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Re: Sita Piratti's three separations from Sri Rama

From: Krishna Susarla (krishna_at_ticnet.com)
Date: Tue Nov 10 1998 - 21:59:37 PST

Dear devotees,

I just wanted to clarify that in offering the Maayaa-Siitaa explanation, I
was not attempting to refute any other understanding such as the two fine
ones given below. On the contrary, Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, in his
commentary on the Ninth Canto of Shriimad Bhaagavatam, offers both
explanations for the "separation" of Siitaa-Maata from Her Lord.

>Sriman Mohan Raghavan's unqualified Bhakti is revealed in his statement:
>A similar sentiment has been expresed by Narayana Bhattathiri in his
>Narayaneeyam, Ch.35:10 -- "This incarnation of Thine is to teach
>mankind (marthya shikshaartham) that pain of separation
>(vishleshaarthih) and banishment of the innocent (niraagas-thyajanam)
>will surely happen (niyatham bhaveth) on account of excesive
>attachment to Dharma (kaamaDharmAdhisakthyaa)."

In the Bhaagavatam it is stated:

bhraatraa vane kR^ipaNavat priyayaa viyuktaH striisa.nginaa.m gatimiti
prathaya.mshchachaara || bhaa 9.10.11 ||

Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami's translation:

Then Lord Raamachandra wandered in the forest with His brother Lakshmana as
if very much distressed due to separation from His wife. Thus He showed by
His personal example the condition of a person attached to women (bhaagavata
puraana 9.10.11).

And Srila Prabhupada writes in his purport, "Whether in the forest or at
home, if one is attached to women this attachment is always troublesome, as
shown by the Supreme Personality of Godhead by His personal example."

Note that this is *one* understanding of the pastime of Lord Raamachandra
apparently allowing His wife to be taken from Him. Now for the next one:

>"I believe that one can only truly begin to understand just how much
>the Divine Couple really love each other and every one of us by
>meditating on how much pain they must have felt.  The ones who are
>described as inseparable as the fragrance and the flower, as the sun
>and the light, were separated for so many months for the sake of the
>ignorant souls of this world, only to have to undergo such a horrible
>test to set an example to these same unworthy souls."

Srila Prabhupada then goes on to write:

 "Of course, this is the material side of strii-sangii, but the situation of
Lord Raamachandra is spiritual, for He does not belong to the material
world.... He is not subject to the conditions of the material world. The
separation of Lord Raamachandra from Siitaa is spiritually understood as
vipralambha, which is an activity of the hlaadinii potency of the Supreme
Personality of Godhead belonging to the shringaara-rasa, the mellow of
conjugal love in the spiritual world. In the spiritual world the Supreme
Personality of Godhead has all the dealings of love, displaying the symptoms
called saattvika, sanchaarii, vilaapa, muurchchhaa and unmaada. Thus when
Lord Raamachandra was separated from Siitaa, all these spiritual symptoms
were manifested.... Feeling separation from one's beloved is also an item of
spiritual bliss.... Materially those who are attached to women suffer, but
spiritually when there are feelings of separation between the Lord and His
pleasure potency the spiritual bliss of the Lord increases."

After continuing to refute the possibility of Lord Raamachandra lamenting as
if He were merely an ordinary, conditioned living entity, Srila Prabhupada
then offers the explanation of maayaa-siitaa, which he also goes over in
more detail in his translation of Shrii Chaitanya Charitamrita.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that one need not see the
presentation of a differing view necessarily as a challenge to the existing
ones. Gaudiiya Vaishnavas are able to appreciate all three viewpoints. So
there was no intention on my part of trying to defeat any existing
commentary on the subject. Frankly, this subject is a heart-rending one for
any devotee of the Lord, and discussing these views is exactly the kind of
activity that devotees should partake in. It was exactly in a similar
context that Shrii Chaitanya Mahaaprabhu presented the relevant manuscript
of the Kuurma Puraana to a devotee who was similarly grieving.

Again, if I have transgressed the bounds of etiquette in again presenting
viewpoints from outside the Sri Sampradaaya, then adiyen begs the
forgiveness of the devotees and will refrain from doing so in the future.

adiyen Krishna Susarla