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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.

Copied Or Conflicting Commentaries - Do they leave room for development?

Madhava - Tue, 25 May 2004 17:49:14 +0530
QUOTE(Jagat @ May 25 2004, 09:06 AM)
And I am saying that Baladeva and Vishwanath have parroted Sridhar, indicating that they did not give it much thought. So why suddenly our bona fides are judged on whether we accept this as the only possible interpretation or not?

This brings up two interesting questions:

1. The one at hand, how do we relate to gauDIya-commentaries which basically just more or less repeat word to word an earlier commentary, such as the TIkA of Sridhar, or even of Madhusudana, who was an advaitavAdI?

2. How do we relate to passages where our own commentators give conflicting interpretations?

The base question being, are all TIkAs the final word, or do they leave room for further development?
Jagat - Wed, 26 May 2004 18:21:05 +0530
Bhagavatam 10.33.26. Atmany avaruddha-sauratAH.

1. BBT version (a) word-by-word: ātmani within Himself; avaruddha reserved; saurataḥ conjugal feelings;

(b) translation: "the Lord was not internally affected by any mundane sex desire"

2. Sridhar to 10.33.26--Atmany evAvaruddhaH saurataz carama-dhAtur na tu skhalito yasyeti kAma-jayoktiH "Saurata refers to the 'ultimate element' or semen. 'Holding it within himself' means that he did not spill his semen. This is the proof that he had conquered over sexual desire."

3. Vamsidhara (19th century) explains Sridhar as follows: "The word carama-dhAtu is used to mean semen, because in the list given by the Ayurveda author Sarngadhara, it is the last of the seven dhAtus (rasAsRG-mAMsa-medosthi-majjA-zukrANi dhAtavaH (1.5.11)). This indicates a sequence in their production, and therefore semen is the ultimate element found in the body. This is stated in the Sarngadhara-Samhita (1.5.12)--

rasAd raktaM tato mAMsaM mAMsAn medaH prajAyate |
medaso'sthi tato majjA tasmAc chukrasya sambhavaH ||

One who engages in sexual acts but retains the semen is said to have conquered over desire. This is also stated in the Samhita [not found in Sarngadhara]--

strI-saGge'pi na patitaM reto yasya parecchayA |
sa dhanyaH puruSo loke kAma-jetA sa kathyate ||

There are certain problems raised by this interpretation. Nevertheless, it presents an interesting viewpoint.
Advaitadas - Wed, 26 May 2004 18:39:57 +0530
Yes it does because one hears from yogis and brahmacaris that sperm contains the essence of all vital ingredients of the body. Could that be connected with these quotes?
Jagat - Wed, 26 May 2004 19:33:33 +0530
I should really have put my post in the 7.11 thread. The background here is that this is the last verse of the Rasa lila before we get Parikshit's question about Krishna's morality and Shukadeva's answer to it.

Sridhar starts his commentary to the Rasa lila with this famous verse

brahmAdi-jaya-saMrUDha-darpa-kandarpa-darpahA |
jayati zrI-patir gopI-rAsa-maNDala-maNDanaH ||
Though Cupid had become very proud through his ability to conquer even gods like Brahma, the Lord of Sri destroyed his pride when he adorned the gopis' circle dance. May he be ever victorious!
So this verse, which Sridhar also cites in his tika to 10.29.1, proves the fundamental theme of the Rasa lila, which is that it is "nivRtti-parA." But nivRtti-parA in what sense? This interpretation to 10.33.26 raises questions about that.

But the other big question is centered around the concept of Krishna's body. As in 10.33.37: mAnuSaM deham AsthitaH. It seems as though for Sridhar, there is the possibility of Krishna's spilling semen--and evidently he did so in his life as a householder, fathering over 160,000 sons and 16,000 daughters. (Even more astounding if you consider Manu's advice about odd and even days).

The problems about the spiritualization of the Vaishnava's body enter here, as well as the possibility that the external sex act could possibly be legitimate (i.e., "without Kama"), even in such a spiritualized body.

Now the next question is: Do the Goswamis accept or reject this interpretation? And why? And what is the implication for the entire concept of body/soul duality?