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Re: Krishna/Vishnu in Bhagavatam

From: Martin Gansten (
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 11:29:18 PDT

Dear Gerald,

>In the Nimbarka tradition, there is Nimbarka's Dasa-sloki and its commentary 
>by Giridhar Prapannam which was published as "The Theology of Nimbarka" by 
>Gita Khurana, Vantage Books, NY, which  describes not only that Krishna is 
>superior to Vishnu, but that the two-armed Krishna is superior to the 
>four-armed Krishna form, from a rasa standpoint.

Thank you for this reference. It is the first time I've heard of this, and
I'll do my best to follow it up. It would be interesting to see, also, if
Nimbarka or his followers cite any shastra-pramana for this standpoint,
especially in the face of many contrary statements from various Puranas,
Agamas, and Mahabharata.

>Regarding the Sri Vaishnava viewpoint, i met Sri Venkat of the Pomona temple 
>in NY and this was his explanation:  Sri Narayana and Sri Krishna are both 
>the original aspect of God

With all due respect for this particular archaka (whom I do not know), I
think we should stick to commonly accepted pramanas in establishing the SV
standpoint. As far as I know, all SV's accept the view that God manifests
on five levels: para, vyuha, vibhava, arca, and antaryamin (cf., for
instance, Yatindramatadipika) -- and that Krishna, like Rama or Narasimha,
etc, belongs to the vibhava category. In other words, the Krishna form is
not identical with the para or 'original' form.

>I am 
>not sure who that two armed crystal colored form is, but presumably, even He 
>has His origin in the two armed Krishna.

Such presuming might be somewhat premature, especially if you aim at
preserving the unity of meaning of all shastras (shaastraikaarthyam). Those
statements which are obscure or capable of multiple interpretations must be
understood in the light of those which are explicit and unambiguous.

Martin Gansten

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