:34 +0530
I am surrounded by teenager girls most of the time, my daughters, their friends, and not only these but, from women in general, I have observed that they do laugh at Krishna more than sight for His rescuing them and marrying them so they will not be forced to arranged marriages or disgraced because of being touched, etc. Also men of all ages may perceive this particular lila in the same way. What I am saying with this is that within conditions on earth, Krishna's feats will cause wonderment according to place and circumstance. In modern times certain aspects of the lila we hear are going to be seen as symbolic at best. And simply dismissing this reaction from conditioned souls seems to me, in itself, a symptom of imature understanding of the lila.
vijayalakshmi - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 18:38:40 +0530
Rama's love for dharma was born from His love of humankind. He married society (the citizens of Ayodhya who love Him) first. One can only imagine His pain in Ayodhya all alone, after His devotion to His people (for the sake of their moral upliftment, He thinks) has forced Him to do the one thing He would NEVER do, which is to give up His Seeta. Also worth noting, one can laugh at Krishna for any of His leelas, but still the Leela is not degraded in the slightest.
Anand - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 18:53:43 +0530
Yes so, thats Rama. But Krishna is not about society and morality. If anything related, ultimately He is about subverting those two.

There really is no need to state that the lila would be ever degraded. It is what it is, and even if billions of us do not perceive it in its full glory, for as long as any of us can imagine, regardless of such, one thing the lila will never be is degraded. So that is a given. The point raised is another: since we are degraded, what aspect of the lila can best be served within our condition? If the lila comes here to uplift us, but the mission fails, then what is the meaning of it coming at all? The lila has to touch us in a meaningful way. Presenting it as a purely literal narrative may, in certain levels, work against its purpose.
vijayalakshmi - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 20:11:14 +0530
I don't know, in Krishna leela it seems to me the "literal narrative" way is one with the symbolic in at least some cases.

QUOTE
Thus, my impression is that for people in this world, in present times, a Krishna whose fantastic feat is to collect thousands of wives is more of an embarassment than a hero.


QUOTE
His surrendering to Srimati Radharani out of extreme attraction for Her qualities speaks closer to the ideal of humans' need. This need is for transcending the temporary and becoming established in eternal love.


If we can gauge these things by whether the symbolism is helpful or not in our present condition, then it is alright to say Krishna's marrying 16,000 girls is of devotional significance, pointing to the same ideal of eternal love you glorify in your second quote.
Anand - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 20:21:52 +0530
Yes it is true as far as the ideal. But if the ideal is, well, the goal, then we are the ones to decide whether we like 1 better than 16,000. So numbers suddenly become very, humm, significant.
Anand - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 20:27:05 +0530
QUOTE
Do not arouse or awaken Love until it so desires.


author, please? smile.gif
Gaurasundara - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 20:55:30 +0530
As I said in the original post, the burden of proof is on the symbolism-advocates to show exactly how symbolic parts of Krishna-lila are and what exactly is symbolic, not to mention it's relation with the rest of the lila in a wider narrative.

For example, the critics mentioned (who are followers of a certain guru) allege that the 16,000 gopis (!) are representative of the 16,000 petals of the sahasrara-chakra in the brain, and that the whole story is a way of introducing Kundalini mysticism.

This is wrong because, even in Kundalini mysticism, the sahasrara-chakra is supposed to be a thousand-petalled lotus, not a 16,000-petalled one. Where they got this idea from, no one knows. Thus the "symbol" here is a false one.

Not to mention the later descriptions of the wives; How Krishna separately associated with all of them and how this was all witnessed by Devarsi Narada. What is the significance of Narada in Kundalini mysticism, etc. I personally don't see any issue with the idea of the lila's meaningfulness; the whole lila is to show how great Krishna was and how He exercised His magnificent powers to do 16,108 things at once with every wife and relatives thereof.

Although it is one thing to discuss how meaningful the lila is in the lives of us sadhakas, it is quite another for people to ascribe some metaphorical significance that makes little sense.
vijayalakshmi - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 21:01:47 +0530
QUOTE
Yes it is true as far as the ideal. But if the ideal is, well, the goal, then we are the ones to decide whether we like 1 better than 16,000. So numbers suddenly become very, humm, significant.


I think it has more to do with our sense of identification. In the Dvaraka leela I see only ONE because we (the jivas) are the many (16,000). I can see that the ONE you see is the goddess. smile.gif

QUOTE
author, please?


I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
Like a lily among thorns am I among the maidens.
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my Lover among the young men. I delight to sit in His shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.
Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.
His left arm is under my head, and His right arm embraces me.
Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.


(From Song of Songs)
Anand - Mon, 05 Dec 2005 21:07:58 +0530
QUOTE
Although it is one thing to discuss how meaningful the lila is in the lives of us sadhakas, it is quite another for people to ascribe some metaphorical significance that makes little sense.


Agreed.
Gaurasundara - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 08:00:48 +0530
QUOTE(Kulapavana @ Dec 1 2005, 06:56 PM)
where were these girls to go after being rescued? who would have married them in those days? they had absolutely no other shelter then Krishna... and they knew it very well too... their surrender was complete, and their love was real... what girl could resist her savior, especially one so handsome as Krishna? so Krishna was also captivated by their love...

Thanks! biggrin.gif

Actually there are a few more references to this lila later on which, most surprisingly, explains how Krishna's actions are perfectly in tune with dharma:

"Krishna enjoyed Himself as the sole beloved of 16,000 wives. He
assumed as many different forms as there were mansions for these women."
(SB 10.90.5)

And then:

"The queens lovingly ministered to the guru of the world in such ways as massaging His feet and other such devotional acts, keeping in mind that He was their husband. How can one describe the penance [they must have performed in previous lives]? Thus, Krishna, the goal of the righteous, by following the strictest standards of dharma as expressed in the Veda, continually demonstrated that the household is the place for pursuing dharma, artha and kama. While following the strictest dharma for householders, Krishna had 16,100 queens." - SB 10.90.27-29

I think that this is connected with SB 10.69.41 somehow, where it is related how Krishna was actually one in tattva:

Sri Suka said: "Narada saw Krishna Himself, as one person, performing
the righteous and purifying householder dharmas in all the houses."
(SB 10.69.41)

I'm confused about this point of tattva; What is the meaning of the above verse describing Krishna as one person when several other verses state how He expanded into 16,000 or so forms to associate with all of the wives? What is the Gaudiya siddhanta on this point? Can we say it was all one Krishna expanding into 16,000 forms, or are they 16,000 or so different Krishnas as evidenced to Narada, even if that was a display of yogamaya?

As for associating with the wives, what exactly did Krishna do?

"Thus, following the ways of humans, Narayana manifested
his sakti powers for the liberation of everyone. He enjoyed
Himself with 16,000 of their choicest women, O dear king, delighting
in their laughter, their glances, their affection and their shyness."
(SB 10.69.44)

but,

"Sixteen thousand wives were unable to distract His senses in any way. Sending arrows of love in seductive charms through the curves of their enchanting eyebrows, their love was discreetly revealed through glances and smiles. The honeyed streams of Your stories, and the rivers produced from washing Your feet, are both able to destroy the impurities of the three worlds. Those who live a pure life contact those two holy bodies of water produced from Your feet, by hearing with their ears, and by immersion of their bodies." - SB 11.6.18-19

wub.gif cool.gif wub.gif
Madanmohan das - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 14:30:13 +0530
Here is another reference from Sri Uddhava to Maitreya;

AsAM muhurta ekasminnAnAgAreSu yoSitAm/
savidhaM jagRhe pANInanurUpah svamAyayA//


Though they were all living in various apartments,
he held the hands of all of them in wedlock simultaneously,
taking forms suited to each by the power of his svamAyA.


Bhag 3/3/8

If people have a problem with Krsna for such undertakings then perhaps that is why there is caution that certain people should not hear all these things, because of some canker in the mind they take exception to Krsna Lila or at best try to rationalise it by symbolism. Someone who rejoices at the thought of Krsna doing these deeds is his votery, some one who feels otherwise is other than that.

PS. I was going to delete the above paragraph when I saw how audacious and arrogant it sounded, but as board are not in favour of the practise, I leave it there, but kind of withdraw it, and appologize for it, if anyone takes offence. blush.gif
Anand - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 19:44:23 +0530
QUOTE
If people have a problem with Krsna for such undertakings then perhaps that is why there is caution that non-devotees should not hear all these things, because of some canker in the mind they take exception to Krsna Lila or at best try to rationalise it by symbolism. Someone who gets joy at the thought of Krsna doing these deeds is his votery, some one who feels otherwise is other than that.

PS. I was going to delete the above paragraph when I saw how audacious and arrogant it sounded, but as board are not in favour of the practise, I leave it there, but kind of withdraw it, and appologize for it, if anyone takes offence.


I am so glad to see this post scriptum added instead of that paragraph deleted. This made my day already so early in the morning!

What this means to me is that, not matter how glorious Krishna lila my be, I cannot see that glory, but the devotee, ah, the devotee is always going to come around humble, brave, surrendered and given. In short, glorious! Hurray for Madanmohan dasji!
Madanmohan das - Sun, 11 Dec 2005 20:25:15 +0530
Here's a nice sloka just came accross. The regal tusker Gajendra's hymn of praise.

ekAntino yasya na kincanrthaM vAncchanti ye vai bhagavatprapannAh/
atyadbhutaM taccaritaM sumangalaM gAyanta AnandasamudramagnAh//


I sing the praise of him, whose passing wondrous and hallowed deeds
his surrendered devotees celebrate in song with singular intent,
immersing themselves in the boundless ocean of bliss,
to the exclusion of every other fulfilment( including moksa)
.

Bhag. 8/3/20
Gaurasundara - Mon, 12 Dec 2005 07:12:48 +0530
QUOTE(Madanmohan das @ Dec 11 2005, 09:00 AM)
If people have a problem with Krsna for such undertakings then perhaps that is why there is caution that certain people should not hear all these things, because of some canker in the mind they take exception to Krsna Lila or at best try to rationalise it by symbolism. Someone who rejoices at the thought of Krsna doing these deeds is his votery, some one who feels otherwise is other than that.

Due to the reading I've been doing into this, there's no denying that this is one of the "big deals" of Krishna's prakat-lila, considering the number of times it has been mentioned. First there were the actual marriages themselves, then Narada becomes puzzled by it's possibility, and then we hear of the demigods' praising of Krishna for not being distracted easily, and even emphasizing Krishna's due adherence to dharma. And then the quote from Skanda 3 that you've just posted. A lot of mentions indeed about this particular lila. Excellent! smile.gif

I'm still a little confused about the point of tattva, any takers on that? I've got the feeling that it is connected somehow with the lila where Krishna bewildered Brahma when the latter kidnapped the gopas and the cows. We've all heard a lot about how when Krishna manifested Himself as "replacement" gopas and the like, they were independent manifestations [Vishnus] in their own right. I'm trying to track this idea down in shastra now.
Madanmohan das - Tue, 13 Dec 2005 00:25:51 +0530
Caitanya Caritamrta

"When one divine svarupa has many forms, among the forms there is no division, for there is only one true form; as it was when, at the wedding of the mahisis (queens), and when he performed the Rasa lila; this is called the chief prakasa of Krsna."

CC Adi 1

Then Kaviraja Goswami quotes the Bhagavat 10/69/2 and 10/33/3, followed by a citation from Sri Rupa's Laghu Bhagavatamrtam, which I'll reproduce here, all from the Harvard edition.

"The manifestations of one single body in many places at one time,
identical in all characteristics with the original form, that is called prakAza."
Gaurasundara - Tue, 13 Dec 2005 05:40:03 +0530
Great, thanks a lot! biggrin.gif
vijayalakshmi - Wed, 14 Dec 2005 03:23:17 +0530
QUOTE
"When one divine nature has many forms, among the forms there is no division, for there is only one true form; as it was when, at the wedding of the mahisis (queens), and when he performed the Rasa lila; this is called the chief prakasa of Krsna."


Thanks! That's one to save in my notes.
Madanmohan das - Wed, 14 Dec 2005 23:33:07 +0530
anekatra prakaTatA rUpasyaikasya yaikadA/
sarvathA tatsvarUpaiva sa prakAza itIryate//


Here's the original from Laghu Bhag. 1/21 also quoted a few times in CC initially in Adi 1.

Actually you might have meant the the Bengali lines, so here you are;

ekai vigraha yadi haya bahurUpa/
AkAre ta' bheda nAhi, ekai svarUpa//
mahiSI-vivAhe, yaiche yaiche kaila rAsa/
ihAke kahiye kRSNera mukhya prakAza//
CC Adi 1
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Kulapavana - Thu, 15 Dec 2005 20:47:12 +0530
QUOTE(Gaurasundara @ Dec 10 2005, 10:30 PM)
I think that this is connected with SB 10.69.41 somehow, where it is related how Krishna was actually one in tattva:

Sri Suka said: "Narada saw Krishna Himself, as one person, performing
the righteous and purifying householder dharmas in all the houses."
(SB 10.69.41)

I'm confused about this point of tattva; What is the meaning of the above verse describing Krishna as one person when several other verses state how He expanded into 16,000 or so forms to associate with all of the wives? What is the Gaudiya siddhanta on this point? Can we say it was all one Krishna expanding into 16,000 forms, or are they 16,000 or so different Krishnas as evidenced to Narada, even if that was a display of yogamaya?


the way I understand this "one-ness" of Krishna here is that in a sense, it was ALL part of essentially one pastime, and His personality had one single flavor with all these 16,000 wives... but that is just my speculation laugh.gif
Madanmohan das - Sat, 17 Dec 2005 01:46:09 +0530
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Madanmohan das - Tue, 27 Dec 2005 21:48:14 +0530
Here's a nice referance to Krsna's vadanyata or charitable disposition.

yeSAM SoDaza-pUritA dazazatI svAntah pUrANAM tathA
cASTazliSTazataM vibhAti paritastatsaMkhyapatniyujAm/
ekaikaM prati teSu tarNakabhRtAM bhUSAjuSAmanvaha
gRSTInAM yugapacca baddhamadadAdyastasya vA kah samah//


Who can equal him who every day places a young ornamented cow
with a new-born calf, severally and simultaneously in each of the
sixteen thousand, one hundred and eight inner couryards of the
palaces that belong to his sixteen thousand, one hundred and eight consorts.


Bh R S 2/1/125
From Haberman's translation, edited slightly.