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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.

Earthly and Celestial Vrindavana - The difference between the two

Madhava - Thu, 02 Jan 2003 12:07:13 +0530
A friend inquired about the difference about the earthly Vrindavana and the celestial Vrindavana. I am duplicating my reply below.

The earthly Vrindavan (prakata-lila, or "manifest pastimes") is practically a replica of the celestial Vrindavan (aprakata-lila, or "unmanifest pastimes") which descends to this earth along with Sri Krishna and His associates. However, it is understood that there are some minute differences there.

1. In the prakata-lila, Sri Krishna takes birth and grows, whereas in the aprakata-lila, Sri Krishna is an eternal youngster (kishora).

2. In the aprakata-lila, Sri Krishna is personally ever-present in Vraja, whereas in the prakata-lila, He leaves Vraja to Mathura and later on to Dvaraka, leaving the residents of Vraja living in great anguish. Of course in the ultimate Sri Krishna never leaves Vraja either in the prakata-lila or in the aprakata-lila, but this would merit a whole other discussion.

3. In the prakata-lila, there are demons present whom Sri Krishna kills. This is not present in the aprakata-lila. In fact, it is said that Sri Krishna does not personally kill the demons. When He descends to this world, all the other avataras merge into His being, and the task of killing the demons is performed by Vishnu who is present in the being of Sri Krishna, as the duty of re-establishing religion, protecting the saints and annihilating the miscreants is the task of Vishnu, while Sri Krishna has no other task than to enjoy life.

4. In the prakata-lila, many different categories of people who participate in the lila. There are the eternally liberated (nitya-siddha) associates, there are those devotees who became perfected in this world (sadhana-siddha), and there are also "outsiders", such as the devas who witness the sports of Sri Krishna from their celestial airplanes, as well as a host of others who may on occasion meet Sri Krishna.

It would be interesting if someone outlined the differences in bhava which appear in the prakata-lila and in the aprakata-lila.

For example, in prakata-lila, the heroine may end up in a condition called prosita-bhartrikA, the state of being overcome by grief after Sri Krishna has left for Mathura. Rupa explains prosita-bhartrika as follows (Ujjvala Nilamani, 5.89):

atha proSita-bhartRkA—
dUra-dezaM gate kAnte bhavet proSita-bhartRkA |
priya-saMkIrtanaM dainyam asyAs tAnava-jAgarau |
mAlinyam anavasthAnaM jADya-cintAdayo matAH ||89||

vilAsI svacchandaM vasati mathurAyAM madhu-ripu-
vasantaH santApaM prathayati samantAd anupadam |
durAzeyaM vairiNy ahaha mad-abhISTodyama-vidhau
vidhatte pratyUhaM kim iha bhavitA hanta zaraNam ||90||

Then prosita-bhartrika:

She whose lover has traveled to a distant country is known as prosita-bhartrika (one whose lover is abroad). She sings of the glory of the lover who is absent, feeling wretched and meager, unable to sleep. She is afflicted, unsteady, lethargic and so forth in her mind.

An example:

“Madhu-ripu (Sri Krishna) is now enjoying in Mathura as He pleases. This spring-time makes me mortified at each step of its arrival. Alas! My enemy, the vain hope I have, prevents me from fulfilling the desire to kill myself. Where can I find shelter from this enemy?”

I would not expect to find this in aprakata-lila.

Also, though the meetings of Sri Radha and Sri Krishna are ever-new and the experience of love is ever-fresh, nevertheless the experience of purva-raga (affection prior to meeting) is present in an unique way in the prakata-lila.

Any further insights?
Gaurasundara - Fri, 03 Jan 2003 04:13:55 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Jan 2 2003, 06:37 AM)
An example:

“Madhu-ripu (Sri Krishna) is now enjoying in Mathura as He pleases. This spring-time makes me mortified at each step of its arrival. Alas! My enemy, the vain hope I have, prevents me from fulfilling the desire to kill myself. Where can I find shelter from this enemy?”[/color]

I would not expect to find this in aprakata-lila.

The example seems to exhibit a clear case of vipralambha-bhava, if nothing else?

Is it not possible that the lilas of Radha-Krishna would include vipralambha-bhava on the aprakata plane? Is it not possible that Krishna may hide behind trees or something, thus increasing the love of Radha or the Gopis?

After all, pastimes on the prakata plane would clearly mirror those on the aprakata plane? unsure.gif
Madhava - Fri, 03 Jan 2003 12:59:06 +0530
Vipralambha is certainly there in the aprakata-lila. Let us examine vipralambha now. In his Ujjvala Nilamani (sringara-bheda-prakaranam), Rupa Gosvami divides vipralambha into four categories:

pUrva-rAgas tathA mAnaH prema-vaicittyam ity api |
pravAsaz ceti kathito vipralambhaz catur-vidhaH ||4||

"Purva-raga (affection prior to meeting), mana (anger), prema-vaicittya (mental confusion arising from prema) and pravasa (staying apart), these are said to be the four kinds of vipralambha."

Purva-raga is the state of longing and eagerness in which the meeting of Radha and Krishna has not yet taken place. It is incited by seeing Krishna, by seeing a picture of Him, by dreaming of Him, by hearing of Him and so forth.

Mana is the situation in which Sri Radha is angry, and the jealous anger is a cause of separation. Mana is both due to a cause and without a cause, and is pacified in various ways.

Prema-vaicittya is that astonishing wave of love which bewilders the mind to think of oneself being separated from the beloved even in His proximity, or in which one becomes overly concerned about separation in the future.

Pravasa is the feeling of separation which takes place after the lovers become separated after the relationship is established and the meeting has taken place. This is again divided into two, namely adura (separation by short distance) and sudura (separation by great distance). Adura-pravasa is the daily separation which takes place in the course of the nitya-lila, sudura-pravasa is the separation which is felt when the beloved travels to a distant place such as Mathura. Sudura-pravasa is again experienced according to the three phases of time, namely past, present and future, as one may hear before hand that the lover is departing for a journey, one may hear that He is right now departing, or one may lament for His having already departed.

The separation called sudura-pravasa corresponds to the feeling of the nayika who is called prosita-bhartrika. Vivid examples of all three phases of sudura-pravasa are found in the 39th chapter of the tenth canto of the Bhagavata when Akrura arrives to Vrindavana, and examples of prolonged sudura-pravasa are found in chapters 46 and 47, when Uddhava visits the grief-strucken residents of Vrindavana and when Srimati in Her delusion of separation speaks to the bumblebee.

However, though there is no departure to Mathura in the aprakata-lila, on account of their anuraga, the gopis may sometimes experience all the three phases of sudura-pravasa. This anuraga is also the cause of the experience of purva-raga prior to meeting in the nitya-lila. Anuraga is that aspect of prema which makes the experience of love ever-fresh, making Srimati feel that She never has seen Krishna before although just the night before they had enjoyed their romantic affairs for hours on end.

Although purva-raga and sudura-pravasa take on a somewhat different appearance in the aprakata-lila, the bhava is present there.

Though there are no demons there, there may be a rumor going around the village about a demon's arrival which causes unprecedented concern in Yashoda Maiya, and although Sri Krishna is eternally in the age of kaisora (youngster), the fond memory of His earlier years is present in the minds of the Vraja-vasis.

Thus there is no lack of feeling in the aprakata-lila, though the external appearance is in some respects different from the prakata-lila.
Radhapada - Sat, 04 Jan 2003 17:47:32 +0530
Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti in his commentary on the Brahma Stava verse:

prapancam nispranco api viramayasi bhutale...

has mentioned that the Lord’s display of His transcendental pastimes in the material world is more sweeter than those of the original spiritual abode. Just as a piece of diamond does not look as beautiful in a white glass pot as it would in a blue or yellow colored pot. Similarly, the Lord’s lila (transcendental divine pastimes) is not fully exhibited in all its glamour and sweetness in the original spiritual abode, as it is when exhibited in the material world. The dhama in the material world is full of divine consciousness; moreover, because it is manifest on the earth, the divine sweetness of God’s pastimes in His human incarnation are most relishable here. (Ananta Das Pandit, The Glory and Heritage of Sri Radha Kunda)