|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > Compiled and Imp Scriptures > Jaiva Dharma > 13. Pramana & The Commencement of Prameya|
C H A P T E R 13
Pramana & The Commencement
Late the next afternoon, at the time of go-dhuli (when the air
is thick with dust-clouds raised by the cows returning to the
go-sala), Vrajanatha arrived at Shrivasangana. He sat on the raised
platform under the dense foliage of the bakula tree, and waited for
the elderly Babaji Maharaja. Babaji was waiting in his bhajanakutira,
and for some unknown reason, vatsalya-bhava had arisen in
his heart towards Vrajanatha. As soon as a slight sound outside
indicated Vrajanatha's arrival, Babaji came out and, lovingly embracing
him, took him into his kutira, which was situated at one
side of the courtyard in an arbour of kunda flowers. There he offered
him a seat and sat beside him.
Vrajanatha took the dust of Babaji Maharaja's feet on his head.
Feeling blessed, he said humbly, "O great soul, yesterday you told
me that you would instruct me on Dasa-mula, the fundamental
principles of Nimai Pandita's teachings. Kindly bestow this knowledge
upon me now."
When Vrajanatha asked this wonderful question, Babaji
Mahasaya became very happy and said affectionately, "My son, I
shall first explain to you the sutra sloka of Dasa-mula, wherein the
ten ontological truths of Dasa-mula are set out in a condensed
form. You are a scholar, so by proper deliberation you will be able
to comprehend the true meanings of this sloka.
amnayah praha tattvam harim iha paramam sarva-saktim rasabdhim
tad-bhinnamsams ca jivan prakrti-kavalitan tad-vimuktams ca bhavad
bhedabheda-prakasam sakalam api hareh sadhanam suddha-bhaktim
sadhyam tat-pritim evety upadisati janan gauracandrah svayam sah
1. Pramana: The teachings of the Vedas received through
guru-parampara are known as amnaya. The infallible evidence
of the Vedas, of the smrti-sastras headed by the Shrimad-
Bhagavatam, as well as evidence such as direct sense perception
(pratyaksa), that concur with the guidance of the
Vedas, are all accepted as pramana (evidence). This pramana
establishes the following prameyas (fundamental truths):
2. Parama-tattva: Shri Hari alone is the Supreme Absolute Truth.
3. Sarva-saktiman: Shri Krishna is the possessor of all potency.
4. Akhila-rasamrta-sindhu: He is the ocean of nectarean
5. Vibhinnamsa-tattva: Both the mukta (liberated) and baddha
(conditioned) jivas are His eternally separated parts and parcels.
6. Baddha-jivas: Conditioned souls are subject to the control
and covering of maya.
7. Mukta-jivas: Liberated souls are free from maya.
8. Acintya-bhedabheda-tattva: The entire universe, consisting
of the conscious (cit) and unconscious (acit), is Shri Hari's
acintya-bhedabheda-prakasa, that is to say, it is His manifestation
which is inconceivably both different and non-different
9. Suddha-bhakti: Pure devotional service is the only practice
(sadhana) to attain perfection.
10. Krishna-priti: Transcendental love and affection for Krishna
is the one and only final object of attainment (sadhya-vastu).
Svayam Bhagavan Shri Gaurangadeva has herein instructed ten
distinct tattvas (fundamental truths) to the faithful jivas. The first
of these is pramana-tattva, and the remaining nine are prameyatattva.
First you should understand the meaning of pramana. That
subject which is established by pramana (evidence or proof) is
known as prameya (that which is proved); and that by which
prameya is proved is known as pramana.
These ten fundamental tattvas (dasa-mula-tattva) are set out in
the sloka that I have just recited. The next sloka will be the first
actual sloka of the Dasa-mula, and it elaborates on the first of the
dasa-mula-tattvas, namely the authoritative Vedic literature
(amnaya or pramana-tattva). From the second to the eighth sloka
sambandha-tattva is described. The ninth sloka describes abhidheyatattva,
which is the sadhana for attaining the ultimate goal; and
the tenth sloka describes prayojana-tattva, which is the sadhya (goal)
When Vrajanatha had heard the meaning of the sloka, he said,
"Babaji Maharaja, I do not have anything to ask now. If any question
occurs to me after hearing the next sloka, I will submit it at
your lotus feet. Now kindly explain the first sloka of the Dasamula."
Babaji: Very good. Now listen attentively.
svatah-siddho vedo hari-dayita-vedhah-prabhrtitah
pramanam sat-praptam pramiti-visayan tan nava-vidhan
tatha pratyaksadi-pramiti-sahitam sadhayati nah
na yuktis tarkakhya pravisati tatha sakti-rahita
The self-evident Vedas, which have been received in the
sampradaya through the guru-parampara by recipients of Shri
Hari's mercy such as Brahmaji and others, are known as
amnaya-vakya. The nine prameya-tattvas are established by
these amnaya-vakyas with the help of other pramanas that
follow the guidance of these sastras, such as evidence obtained
by direct sense perception (pratyaksa). Reasoning
that is only based on logic is always lame in the matter of
evaluating inconceivable subject matters, since logic and
argument have no access in the realm of the inconceivable.
Vrajanatha: Is there any evidence within the Vedas to show that
Brahmaji gave instruction through disciplic succession?
Babaji: Yes, there is. In the Mundaka Upanisad (1.1.1) it is stated:
brahma devanam prathamah sambabhuva
visvasya kartta bhuvanasya gopta
sa brahma-vidyam sarva-vidya-pratistham
atharvaya jyestha-putraya praha
Brahmaji, who is the creator of the entire universe, and the
protector of the worlds, was the first deva to appear. He gave
complete instructions on brahma-vidya, the basis of all
knowledge, to his eldest son, Atharva.
It is also stated further on in Mundaka Upanisad (1.2.13),
yenaksaram purusam veda satyam
provaca tam tattvato brahma-vidyam
Brahma-vidya is knowledge that reveals the true svarupa of
para-brahma, the indestructible Purusottama.
Vrajanatha: Do you have any evidence that the rsis who compiled
the smrti-sastras have given the correct explanation of the Vedas
Babaji: Evidence for this is given in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (11.14.3-4),
the crest jewel of all sastras.
kalena nasta pralaye vaniyam veda-samjnita
mayadau brahmane prokta dharmo yasyam mad-atmakah
tena prokta sva-putraya manave purva-jaya sa
tato bhrgv-adayo 'grhnan sapta brahma-maharsayah
Shri Bhagavan said, "By the influence of time, the Vedas containing
My instructions on bhagavata-dharma were lost
when the cosmic devastation occured. At the beginning of
the next brahma-kalpa at the time of creation, I again instructed
Brahma in that same Veda. Brahma instructed his
son Manu in the Vedic knowledge, and Manu in turn instructed
the same science to the seven Brahmarsis, headed
Vrajanatha: What is the necessity for a sampradaya?
Babaji: Most people in this world accept the shelter of Mayavada
philosophy, and follow that inauspicious path which is devoid of
bhakti. Consequently, if there were no separate sampradaya for
those who practice suddha-bhakti that is untainted by the faults of
Mayavada, it would be very difficult to attain genuine sat-sanga.
Therefore, it is stated in the Padma Purana,
sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te viphala matah
shri-brahma-rudra-sanaka vaishnavah ksiti-pavanah
Vaishnava acaryas in the four sampradayas-namely
Ramanujacarya in the Shri-sampradaya, Madhvacarya in the
Brahma-sampradaya, Vishnusvami in the Rudra-sampradaya,
and Nimbaditya in the Catuhsana-sampradaya-purify the
whole universe. Diksa mantras not received from the acaryas
in one of these four sampradayas will be fruitless.
Of these four, the Brahma-sampradaya is the most ancient and
has continued through the disciplic succession until the present
day. These sampradayas adhere to the system of guru-parampara and
they have brought the Vedanta and other supremely auspicious
literatures unchanged from the most ancient times, and by the potency
of the system of parampara, there is not the slightest chance
that they have made any change or eliminated any portion. There
is, therefore, no reason to doubt the literature that the sampradaya
has authorized. Sampradaya is an effective and indispensible arrangement,
and for this reason, the sat-sampradaya system is continuing
amongst saints and sadhus from the most ancient times.
Vrajanatha: Are the names of all the acaryas in the sampradaya
available in order of succession?
Babaji: Only the names of the most prominent acaryas who have
appeared from time to time are mentioned.
Vrajanatha: I would like to hear the guru-parampara of the Brahmasampradaya.
para-vyomesvarasyasic chisyo brahma jagat-patih
tasya sisyo narado 'bhud vyasas tasyapa sisyatam
Brahma, the master of the universe, is the disciple of
Paramesvara Shri Narayana, and Naradaji became the disciple
of Brahma. Vyasadeva became the disciple of Naradaji.
suko vyasasya sisyatvam prapto jnanavarodhanat
vyasal labdho krishna-dikso madhvacaryo mahayasah
Shri Sukadevaji became the disciple of Shri Vyasadeva in
order to check the spread of impersonal jnana. The celebrated
Madhvacarya also received krishna-diksa from Shri
Vyasadeva, Narahari became the twice-born sisya of
tasya sisyo naraharis tac-chisyo madhavo dvijah
aksobhyas tasya sisyo 'bhut tac-chisyo jayatirthakah
Madhva-dvija became the disciple of Narahari. Aksobhya
was Madhva-dvija's disciple and accepted Jayatirtha as his
tasya sisyo jnanasindhus tasya sisyo mahanidhih
vidyanidhis tasya sisyo rajendras tasya sevakah
Jnanasindhu became the disciple of Jayatirtha, Mahanidhi
became Jnanasindhu's disciple and accepted Vidyanidhi as
his disciple, and Rajendra became the disciple of Vidyanidhi.
jayadharmo munis tasya sisyo yad-gana-madhyatah
shrimad-visnupuri yas tu bhakti-ratnavali krtih
Jayadharma Muni became the disciple of Rajendra, and one
of his followers named Shri Vishnu Puri, who composed
Bhakti-ratnavali, was a prominent acarya.
jayadharmasya sisyo 'bhud brahmanyah purusottamah
vyasa-tirthas tasya sisyo yas cakre visnu-samhitam
Jayadharma's disciple was Brahmanya Purusottama, who in
turn accepted Vyasa-tirtha, the author of Vishnu-samhita, as
shrimal-laksmipatis tasya sisyo bhakti-rasasrayah
tasya sisyo madhavendro yad-dharmo 'yam pravartitah
Shri Laksmipati became the disciple of Vyasa-tirtha, and
Madhavendra Puri, who was the epitome of bhakti-rasa, and
who propagated bhakti-dharma, was the disciple of
Vrajanatha: In the first sloka of Dasa-mula, the Vedas are accepted
as the sole evidence (pramana); whereas the other pramanas, such
as pratyaksa (direct perception), are accepted as evidence only
when they follow the Vedas. However, philosophies such as nyaya
and sankhya have accepted further types of evidence. Well-versed
readers of the Puranas have accepted eight types of pramana:
pratyaksa (direct perception), anumana (inference based on generalized
experience), upamana (analogy), sabda (revealed knowledge),
aitihya (traditional instruction), arthapatti (inference from circumstances),
sambhava (speculation), and anupalabdhi (understanding
something by its non-perception). Why are there so many opinions
regarding pramana? And if direct perception and inference
based on experience are not counted among the perfect pramanas,
how is it possible to get real understanding? Kindly enlighten me.
Babaji: Pratyaksa and other types of evidence depend on the senses,
but since the senses of the conditioned jiva are always subject to
bhrama (illusion), pramada (error), vipralipsa (cheating), and
karanapatava (imperfection of the senses), how can the knowledge
acquired through the senses be factual and faultless? The fully independent
possessor of all potencies, Shri Bhagavan Himself, personally
manifested as perfect Vedic knowledge within the pure
hearts of great maharsis and saintly acaryas who were situated in
full samadhi. Therefore, the Vedas, which are the embodiment of
svatah-siddha-jnana (self-manifest, pure knowledge) are always faultless
and fully dependable as evidence.
Vrajanatha: Please help me to understand clearly each of the terms
bhrama, pramada, vipralipsa and karanapatava.
Babaji: Bhrama (illusion) is the baddha-jiva's false impression of
reality resulting from faulty knowledge gathered through imperfect
senses. For example, in the desert, the rays of the sun sometimes
produce a mirage, which creates the impression of water.
This fault of making errors and mistakes is called pramada. Since
the material intelligence of the baddha jiva is by nature limited,
mistakes are inevitably present in whatever siddhanta his limited
intelligence discerns in relation to the unlimited para-tattva.
Vipralipsa is the cheating propensity. This is manifest when one,
whose intelligence is limited by time and space, is suspicious and
reluctant to believe in the activities and authority of Isvara, who
is far beyond time and space.
Our senses are imperfect and ineffective, and this is known as
karanapatava. Because of this, we cannot avoid making mistakes in
everyday circumstances. For example, when we see an object suddenly,
we may mistake it for something else and draw faulty conclusions.
Vrajanatha: Do pratyaksa and other pramanas have no value at all
Babaji: What means do we have to gain knowledge of this material
sphere, except through direct perception and other pramanas?
Nonetheless, they can never give knowledge about the spiritual
world (cit-jagat), for they cannot enter into it. That is why the
Vedas are certainly the one and only pramana for gaining knowledge
about the cit-jagat. The evidence gained from pratyaksa and
other pramanas is only worth considering when it follows the
guidelines of the self-evident Vedic knowledge; otherwise its evidence
can be discarded. That is why the self-evident Vedas are the
only evidence. Pratyaksa and other pramanas can also be accepted
as evidence, but only if they are in pursuance of the Vedas.
Vrajanatha: Are literatures such as the Gita and the Bhagavatam
not counted as pramana?
Babaji: The Bhagavad-gita is called an Upanisad (Gita Upanisad),
because it is the vani (instructions) of Bhagavan; hence, the Gita
is Veda. Similarly, Dasa-mula-tattva is also bhagavat-vani because it
is Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's instructions, so it is also Veda.
Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the crest-jewel of all the pramanas because
it is the compilation of the essence of the meaning of the Vedas.
The instructions of different sastras are authoritative evidence
only as long as they follow the Vedic knowledge. There are three
types of tantra-sastras: sattvika, rajasika and tamasika. Of these, the
Pancaratra and so on are in the sattvika group, and they are accepted
as evidence because they expand the confidential meaning of the
Vrajanatha: There are many books in the Vedic line. Which of these
may be accepted as evidence and which may not?
Babaji: In the course of time, unscrupulous and untruthful personalities
have interpolated many chapters, mandalas (sections and
divisions) and mantras into the Vedas, in order to fulfill various
self-interests. Those parts that were added at a later time are called
praksipta (interpolated) parts. It is not that we should accept any
and every Vedic text as reliable evidence. Those Vedic granthas
(sacred books) that the acaryas in the sat-sampradayas have accepted
as evidence are definitely Veda and are authoritative evidence, but
we should reject literature or parts of literature that they have not
Vrajanatha: Which Vedic granthas have the acaryas of the satsampradayas
Babaji: Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Mundaka, Mandukya, Taittiriya,
Aitareya, Chandogya, Brhad-aranyaka and Svetasvatara-these
eleven sattvika Upanisads are accepted, and so are Gopala Upanisad,
Nrsimha-tapani and some other tapanis that are helpful in worship.
The acaryas have also accepted brahmanas and mandalas as Vedic
literature, as long as they expand the Vedas, following the guidance
of Rg, Sama, Yajuh and Atharva. We receive all the Vedic literatures
from the acaryas in the sat-sampradayas, so we can accept
them as evidence from a bona fide source.
Vrajanatha: Is there any evidence in the Veda to show that logic
cannot enter into transcendental subject matter?
Babaji: There are many famous statements in the Vedas, such as,
naisa tarkena matir apaneya, "O Naciketa! Whatever intelligence
you have gained regarding atma-tattva should not be destroyed by
logic (tarka)" (Katha Upanisad 1.2.9); and the statements from
Vedanta-sutra, such as, tarkapratisthanat, "Arguments based on logic
have no foundation and cannot be used to establish any conclusions
about the conscious reality, because a fact that someone establishes
by logic and argument today can be refuted tomorrow by
someone who is more intelligent and qualified. Therefore, the
process of argumentation is said to be unfounded and baseless"
Furthermore, it is stated:
acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet
prakrtibhyah param yac ca tad acintyasya laksanam
Mahabharata, Bhisma-parva (5.22)
All transcendental tattvas are beyond material nature, and
are therefore inconceivable. Dry arguments are within the
jurisdiction of material nature, so they can only be applied
in mundane subject matters. They cannot even come close
to transcendental tattvas, what to speak of grasping them.
As far as inconceivable conceptions are concerned, the
application of dry arguments is undesirable and useless.
This sloka of the Mahabharata establishes the limits of logic, and
Shrila Rupa Gosvami, the acarya of bhakti-marga, has therefore written
in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (Eastern Division 1.1.32):
svalpapi rucir eva syat bhakti-tattvavabodhika
yuktis tu kevala naiva yad asya apratisthata
One can comprehend bhakti-tattva when one has gained
even a little taste for sastras that establish bhakti-tattva, such
as Shrimad-Bhagavatam. However, one cannot understand
this bhakti-tattva by dry logic alone, because logic has no
basis, and there is no end to arguments.
Nothing genuine can be ascertained by logic and argument, as
this ancient statement proves:
yatnenopadito 'py arthah kusalair anumatrbhih
abhiyuktatarair anyair anyathaivopapadyate
Any logician can clearly establish any subject matter using
arguments, but someone who is more expert in argument
can easily refute him. You use logic to establish one
siddhanta today, but a more intelligent and qualified logician
will be able to refute it tomorrow, so why should you
rely on logic?
Vrajanatha: Babaji, I have fully understood that the Veda, which is
to say, knowledge that is svatah-siddha (self-evident), is pramana.
Some logicians argue against the Vedas, but their efforts are fruitless.
Now please be merciful and explain the second sloka of Dasamula-
haris tv ekam tattvam vidhi-siva-suresa-pranamitah
yad evedam brahma prakrti-rahitam tat tv anumahah
paratma tasyamso jagad-anugato visva-janakah
sa vai radha-kanto nava-jalada-kantis cid-udayah
Indeed Shri Hari, to whom Brahma, Siva, Indra and other
devatas continuously offer pranama, is the only Supreme
Absolute Truth. Nirvisesa-brahma that is devoid of sakti is
Shri Hari's bodily effulgence. Maha-Vishnu, who has created
the universe and who has entered into it as the indwelling
Supersoul of all, is simply His partial manifestation. It is
that Shri Hari alone, the very form of transcendental reality
(cit-svarupa), whose complexion is the color of a freshly
formed thunder cloud, who is Shri Radha-vallabha, the beloved
of Shri Radha.
Vrajanatha: The Upanisads describe brahma, which is transcendental
to affiliation with matter, to be the supreme truth, so what argument
or evidence has Shri Gaurahari used to establish brahma as
Shri Hari's bodily effulgence?
Babaji: Shri Hari is certainly Bhagavan, whose true nature has been
ascertained in the Vishnu Purana (6.5.74):
aisvaryasya samagrasya viryasya yasasah shriyah
jnana-vairagyayos caiva sannam bhaga itingana
Bhagavan is the Supreme Absolute Truth endowed with six
inconceivable qualities: complete opulence, strength, fame,
beauty, knowledge and renunciation.
Now, there is a mutual relationship amongst these qualities of
body (angi) and limbs (anga). The question may arise, which of these
qualities is angi, and which are angas? The angi (body) is that within
which the angas (limbs) are included. For example, a tree is angi,
and the leaves and branches are the angas; the body is angi, and
the feet and hands are its angas. Therefore, the principal quality
(angi-guna) represents the body and to that quality all the other
qualities (anga-gunas) are arranged as its limbs.
The angi-guna of Bhagavan's transcendental form is His resplendent
beauty (shri); and the three qualities - opulence (aisvarya),
strength (virya) and fame (yasa) - are His angas (limbs). The remaining
two qualities - knowledge (jnana) and renunciation (vairagya)
- are the effulgence of the quality of fame, because jnana and vairagya
are only attributes of a quality, and not original qualities in their
own right. Thus, jnana and vairagya are actually nirvikara-jnana,
which is the intrinsic, constitutional form of the nirvisesa-brahma,
and that brahma is the bodily effulgence of the spiritual world. The
changeless, inactive, nirvisesa-brahma, which exists without body,
limbs and so on, is not in itself a complete tattva; rather, it depends
on the transcendental form of Bhagavan. Brahma is therefore not
a supreme vastu (entity) that exists in its own right; it is a quality
of the vastu. Bhagavan is indeed that vastu, and brahma is His quality,
just as the light of a fire is not a complete and independent
tattva, but only a quality that depends on the fire.
Vrajanatha: The impersonal, nirvisesa qualities of brahma are described
in many places in the Vedas, and at the end of these descriptions,
the mantra 'om santih santih, harih om' is always used to
describe the supreme truth, Shri Hari. Who is this Shri Hari?
Babaji: That Shri Hari is in fact cit-lila-mithuna (the combined form
of Radha and Krishna), who performs divine pastimes.
Vrajanatha: I will inquire into this subject later. Now kindly tell
me, how is Paramatma, the creator of the universe, a partial manifestation
Babaji: Pervading everything by His qualities of aisvarya and virya
(power), and creating all the universes, Bhagavan enters every universe
by His amsa (partial manifestation), Vishnu. Every amsa of
Bhagavan always remains complete; none of them are ever incomplete.
purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udacyate
purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavasisyate
Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (5.1) and Isopanisad (inv.)
The avatari-purusa (the origin of all avataras) is complete
and perfect. Because He is completely perfect, all avataras
emanating from Him are also complete. All that emanates
from the Supreme Complete is complete. Even if the complete
is subtracted from the complete, He still remains complete.
In no way does that Paramesvara experience any diminution.
Therefore, that complete whole, Vishnu, who enters the universe
and controls it, is certainly the indwelling Supersoul, Paramatma.
That Vishnu has three forms: Karanodakasayi Vishnu, Ksirodakasayi
Vishnu and Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. Karanodakasayi Vishnu, who is
a partial manifestation of Shri Bhagavan, situates Himself on the
Causal Ocean, or the Viraja River, which extends between the cit
and mayika worlds. From there, He glances over maya, who is situated
far away, and by this glance the material world is created.
Bhagavan Shri Krishna has described the creation of the material
world in Shrimad Bhagavad-gita (9.10):
mayadhyaksena prakrtih suyate sa-caracaram
Under My superintendence, My illusory energy creates the
universe full of moving and non-moving beings.
Then it is said, sa aiksata, "That Paramatma glanced." (Aitareya
Sa imal lokan asrjat, "That Paramatma created the universe of
moving and non-moving entities after glancing over His maya."
(Aitareya Upanisad 1.1.2)
Karanodakasayi Vishnu's power of glancing, which enters maya,
becomes Garbhodakasayi Vishnu, and the localized atoms in the rays
of the transcendental glance of that Maha-Vishnu are the conditioned
souls; and in the heart of every jiva, Isvara is situated as a thumbsized
expansion of Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, also known as
Hiranyagarbha. Svetasvatara Upanisad (4.6) states, dva suparna
sayuja sakhaya, "The jiva and Paramatma are in the heart of the jiva,
like two birds on the branch of a tree. One of these birds is Isvara,
who awards the results of fruitive activity, and the other bird is
the jiva, who is tasting the fruits of his actions." Shri Bhagavan has
expressed this tattva as follows in the Gita Upanisad (10.41):
yad yad vibhutimat sattvam shrimad urjitam eva va
tat tad evavagaccha tvam mama tejo'msa-sambhavam
You should understand that all opulence, existence, splendor
and potency have come from a tiny part of My opulence.
Therefore, Arjuna, what is the necessity of understanding
all of My attributes separately? Simply understand that by
an expansion of Myself I have created this entire creation,
and I thereby pervade it fully.
Therefore, the attributes of God, such as being the creator and
maintainer of the universe, are manifested in Paramatma, the partial
manifestation (amsa-svarupa) of parama-purusa Bhagavan.
Vrajanatha: I understand that brahma is Shri Hari's bodily effulgence,
and that Paramatma is his part. However, what evidence is there
that Bhagavan Shri Hari is Krishna Himself?
Babaji: Shri Krishna Bhagavan is eternally manifest in two features,
one of aisvarya (opulence and majesty) and the other of madhurya
(sweetness). The feature of aisvarya is Narayana, who is the master
of the spiritual sky, Vaikuntha, and the origin of Maha-Vishnu.
Shri Krishna is the complete embodiment of the madhurya feature.
This Shri Krishna is the utmost limit of complete sweetness; indeed,
His sweetness is so great that its rays completely cover His aisvarya.
From the perspective of siddhanta or tattva there is no difference
between Narayana and Krishna. However, when we consider the
degree of rasa to be tasted in the spiritual world, Krishna is not only
the foundation all rasa, but He Himself, being the very form of rasa,
is also parama upadeya-tattva, the supremely pleasing Being. We
find evidence in the Vedas, Upanisads, and Puranas that Shri Krishna
is Svayam Bhagavan Shri Hari. For example, the Rg Veda (188.8.131.52)
apasyam gopam anipadyama nama
ca para ca pathibhis carantam sa-sadhricih
sa visucir vasana avarivartti-bhuvanesv antah
I saw a boy who appeared in the dynasty of cowherds. He is
infallible and is never annihilated. He wanders on various
paths, sometimes near and sometimes very far. Sometimes
He is beautifully adorned with varieties of garments, and
sometimes He wears cloth of only one color. In this way, He
repeatedly exhibits His manifest and unmanifest pastimes.
In addition, in the Chandogya Upanisad (8.13.1) it is stated:
syamac chabalam prapadye sabalac chyamam prapadye
By rendering seva to Syama, one attains His transcendental
abode, which is full of spiritual bliss and astonishing,
variegated lilas; and within that cit-jagat, one attains the
eternal shelter of Syama.
Another understanding of this sloka is that the word syama
refers to Krishna, and the word Syama or Krishna, meaning black,
describes the nirguna-para-tattva, which like black, is colorless,
while the word sabala, meaning gaura, refers to one who is endowed
with variegated colors. In other words, when para-tattva, is endowed
with all transcendental qualities, He is called gaura. The
secret meaning of this mantra is that one attains Gaura by performing
krishna-bhajana, and one attains Krishna by performing gaurabhajana.
This and other mantras describe the activities of the liberated
and perfected jivas even after the stage of mukti.
We read in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (1.3.28):
ete camsah kalah pumsah krishnas tu bhagavan svayam
Rama, Nrsimha, and the other avataras are all portions
(amsas) or plenary portions (kala) of the Supreme Personality,
Shri Bhagavan, but Shri Krishna is that original Bhagavan
In the Gita Upanisad (7.7), Shri Krishna Himself says, mattah
parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya: "O Arjuna, there is nothing
superior to Me," and it is also said in the Gopala-tapani Upanisad
eko vasi sarva-gah krishna idyah
eko 'pi san bahudha yo 'vabhati
Shri Krishna is the all-pervasive, non-dual para-brahma who
controls everything. He is the only worshipable object for
all the devatas, for mankind, and for all other life-forms.
Although He is one, through His acintya-sakti He manifests
many forms and performs many varieties of lilas.
Vrajanatha: But how can Shri Krishna be all-pervading if He has a
medium-sized, human-like form? If we accept that He has form, it
means He can only stay in one place at a time, and that gives rise
to so many philosophical discrepancies. The first is that He cannot
be the all-pervading tattva if He has a form and body. Secondly,
if He has a body, He will be limited by the material modes of nature,
so how can He be independent and have limitless and absolute
authority? How can this be reconciled?
Babaji: My dear son, you are now thinking like this because you
are bound by the qualities of maya. As long as the intelligence
remains bound by material qualities, it cannot touch suddha-sattva.
If such conditioned intelligence attempts to exceed its own limitations
trying to understand suddha-tattva, it superimposes mayika
forms and qualities on suddha-tattva, and thus conceives of a
material form of Transcendence. After some time, the intellect
rejects this form as being temporary, mutable, and subject to the
material modes, and then it imagines the nirvisesa-brahma. That
is why one cannot gain an understanding of the Supreme Absolute
Truth through the intelligence.
Whatever limitations you are inferring about the transcendental,
medium-sized form are completely unfounded. Formlessness,
immutability, and inactivity simply comprise the material conception
of what is opposite to our conception of material qualities, so
they are themselves a type of material quality. However, Shri Krishna
also has qualities that are of an altogether different nature: for
example, His beautiful, blossoming, smiling face; His lotus eyes;
His beautiful lotus feet, which bestow fearlessness and peace upon
His bhaktas; and His spiritual form, which is the pure embodiment
of transcendence, with limbs and body just suitable for varieties
of playful sports. The 'medium sized' shri-vigraha, that is the very
basis of these two types of qualities (form and all pervasiveness),
is supremely pleasing. The Narada-pancaratra describes His extreme
attractiveness to the mind, and this description is replete with all
niscetanatmaka-sarira-gunais ca hinah
sarvatra ca svagata-bheda-vivarjitatma
Shri Krishna's transcendental body is composed of eternity,
consciousness and bliss, without even a trace of material
qualities. He is not subject to material time or space. On
the contrary, He exists fully at all places and in all times
simultaneously. His form and existence are the embodiment
of absolute nonduality (advaya-jnana-svarupa-vastu).
Direction (space) is an unlimited entity in the material world.
By material estimation, only a formless object can be unlimited or
all-pervading; an entity with a medium-sized form cannot. How
ever, this conception only applies in the material world. In the
spiritual world, all objects and their intrinsic natures and attributes
are unlimited, so Shri Krishna's medium-sized form is also allpervading.
Medium-sized objects in this material world do not have
this quality of all-pervasiveness, but it is charmingly manifest in
Shri Krishna's medium-sized vigraha. That is the supra-mundane glory
of His transcendental vigraha. Can such glorious attributes be
found in the conception of the all-pervading brahma? Material
substances are always limited by time and place. If an entity who is
naturally beyond the effects of time is compared to the all-pervading
sky, which is limited by time and space, then is not that entity,
beyond the influence of time, incomparably greater?
Shri Krishna's vraja-dhama is none other than the Brahma-pura
which is mentioned within the Chandogya Upanisad. This vrajadhama
is a completely transcendental reality, and is comprised of
all types of transcendental variety. Everything in that place-the
earth, water, rivers, mountains, trees, creepers, animals, birds, sky,
sun, moon and constellations-is transcendental and is devoid
of material flaws or shortcomings. Conscious pleasure is present
always and everywhere, in its fullest form. My dear son, this
Mayapura-Navadvipa is that self-same spiritual abode. You are
unable to perceive it, however, because you are bound in maya's
snare. But when, by the mercy of saints and sadhus, spiritual consciousness
arises in your heart, you will then perceive this land as
the spiritual dhama, and then only will you achieve the perfection
of vraja-vasa (residence in Vraja).
Who has told you that there must be material merits and faults
wherever there is medium-sized form? You cannot realize the actual
glories of the transcendental medium-sized form as long as your
intelligence is bound up in material impressions.
Vrajanatha: No intelligent person can have any doubts about this
point. However, I would like to know when, where and how Krishna's
spiritual vigraha, dhama, and lila are manifested within material
limitations, since Shri Radha-Krishna's vigraha and bodily complexion,
and Their lilas, associates, houses, pastime-groves, forests,
secondary forests and all the objects in the spiritual world are transcendental.
Babaji: Shri Krishna possesses all potencies, so even that which appears
to be impossible is actually possible for Him. What is astonishing
in this? He is the all-potent Personality (sarva-saktiman
purusa), the fully independent supreme controller who is completely
autocratic and imbued with lila. Simply by His desire, He
can appear in this material world in His self-same spiritual form,
along with His spiritual abode. How can there be any doubt about
Vrajanatha: By His desire, He can do everything, and He can manifest
His purely spiritual form in this material world-that much is
clear. However, materialistic people tend to think that Shri Krishna's
own transcendental abode that is manifest here is simply a part of
this material universe, and they perceive His vraja-lila to be just
like ordinary mayika activities. Why is this? Why can't worldly
people see Krishna's self-manifest, spiritual form as sac-cid-ananda
when He mercifully appears in this world of birth and death?
Babaji: One of Krishna's unlimited transcendental qualities is His
bhakta-vatsalya (affection for His bhaktas). Because of this quality,
His heart melts, and through His hladini-sakti, He bestows upon
His bhaktas a type of spiritual potency that enables them to have
direct darsana of His self-manifest form and His transcendental
pastimes. However, the non-devotees' eyes, ears, and other senses
are made up of maya, so they can see no difference between
Bhagavan's spiritual pastimes and the mundane events in human
Vrajanatha: Then does this mean that Bhagavan Shri Krishna did not
descend to bestow mercy upon all jivas?
Babaji: Bhagavan certainly descends to benefit the whole world.
The bhaktas see His descent and lila as transcendental, whereas
the non-devotees perceive them as ordinary human affairs, which
take place under the influence of material principles. Even so, these
lilas have the power to bestow a type of spiritual merit (sukrti),
and as this sukrti gradually accumulates, one is nourished so that
one develops one-pointed sraddha towards krishna-bhakti. That is
why Bhagavan's descent certainly benefits all the jivas in the universe,
because jivas who possess such sraddha and perform ananyabhakti-
sadhana (unalloyed devotional service) will one day be able
to see Bhagavan's transcendental form and lila.
Vrajanatha: Why is krishna-lila not distinctly described throughout
Babaji: The pastimes of Shri Krishna are described here and there in
the Vedas, but in some places they are described directly, and in
other places indirectly.
Two types of expressions or tendencies determine the meaning
of words in a text: the direct, or literal sense (abhidha); and the
indirect, or secondary sense (laksana). These are also called mukhyavrtti
and gauna-vrtti, respectively. The literal sense (abhidha-vrtti)
of the mantra, syamac chabalam prapadye, in the last section of the
Chandogya Upanisad, describes the eternality of rasa and the service
attitude of the liberated jivas towards Krishna according to their
respective rasa. The indirect meaning of the words is called gaunavrtti
(secondary significance). In the beginning of the conversation
between Yajna-valkya, Gargi and Maitreyi, Krishna's qualities
are described by means of indirect presentation (laksana-vrtti), and
at the end, the super-excellence of Krishna is established by means
of direct presentation (mukhya-vrtti). The eternal pastimes (nityalila)
of Bhagavan are sometimes indicated in the Vedas by the direct
expression of the words, and in many places, the indirect approach
describes the glories of brahma and Paramatma. In fact, it is
the pledge of all the Vedas to describe Shri Krishna's glories.
Vrajanatha: Babaji Mahasaya, there is no doubt that Bhagavan Shri
Hari is para-tattva, but what is the position of the devatas such as
Brahma, Siva, Indra, Surya, and Ganesa? Please be merciful and
explain this to me. Many brahmanas worship Mahadeva as the
highest brahma-tattva. I took birth in one such brahmana family, so
I have been hearing and saying this from my birth until now. I want
to know the actual truth.
Babaji: I shall presently describe to you the respective qualities of
the ordinary living entities, the worshipable devatas and devis, and
of Shri Bhagavan. Through the gradation of their respective qualities,
you can easily understand the truth regarding the supreme
object of worship.
ayam neta su-ramyangah sarva-sal-laksananvitah
ruciras tejasa yukto baliyan vayasanvitah
These are the qualities of Shri Krishna, the supreme hero. He
is: 1) endowed with delightfully charming bodily limbs; 2)
endowed with all auspicious characteristics; 3) beautiful;
4) radiant; 5) strong; and 6) eternally youthful;
vividhadbhuta-bhasa-vit satya-vakyah priyam-vadah
vavadukah su-pandityo buddhiman pratibhanvitah
7) conversant with many kinds of astonishing languages;
8) truthful; 9) a pleasing speaker; 10) eloquent; 11) intelligent;
12) learned; 13) resourceful;
vidagdhas caturo daksah krta-jnah su-drdha-vratah
desa-kala-supatra-jnah sastra-caksuh sucir vasi
14) expert in relishing mellows; 15) clever; 16) expert; 17)
grateful; 18) very firm in His vows; 19) an astute judge of
time, place and circumstance; 20) a seer through the eyes
of sastras; 21) pure; 22) self-controlled;
sthiro dantah ksama-silo gambhiro dhrtiman samah
vadanyo dharmikah surah karuno manya-mana-krt
23) steadfast; 24) forebearing; 25) forgiving; 26) inscrutable;
27) sober; 28) equipoised; 29) munificent; 30) virtuous;
31) chivalrous; 32) compassionate; 33) respectful to others;
daksino vinayi hriman saranagata-palakah
sukhi bhakta-suhrt prema-vasyah sarva-subhan-karah
34) amiable; (35) modest; 36) shy; 37) the protector of surrendered
souls; 38) happy; 39) the well-wisher of His bhaktas;
40) controlled by prema; 41) the benefactor of all;
pratapi kirtiman rakta-lokah sadhu-samasrayah
nari-gana-manohari sarvaradhyah samrddhiman
42) the tormentor of His enemies; 43) famous; 44) beloved
by all; 45) partial to the side of the sadhus; 46) the enchanter
of women's minds; 47) all-worshipable; 48) all-opulent;
variyan isvaras ceti gunas tasyanukirtitah
samudra iva pancasad durvigaha harer ami
49) superior to all; and 50) the controller. These fifty qualities
are present in Bhagavan Shri Hari to an unlimited degree
like the unfathomable ocean.
They are present to a minute degree in the jivas, whereas
they are fully represented in Purusottama Bhagavan. Another
five of Krishna's qualities are present in Brahma, Siva
and other devatas, but not in ordinary jivas:
sada svarupa-sampraptah sarva-jno nitya-nutanah
51) He is always situated in His svarupa; 52) He is omniscient;
53) He is ever-fresh and new; 54) He is the concentrated
form of existence, knowledge and bliss; and 55) He is served
by all mystic opulences.
These fifty-five qualities are partially present in the devatas.
athocyante gunah panca ye laksmisadi-vartinah
atmarama-ganakarsity ami krsne kiladbhutah
Laksmipati Narayana has an additional five qualities: 56) He
possesses inconceivable potencies; 57) innumerable universes
are situated within His body; 58) He is the original
cause or seed of all avataras; 59) He awards gati (a higher destination)
to those whom He kills; and 60) He can attract even
those who are atmarama (satisfied within the self).
These additional five qualities are not present in Brahma or
Siva, but they are wonderfully present in Shri Krishna in their most
complete form. Besides these sixty qualities, Shri Krishna Himself has
four extra qualities, namely:
61) He is like a vast ocean teeming with waves of the most
astonishing and wonderful lilas; 62) He is adorned with incomparable
madhurya-prema, and thus is auspiciousness
personified for His beloved bhaktas, who also have unparalleled
prema for Him; 63) He attracts the three worlds with
the marvelous vibration of His murali (flute); and 64) the
resplendent rupa (beauty) of His transcendental form is unparalleled,
charming and astonishing to all moving and
non-moving entities in the three worlds.
lila premna priyadhikyam madhurye venu-rupayoh
ity asadharanam proktam govindasya catustayam
Shri Krishna's sixty-four qualities and symptoms have been described,
including lila-madhuri, prema-madhuri, venu
madhuri and rupa-madhuri. These are four extraordinary
qualities that He alone possesses.
These sixty-four qualities are fully and eternally manifest in Shri
Krishna, who is the embodiment of sac-cid-ananda. The last four
qualities are present only in Shri Krishna's svarupa, and not in any of
His other pastime forms. Apart from these four qualities, the remaining
sixty qualities are brilliantly situated in their complete
and fully conscious state in Shri Narayana, who is the embodiment
of Transcendence. Setting aside the last five of these sixty qualities,
the remaining fifty-five are present to some extent in Siva,
Brahma and other devatas, and the first fifty qualities are present
to a very limited degree in all jivas.
The devatas such as Siva, Brahma, Surya, Ganesa and Indra, are
endowed with Bhagavan's partial qualities in order to run the affairs
of the material universe. They have received a special measure
of Bhagavan's opulences to do this, so they are considered
one type of special incarnation. The inherent and constitutional
nature of all these devatas is that they are Bhagavan's servants,
and many jivas have obtained bhagavad-bhakti through their mercy.
Since they are so much more qualified than other jivas, they are
also considered to be among the worshipable deities of the jivas,
depending on the jivas' qualification and level of consciousness.
Performing their puja is therefore considered a secondary limb of
the rules and regulations of bhagavad-bhakti. They are always worshiped
as the gurus of the jivas, for they mercifully bestow upon
them one-pointed krishna-bhakti. Mahadeva, the Isvara of all the
devas, is so complete in bhagavad-bhakti that he is perceived as nondifferent
from bhagavat-tattva. This is the reason that the
Mayavadis worship him as the supreme brahma-tattva.
THUS ENDS THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER OF JAIVA-DHARMA,
"PRAMANA & THE COMMENCEMENT OF PRAMEYA"