Found in Sanga, Sanga 2000.

Q. Re: the recent Q & A about Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi. I agree that in the Gita Parthasarathi is directing us to the service of Radharani. But still Parthasarathi is not Syamasundara. And we know that when Srimati Radharani saw Dvarakadhisa Krishna in Kuruksetra, she wanted to take him to Vrindavana because she could not enjoy with him in that situation. So how can Srimati Radharani enjoy with Parthasarathi Krishna on the altar?

A. She can only stand next to him and call him back to Vrindavana, strip him of his aisvarya, and penetrate his heart. She did this at Kurukshetra. She brought the flute player out from beneath his princely attire and exposed his heart, causing him to confess that his heart was only hers. Serving her necessity at this time will bring much remuneration.

Is this perhaps what Srila Prabhupada was thinking when he named his Deities in New Delhi Radha-Parthasarathi?

Q. In the last Sanga you wrote, “Gadadhara represents that which is left of Radha after Krishna steals her bhava… All of this indicates the condition of Gadadhara. He is empty. What remains in him is the bhava of Rukmini, who is Radha’s expansion in Dvaraka.” In Caitanya-caritamrta Anubhasya by Sarasvati Thakura, it is mentioned that the separation of Gaura-Gadadhara is considered even more important than the separation of Radha and Krishna because Radha-Krishna-lila is vivarta-vilasa, and Gaura Gadadhara lila is vyaittra-vilasa. But I am not familiar with this concept of Gadadhara’s bhava, etc. Could you elaborate?

A. Caitanya-caritamrta compares Jagadananda and Gadadhara Pandita to Satyabhama and Rukmini respectively. This description is one of vama (left wing) and daksina (right wing) nayikas. Kaviraja Goswami says,

gadadhara-panditera suddha gadha bhava
rukmini-devira yaiche daksina-svabhava

“Gadadhara Pandita’s pure love was very deep. It was of a submissive nature like that of Rukmini.” Here the words daksina svabhava mean a submissive heroine. Radha is in vama svabhava, the bhava of a dominant heroine. These terms are drawn from the rasa-sastra of Bharata, Visvanatha Kaviraja’s Sahitya Darpana, Kavya Prakasa, etc. Rupa Goswami employed them in his explanation of Vedanta—raso vai sah.

Otherwise, because Krishna stole the bhava of Radha and appeared with it as Gauranga we can understand that although Gadadhara represents Radha, her bhava has been stolen. She is the svayam sakti. If her Radha-bhava is removed, that which remains is what Gadadhara represents, while fastening himself to Gauranga to reclaim that Radha-bhava. This is a poetic way of speaking about Gaura-Gadadhara.

The reason that the worship of Gaura-Gadadhara is “higher,” than the worship of Radha-Krishna is the pitiable condition of Gadadhara. His necessity is so great, and value is determined by necessity.

Q. I understand only females may serve Sri Radha-Krishna in the kunjas of Vraja. If a guru is in sakhya-rasa, is it appropriate to glorify him with the Sri Gurvastakam verse, nikunja yuno rati keli siddhyai?

A. A similar question was asked of my Guru Maharaja, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He replied thus: “The prayers offered by Visvanatha Cakravarti to his Spiritual Master have a special significance. His Spiritual Master was one of the assistant gopis, so the prayer was offered like that. On the whole, the Spiritual Master is an agent of Krishna. But either He is assistant to the gopis or assistant to the cowherd boys, He is on the level of Krishna. That is the verdict of all scriptures. Krishna is worshipable God and the Spiritual Master is worshipper God. The exact words are sebya (worshipable) and sebak (worshipper).”

As I recall, Prabhupada was answering a question about the sixth stanza of Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s Gurvastakam, “nikunja yuno rati keli siddhyai.” Above, he explains that this song of Cakravarti Thakura is based on his realization of his own Gurudeva, who was situated in manjari-bhava. However, it can also apply to the love of Subala, whose love has been called “sakhi-bhava” by Rupa Goswami Prabhupada. It is likely that any Guru in our sampradaya will be situated in one of these two bhavas, and more often manjari-bhava. Otherwise the stanza does not apply to one who is situated in any other expression of sakhya-rasa. Only the group of Subala and to a lesser extent Madhumangala are involved in Krishna’s affairs with the gopis. Other gopas like Sridama are aware of these affairs but do not directly participate in them.

Q. Re: Q & A about Sri Caitanya’s sannyasa-lila; isn’t there an eternal Jagannatha Puri Dhama in the spiritual world on the outer petals of Goloka where Lord Caitanya performs his sannyasa-lila?

A. Actually the sannyasa-lila of Mahaprabhu is for preaching the Yuga Dharma. It can be compared to the speaking of Bhagavad-gita. It consists of six years preaching outside of Puri and six in Puri. The balance of the time Mahaprabhu spent in Puri was after the work of establishing the Yuga Dharma was completed and the purpose of his sannyasa fulfilled. After this Mahaprabhu was absorbed in Radha-bhava in vipralambha. Through this he shows us the way to enter the kirtana at Srivasa Angana in Navadvipa. Our ideal in Gaura-lila is to enter there. This is madhurya as opposed to aisvarya. Otherwise there may be some semblance of Mahaprabhu’s sannaysa-lila in an aprakata Puri, but I have not heard about it.

Q. Is there a reason why Krishna takes different colors in different avatars?

A. Complexions generally correspond with emotions. Rupa Goswami has explained in his Bhaktirasamrta-sindhu that each of the twelve spiritual emotions capable of giving rise to rasa have corresponding colors. For example, Krishna’s complexion is syama. This is considered to be the color of conjugal love.

Q. How traditional is the Gaudiya Vaisnava tradition? Is it true that from the time of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur on, there has been a dramatic change in the rasika teachings?

A. Your doubts and questions will be cleared up if you read my booklet Sri Guru Parampara: Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura, Heir to the Esoteric Life of Kedarnatha Bhaktivinoda. It is available here.

Q. According to Sankara, atma is light, not the body. Every one talks about compassion and love. But if I am nothing but light, where is the possibility of feelings?

A. Sankaracarya’s Advaita Vedanta explains that the individual soul is an illusion. For him there is only one soul. The acarya offers a number of analogies by which he seeks to explain how the one soul becomes subject to the illusion of many and these illusory many live many lives. In our tradition of Gaudiya Vedanta we acknowledge the eternality of the individual soul, who is constituted of one of the saktis of Godhead. This sakti, although one with God, is at the same time different from Godhead. The example of light is instructive. Light is one. Light is light. But if we look closely at light, we find that there are many varieties of light as well, ultraviolet, infrared, full spectrum, etc. Within the light of Brahman there are many varieties.

In consideration of the above, the Gaudiya school of Vedanta is much more accommodating with regard to feeling than is the tradition of Advaita Vedanta. In Gaudiya Vedanta the individual soul enters a union of love with the Absolute in which it is one in purpose while different in terms of its ontological position. Its ontological difference from the Godhead, rather than limiting its experience of spiritual emotion, facilitates it.

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