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.
Birth and death in the eternal lila? - Is death necessary even in Goloka?
Guest - Wed, 29 Jan 2003 17:37:01 +0530
I have puzzled over a topic that I hope one of the kind souls here can help me understand...
In the eternal Vraja-lila, Radha and Krishna, and their associates, engage in a sweet cowherd lila. They eat and drink, and live in homes.
But can there be eating without birth and death? If there are grains and vegetables in Goloka Vrndavana, then aren't those foodstuffs being born, then being killed for eating pleasure in the lila? There may be no demons killed in Vrndavana, but doesn't it appear that in order for Krishna to have lunch with his friends, somebody had to kill some plants? For that matter, if there are any tools or implements made of wood, a tree had to die.
It is said that in Goloka Vrndavana, in the madhurya-lila pastimes, Krishna doesn't kill the demons, because killing would be incompatible with the mood of the pastimes. And there isn't supposed to be birth and death. So how are we to understand the presence of foodstuffs, and of wooden items, in the eternal lila? To what extent are jivas born and killed in the eternal lila?
Mina - Thu, 30 Jan 2003 00:37:16 +0530
Why do you assume that there is some sort of violence or death in the eternal lilas? If some eternal entity is performing his/her pasttime of being eaten by someone else, that does not necessarily entail our conception of what constitutes nourishment in this world. You need to understand that the nature of Goloka/Gokula is inconceivable in the first place and that an attempt to really understand what goes on their without directly experiencing it in one's siddha-deha is going to be futile.
I hope this helps. Perhaps someone (Jagat, Madhavananda?) has some textual references that discuss this topic.
Madhava - Thu, 30 Jan 2003 10:48:45 +0530
The soil, vegetation and so forth of Vrindavan consists of the ever-existing sandhini-sakti of the Lord. It adapts various forms to serve the Vraja-lila.
Certainly there must be appearance and disappearance of forms there. Can you imagine a springtime forest without new buds on the branches of the trees? It is not static. However, whatever exists in this realm is imbued with ananda. There is no anxiety as it appears in this world. Transformation is permitted in serving the lila, the nature may adopt ever-new forms.
We cannot seek a spiritual perfection which is assumed to be just a negative of this world. Only non-existence would conform to such an ideal.
Madhava - Fri, 07 Feb 2003 04:07:49 +0530
To understand this, pray and think of Baladeva. He is Baladeva, He is Nityananda. He is Ananga Manjari, the younger sister of Radharani. He is Mula-Sankarshana, He is Maha-Vishnu, He is Paramatma, He is Sesa-naga. In this way there is co-existence of eternal manifestations, and some of His manifestations become manifest at a certain time and unmanifest at another time. When the cosmos is withdrawn, Paramatma and Sesa return to the being of Maha-Vishnu. In one universe, Baladeva is manifest in Vraja-lila, in the second He is in Dvaraka, and yet in another universe He cannot be seen as the time for Vraja-pastimes has not arrived.
In the same way, the nature of Vraja may transform, aspects of it becoming manifest at one time and disappearing at another time only to appear again when it suits the nectarine flow of lila. The sandhini-shakti, predominated by Baladeva, manifest in different forms at different times to serve the Vraja-pastimes. Should we call this Vraja-samsara?
Madhava - Fri, 07 Feb 2003 04:18:10 +0530
Next we should examine whether God, being omniscient, can create a stone so heavy that He is unable to lift it. Then we should examine the different ways in which this can be understood in regards to God in Vaikuntha, Dvaraka and Vraja. Any volunteers?
This is probably the last post for the time being. I will log in now and then from Braj, but probably will not be answering many posts real time. Forgive me in advance any delays in my correspondence during my stay there. As if it could get any worse.
Prisni - Fri, 07 Feb 2003 15:14:01 +0530
An interesting question.
Actually, in this world no one dies either. The dying is just an illusion, just as an actor dies on a stage. Do actors avoid roles in which they die? No, because they know it is just a play, not real, and that they continue to live even if they had made a dying act.
In one way, even this existence is spiritual existence. This because there are spirit souls everywhere and interacting in the only way a spirit soul can. By relationship with other spirit souls, and the supreme energies. But we are covered over with illusion, so we don't see that. We don't know our real identity, but have instead gotten a false identity. We are identifying with the act on stage, and have forgotten that we actually are actors.
In the spiritual world there is no illusion. So no one have the illusion of birth, disease, pain and suffering and death. Everyone and everything is eternal.
I am not sure what quality the eatables have in the spiritual existence. If they are of the sandhini potency, we eat the supreme. But that is not a killing eating, instead it is a loving relationship. Like a child is eating the milk of a mother. The mother don't mind. She does not become less, or die because she gives milk to the child. It is a loving exchange. It increases the love of both the mother and child, when the child is thus eating the mother.
So if we are "eating" the supreme energy, it is a loving exchange like that. It is satisfying for both the supreme and us.
There is no death, there is no diminishing, there is no illusion, there are only loving exchanges, in the spiritual existence.
The goloka existence is not static, it is highly dynamic. Foodstuffs does not grow like they appear to grow here. By birth and death. If and apple grows, and falls down from a tree, it is still as alive and as full of spritual energy as every. There is no need for death. There is no death. If you want to experience birth and death, you have to come to the material world, where you are presented with the illusion of birth and death. This since there is actually no birth and death. This world is the theatre where we can experience birth, death, hatred, war, and other things like that. We come here because we want to experience those things. And we go from there when we are tired of them. If you think it sounds boring that there is no birth and death -- welcome to this world where everything has an beginning and an end.
Kishalaya - Sat, 15 Mar 2003 00:26:14 +0530
QUOTE(Madhava @ Feb 7 2003, 04:18 AM)
Next we should examine whether God, being omniscient, can create a stone so heavy that He is unable to lift it.
The only way to understand is this. God can create all things that can be created. A rock so heavy that He
can *never* lift it does not have the potency to exist, i.e. cannot be created. Therefore, there is nothing
like -- the ability to create a rock so heavy that God can *never* lift it.
in other words,
1. God can lift anything can can exist.
2. God does not lack the ability to create a rock that He cannot lift because there is no such ability. To lack
a quality, the quality has to exist. Non existent qualities cannot be used to define God.
For example - Does God lack the ability to kill the red dragon on the other side of the moon. No because
there is no such ability. Why. To kill the red dragon on the other side of the moon, it has to exist in the
In a similar vein, omnipotence of God cannot be challenged by taking recourse to abilities like:
1. ability to make 2+2=5
2. ability to make square triangles
There are other things which try to attack like "God being omniscient, does He know the limit to His
opulences?". The answer is The limit to His opulences does not exist, as such there is no question of knowing
it. God knows all that can be known. Again non-existing things cannot be known.
Please note, that positing things that can exist as well as not exist is an absurdity, and is *not* the
siddhanth of "achintya". Absurdity is something that logic by its own power can deny. "Achintya" is something
which cannot be explained by logic or mundane experience, but which cannot be denied by logic, by its
own power. Achintya deals only with entities that exist. Absurdity is *solely* concerned with entities which
have power to both exist and not exist simultaneously.
An example to absurdity is the concept of "anirvachaniya-khyati". The concept of mayavada that maya is a
potency that both exists as well as does not exist simultaneously.
Kishalaya - Sat, 15 Mar 2003 00:36:47 +0530
QUOTE(Guest @ Jan 29 2003, 05:37 PM)
If there are grains and vegetables in Goloka Vrndavana, then aren't those foodstuffs being born, then being killed for eating pleasure in the lila? There may be no demons killed in Vrndavana, but doesn't it appear that in order for Krishna to have lunch with his friends, somebody had to kill some plants? For that matter, if there are any tools or implements made of wood, a tree had to die.
One elevated bhakta told me, that in the spiritual world, eating or making tools do not imply killing. When
everybody eats a plant or fruit or foodstuff, it is pleasure for both the eater and the eaten. For making tools,
the tree will find pleasure in giving wood and the wood will be happy to be made a tool. Goloka is
chintamani dhama. Everything is living and conscious.