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Re: Sri Bhashyakarar and Sri Vishnupuranam etc

From: ranganathan narasimhan (
Date: Thu Apr 20 2000 - 02:18:57 PDT

--- Anand Karalapakkam <> wrote:

>   SrImad BhAgavatham as such is considered as
> "Sruti"
>   by some Gaudiya Vaishnava AchAryas, which can't be
>   accepted by us and other vaidikAs ie. those who
> follow
>   vEdas. adiyEn doesn't know as to whether SrI
> BaladEva,
>   who wrote a commentry for Brahma sUtras for
> Gaudiya
>   Vaishnavas, endorses the view that SrImad
> BhAgavatham is
>   a Sruti. It will then be contradictory to quote
> SrImad 
>   BhAgavatham as a pramAna by him, in those places
> where sUtras
>   refer to a Smruti for further strengthening its
> standpoint.
dear sriman anand,
as it was pointed out by sriman harikrishna,  it was
already established by sri jiva goswami of the same
school that srimad bhagavatham is the best pramana.
hence sri baladeva did not have any  reservations in
substantiating his views from the srimad bhagavatham.
srimad bhagavatham is unique as being taken as a smrti
sastra(padma purana says so), matured fruit of smrti
sastras( SB says so 1.4.7) and also as nyaya sastra
since it is called as the natural commentary of the
brahma sutras by sri vyasa himself in Garuda purana.

>  One of the difficulties in the philosophy of GVs is
> that, 
>  they have a graded version of the Ultimate Truth
> viz. 
>  BhagavAn, ParamAtma and NirguNa Brahman.
>  BhagavAn is equated with Lord KrishNa who is
> accalimed
>  by them as the original God, filled with all
> auspicious 
>  qualities etc. To be more precise, some GVs also
> say that,
>  only that KrishNa who was at BrindAvan playing with
> gOpis,
>  and esp. who did rAsa krIda is the "original" God
> and 
>  all other forms are only His expansions. For GVs,
> there
>  is a gradation in moksha. For them, there are many
> VaikuNThas
>  and one place apart from them called Goloka, all of
> which
>  are not in the material world. The different
> VaikuNThas
>  are said to be presided by various expansions of
> the original
>  God KrishNa, who is at Goloka. To adiyEn's
> understanding, they
>  also say inherent differences in the jIvAtmas.
> According to
>  them, certain jIvAtmas are inherently related to
> Original God
>  to be in "mAdhurya rasa" ie.the relationship as
> that of 
>  gOpis who played the rAsa krIda with Lord. Some are
> related
>  as that of YasOda, some as that of Arjuna as a
> friend etc.
>  Thus, they hold difference in the vary nature of
> jIvAtmas itself. 
>  According to them, mAdhurya rasa is experienced at
> Goloka and
>  thus forms the ultimate moksham. Attainment of
> other vaikuNThas
>  are of lower nature due to the non-availibility of
> this mAdhurya
>  rasa. Well, these gradation system in moksha has no
> scriptural
>  authority (accepted by other vEdAntins) and its
> their formulation 
>  due to their excessive love for Lord KrishNa. There
> is no mention
>  of such gradations in principal Upanishads, Brahma
> sUtras and
>  Bhagavad gIta. Infact, there are many contradictory
> statements
>  to their theory.
>  For GVs, ParamAtma is also none other than
> BhagavAn, but an 
>  expansion of Him, manifesting only certain
> qualities etc. To 
>  adiyEn's understanding, they equate ParamAtma with
> the antaryAmi 
>  form of PerumAL and also to other 4 handed forms of
> PerumAL.
>  Surprisingly, they also accept the existence of
> "NirguNa Brhaman" 
>  as that of Sankara. But, it is equated to the
> effulgence coming
>  out of the divine body of BhagavAn. The effulgence
> spreads 
>  outside of the spiritual world and those who are
> after nirguNa
>  Brahman (advaitins) are said to get merged into
> that effulgence.
>  But, this NirguNa Brahman is none other than
> BhagavAn for them
>  in ultimate reality, but is only an expansion of
> BhagavAn. This
>  gives them a very contradictory metaphysical stand
> since BhagavAn
>  is savisEsha (who has various guNas, form etc) and
> He can't 
>  simultaneously be "nirvisEsha" (without any
> attributes whatsoever)
>  as "NirguNa Brahman". They also say that BhagavAn
> and His 
>  attributes are absolutely same, which is logically
> contradictory.
>  They get into a fix and dispose all these by saying
> that its
>  "acintya" ie. un-explicable. Similar to how
> advaitins 
>  conveniently try to escape the objections by
> incorporating all of 
>  them into the "nature of avidya", GVs incorporate
> the objections 
>  into "acintya" (ie."Unexplicable" is the very
> answer, though our 
>  Bhagavad RAmanuja has clearly established as to how
> the tattvas 
>  are clearly explainable without contradictions).
> Bhagavad 
>  RAmAnuja's establishment of the tattvAs and esp.
> the relationship
>  between Brahman and chit+achit, is fully grounded
> in Upanishads
>  themselves (ie. SarIra-SarIri bhAva and the concept
> of apruthak
>  siddi ie. inseparable union is verily present in
> Upanishads).
>  But the acintya theory of GVs is a logical
> deduction from the 
>  metaphysical stand they hold for various tattvas
> and thus 
>  "yukti" (logic) scores over the pramAna for them
> ultimately.

reagarding the gradations of the absolute truth the
pramana is the srimad bhagavatham verse "vadanti tat
tattva vidah ...... brahmeti paramatmeti bhagavan iti

  in this verse it is not  gradation but the supreme
lord is realised in different aspects by various
tattva vidah. the example given is the sun seen in the
mid noon at the zenith and the sun seen in the evening
as a ball and ultimately entering the sun and
realising what it is actually. all the three
realisations are of the same object- the sun but each
of them is different from the others.

how the lord exists in all the three are already given
in the sruti sastras. the bhagavatham only gived a
combined statement off all the three and establishes
that realising the supreme lord as bhagavan is the
most perfect realisation.

reg the different type of mokshas it is definitely
offensive to gradate them. we cannot just call
vaikuntha lower than goloka or vice versa.mukti is
that  the jivatmas are established in their
constitutional position-their swarupa-SB- mukti hitva
anyata rupam svarupena vyavastitih. hence mukti is to
be situated in one's swarupa. the GV's say that our
swarupa is as per the rasa or the mellowful realtion
ship which we develop with the lord and say they are
12 in no- 5 primary and 7 secondary.among the primary
rasas the most sweetest is the madhurya rasa. 

   note that there is no inferiority or superiority in
the rasas but they differ in their taste. one rasa has
all the sweetness of the previous rasa and exceeds it
in the sweetness.Goda devi was in the madhurya
rasa.she sings to Sri Ranganatha not as Himself but as

 the Topmost rasa attainable in the Service of
SrimannNarayan is Dasya rasa - being a dasanudasan,
and filled with awe and reverence. any other rasas are
tasted in his other forms such as rama and krishna and
all the rasas can be tasted in their fullness only in
devotion to Sri Krishna paramatma.  this is very
apparent in the arulichheyal of the azhwars.

the example given between krishna and Narayana is like
the association of the Grandson of the supreme court
Judge in his office and at home. the sweetness
definitely varies though it is the same person.

 reagarding the philosophy of AcintyabhedAbheda it is
the only philosophy wherein all the statemnts of the
shastars, the Bheda, the abheda and the Ghataka can be
accepted as it is without any further interpretation. 
every philosophy has to be established on the basis of
the shastras else it becomes simple speculation. this
philosophy of AcintyabhedadAbheda has been established
on the basis of taechings of Lord Chaitanya who is
glorified as the Yuga avatara of Krishna by SB and
various other Sastras.  in his teachings all the
different forms of the lord and the different lokas
canbe found.

> > 4. on why sri bhasyakarar did not include srimad
> > bhagavatham as one of the pramanams, a) srimad
> > bhagavatahma states that Lord Krishna to be the
> > supreme lord and not an avatara.(in the krishna
> > sandharbha this is established by jiva
> goswami)while
> > Sri VP states on the contrary.
  SrImad BhAgavatham (SB) has nowhere contradicted
> VEdAnta.
>  Gaudiya Vaishnavas take the SB verse "etE
> .....krishNAstu
>  bhagavAn swayam" to understand as if Lord KrishNa
> is the
>  "original" God and four handed forms of God are
> only His
>   expansions. They call these four handed forms of
> God as
>  NArAyana.  
>  Its only a misunderstanding of that verse by
> Gaudiya 
>  Vaishnavas (GVs)

 there is no misunderstanding of the GV's but rather
on our part. 
when SB is supposed to be the Bhasya of the vedanta
sutras how can it differ from Vedanta.

 Reg the Verse Ete camsa kalah..... Sriman Harikrisha
has alreday answered your questions. in addition Sri
Jiva Goswami establishes the Statement *Krishnas tu
Bhagavan svayam* as a sutra called paribhasa sutra- a
sutra which doesnot require any explanation or
interpretation and is whole in itself. this he does in
his Krishna sandharbha on the basis of smrtis and

  though it may seem that SB talks of various subject
matters it is said in the SB itself that it has
nothing to do with the four purushartha(dharma artha
kama and moksha) but only about pure devotion to Sri
Krishna .

similarly thouggh the Bhagavatham talks of various
avataras, it talks in every word only about Sri
Krishna who is the only subject matter( Padma Purana)

Reg the position of Piratti in Srimad Bhagavatham, it
is said in the Dasama skandam by the gopikas prior ras
krida that *even sridevi who is situauted in your
thiru vakshastalam is yearning for the dust of your
lotus feet which she has to share with tulasi devi 
and others*. i only expanded on this verse that though
situated in the vakshasthalam Sridevi yearns for
something which others are already possessing.

finally , the lives of the Acharyas were as  totally 
directed by the lord. certain things have to be taken
as Lila of the Lord only viz. Udayavar unable to
establish pancharatra worship in Thiruananthapuram
etc. it is only divine will. we being the
infinitismally small jivas try to explain everything
within the purview of our logic. but it has its limit.

 Why Sri Bhasyakarar did not refer to SB is only known
to him and the lord. we can only try to give various
reasons to satisfy ourselves because we are strictly
bound by logic.

it is where this logic ends that what is called as
acintya begins.

ramanuja dasan

narasimhan ranganathan 


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