Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rupa and Sanathans Mercy to Jiva / Clarifications

Narahari has shown how Rupa Goswami instructed Jiva, punished him and then blessed him, in a story told in Bhakti-ratnakara:

One hot summer’s day, while Rupa was writing Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu and Jiva fanning his perspiring body, Vallabha Bhatta came by to see Rupa Goswami. After reading some of Rupa’s introductory verses, he offered to make corrections. When Vallabha went to the Yamuna to take a bath, Jiva followed him on the pretext of going to fetch water. In fact, he was angry because he considered Vallabha’s proposal to be arrogant. He asked him what fault he had found in Rupa’s verse. Vallabha told him and Jiva immediately showed him the flaws in his argument. A debate ensued in which Jiva countered every one of Vallabha’s objections. When he came back to Rupa’s hut, Vallabha told him how impressed he was with Jiva’s scholarship, recounting the entire episode. Rupa gently rebuked Jiva, telling him to return to Bengal and to come back to Vrindavan only when he was sufficiently calm. Thus banished from his presence, Jiva left Rupa Goswami’s dwelling, but rather than going back to the family home as he had been told, went to Nanda Ghat, a nearby village. Hoping to regain his guru’s favor, he began to practice rigorous austerities, worshiping Krishna intensely while fasting or eating only a bare minimum. As a result of such severe practices, his body became weak and sickly. One day, Sanatan Goswami came by there and was moved when he saw his condition. He took Jiva with him back to Rupa and interceded on his behalf with his brother. Thus Rupa and Jiva were reconciled and Jiva once again won Rupa’s affectionate blessings.

Jiva Goswami’s appearance day is on Bhadra Sukla Dvadasi, his disappearance day is Paush Sukla Tritiya. His deity, Radha Damodar, is still being worshiped in the Radha Damodar temple in Vrindavan. His samadhi tomb is on the grounds of the Radha Damodar temple and his bhajana-kutira is preserved in Radha Kund, near Lalita Kund.

“(1) It is said that a certain dig-vijayi scholar, eager to amass mundane prestige, came to Rupa and Sanatan to get their signature as an admission of defeat in debate.Jiva’s gurus conceded defeat without any argument and the arrogant scholar proclaimed them to be nothing but ignorant fools. He then asked Jiva to also sign such an admission of defeat. Jiva, however, decided to take on the puffed-up Brahmin in debate in order to silence his scurrilous tongue. In this way, he preserved the integrity of his spiritual master’s reputation and demonstrated the ideal behavior of one who is guru-devatatma, i.e., one who recognizes his spiritual master to be his worshipable deity and source of life. The ignorant Sahajiyas, however, say that Sri Jiva’s behavior goes contrary to Mahaprabhu’s teaching of being humbler than a blade of grass and of giving respect to others while demanding none for oneself. Indeed, Rupa Goswami chastised Jiva for this very reason and ostracized him for some time, but later Sanatan interceded on Jiva’s behalf and had Rupa accept him again into his association.

“Only when these enemies of the spiritual master and the Vaishnavas receive Krishna’s mercy and begin to see themselves as their eternal servant, then will they also receive Jiva’s blessings and be able to understand what it really means to be ‘humbler than a blade of grass’ and ‘a giver of respect to all’. Only then will they be eligible to chant the holy names in the proper way.

“(2) Some other ignorant Sahajiyas say that when he saw the manuscript of Chaitanya Charitamrita with its clear language and brilliant explanation of the divine devotional sentiments of Vraja, Jiva was afraid that it would hamper his own scholarly reputation and therefore threw it down a well in a spirit of mean-mindedness. Upon hearing of Jiva’s action, Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami was greatly shocked and immediately gave up his body. Krishnadas’s disciple Mukunda had fortunately made a copy of the original manuscript and thus it was preserved and later published. Had he not done so, the Chaitanya Charitamrita would have been lost forever. This is another contemptible bit of invention based on an inimical attitude to the guru and Vaishnava. It has no basis in reality and there is no possibility of its being true.

“(3) According to other sense-obsessed fornicators, Srila Jiva Goswami should not be accepted as an exemplar because in his treatises, he opposed the idea that the gopis of Vrindavan were married to other men (the parakiya-vada), but rather supported the svakiya-vada. They say that he cannot be accepted as a rasika-bhakta, or a devotee who is knowledgeable in the divine sentiments.

“The fact is that during Jiva’s lifetime, some of his followers demonstrated a preference for the sviya-vada. Jiva recognized their limitations and so, for their benefit and for the benefit of those in the future who would be unable to comprehend the transcendental nature of the parakiya-vada and would try to practice adulterous relationships themselves in imitation of Krishna, he accepted the svakiya doctrine. This is a sign of his acting as an acharya. One should not take this as evidence of his being opposed to the transcendental parakiya-vada, however, for he is the topmost of Rupa Goswami’s followers and one of Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami’s spiritual teachers.” (Anubhashya, 1.10.85)

(Source: Gaur Parshad Vol 2 by His Divine Grace Srila B.B. Tirtha Goswami Maharaj)

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