This is a complex argument here. It seems clear that Krsnadas is trying to point out a grammatical mistake made by interpreters of the Bhagavata who want to say that Krsna is an avatara of Visnu or Purusa. I will have to look at the passage more carefully in the Bengali when I get back. It is clear, however, that the Bhagavata is saying that Krsna is not an avatar but the source of the avataras. The third chapter begins with the verse:
jagRhe pauruSaM rUpaM bhagavAn mahadAdibhiH
BhagavAn took the PuruSa form along with the mahat and so forth.
So Bhagavan takes on the form of Purusa and in turn Purusa is the source of the avataras. When later it is said that Krsna is Bhagavan himself it should be clear that what is meant is that Krsna is the source of Purusa. Those who want to read the Bhagavata to mean that Krsna is an avatara of Visnu have to do a complex hermeneutic dance to make that work and that would certainly involve fracturing the grammar of the text. Thus, Krsnadas is trying to assert the grammatical correctness of the Caitanyite interpretation. Subject = what is known and predicate = some new piece of information that is added to our knowledge of the subject. It is known that the avataras come from Purusa, but who does Purusa come from? Well, Bhagavan. And who is Bhagavan? Krsna. That piece of information is or was not commonly known at the time of the composition of the Bhagavata. This is part of the revelation of the Bhagavata.
Last Edit: Jul 6, 2007 22:19:34 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
Although from the point of view of established conclusion (dogma?) there is no distinction between the essential natures of the Lord of Sri and Krsna, nevertheless the form of Krsna is made superior by rasa. This is the position (power?) of rasa.
Perhaps Rupa reads the text the same way you do. What do you make of the monistic tendencies in the text when read without any doctrinal annotations?
The supreme controller is Krsna whose form is being, consciousness and bliss. He is without a beginning, the beginning [of all else], Govinda, the cause of all causes.
It is interesting that Rupa does not appeal to the Bhagavata here, but to the Brahma-samhita (5.1). I will give more of this later. I still think that the grammatical structure of the Bhagavata makes it clear that Krsna is Bhagavan, but that does not exclude Visnu from also being Bhagavan in the same way and same sense.
On another topic the words jJAnam advayaM from the vadanti tat tattvavidas ... verse has always confused me a little. Sridhara's comment on it is illuminating and supports the monistic tendencies of the text. He glosses the words with: kSaNikavijJAnapakSaM vyAvartayati "he excludes the side of momentary knowledge." In other words, non-dual knowledge means akhaNDajJAna, unbroken knowledge or consciousness. This is the highest principle of nondual Vedanta. What is excluded is the momentary consciousness of Buddhism and other Hindu schools.
Last Edit: Jul 14, 2007 11:22:59 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
I love Sridhars commentaries as well and do look forward to reading accurate english translations of his other works. Non-Dual Realization is a Realization all practioners will experience - It seems - no matter what Tradition, and that is because that is the very ground of the inconcievable abode or Pure Spiritual Realm or State. From that ground we CVs engage in loving lila with Svayam Bhagavan - hence Achinta BhedAbhed. It is so obvious and natural once one has touched it.
Here is a little more of the Laghu-bhagavatamrta by Uncle Rupa.
yadrUpaM tadabhedena svarUpeNa virAjate| AkRtyAdibhiranyAdRk sa tadekAtmarUapakaH| sa vilAsaH svAMza iti dhatte bhedadvayaM punaH|| 14||
In this the "same as that" form:
The form that exists in its very nature as non-different from that [essential or own form (svayamrUpa) of Krsna], though in figure and so forth it appears different, is the "same as that" (tadekAtama) form. It again has two varieties: the vilAsa (manifestation or sport) and svAMza (part of self).
Because of manifestation or sport when his essential nature is differently configured though in power nearly the same [as him], it is called a VilAsa form, just as the Lord of the Paramavyoma (NArAyaNa) is for Govinda and VAsudeva is for the Lord of the Paramavyoma.
[Here there is no fragmentation of the essential form of Krsna. It just has a different figure and is nearly the same in power. In other words, it is not partial in any way except that not all of the power is present. This would agree with Rupa's statement cited above in which he recognized Krsna and Visnu as not different, but only distinguished by rasa, which is to say that not all of the qualities of Krsna are visible in Visnu. Those qualities are there because of Krsna's zakti.]
tAdRzo nyUnazaktim yo vyanakti svAMza IritaH| saGKarSaNAdirmatsyAdiryathA tattatsvadhAmasu|| 17||
One who manifests less power than that is called SvAMza, as with SankarSaNa and so forth and Matya and so forth in their respective abodes.
[It looks like the main operand here is the degree of manifestation of power. The VilAsa forms manifests almost as much power as Govinda while the SvAMza forms significantly less power. That is the sense in which they are partial sva-aMza.]
Last Edit: Jul 17, 2007 9:10:05 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
That is something I am vaguely familiar with from CC. I guess you will be dealing with this in detail as you work on Brhad Bhagavatamrtam. In fact in the Harvard CC there is a chart like a family tree starting with 'svayam rupa', tadekatma etc., etc. It would be nice if suitable English words could be found like you've done 'same as that' for tadekatma'. But words like 'vaibhava' and prAbhava' need to be made clear. For 'svAMsa' what would you? 'subjective portion', as opposed to 'vibhinnAmSa' or 'disassociated part'. Or even AC Bhaktivedanta Swami's 'plenary portion'. Or just 'self-part'. Or 'chip off the old block'
Yes, we should try to develop a good vocabulary for those. The problem is often understanding what is meant by them sufficiently to come up with good English versions. What on earth does "plenary portion" mean? Isn't it an oxymoron?
Last Edit: Jul 18, 2007 13:35:49 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
jJAnazaktyAdikalayA yatrAvi.s.to janArdanaH| ta AvezA nigadyante jIvA eva mahattamAH|| 18|| vaikuNThe'pi yathA zeSo nAradaH sanakAdayaH| akrUradRSTAnte cAmI dazame parikIrtitAH|| 19||
Those into whom Janardana has entered by means of a portion of his knowledge-power and so forth, those are called Infused (Aveza), even though living beings the greatest, as for example, even in VaikuNTha, ZeSa, NArada, and the Sanas. And those are praised in the 10th Canto (Chapter 39) in the example of AkrUra. (18-19)
prakAzastu na bhedeSu gaNyate sa hi no pRthak|| 20||
A manifestation (appearance?) is not counted among the different forms because it is not a separate form. (20)
[Need to distinguish vilAsa which I have also translated as manifestation and prakAza. Both basically mean to shine forth, but in VilAsa there is a slight loss of power and in prakAza it is a matter appearing in several places at once.]
There are also two 'puissant-sportive' forms called Krsna and Govinda, names generally only associated with the 'own form'.
I would agree with all of these except maybe the last two. Vaibhava comes from VibhU and PrAbhava comes from Prabhu. VibhU means "all-pervading" and Prabhu mean "all-powerful, mighty." They thus speak to different divine qualities: presence and power.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2007 20:33:09 GMT -6 by Nitaidas
Perhaps the answer is to not think of Vaibhava as all-pervasion, but just as pervasion. That will admit of varying degrees of pervasion, all-pervasion being the extreme. One form might pervade the whole universe but not the spiritual realm beyond.
That's what I find difficult. Surely all the forms are all-pervading, because of the principle of 'advaya-jnAna', or indivisible consciousness. Too much for my small mind! Pervasive, maybe, ie., vaibhava-prakAza for 'pervasive-manifest'; vaibhava-vilAsa, 'pervasive-sportive' I have amended the above list of synonyms by including 'pervasive'.
Yes, I tend to agree with you, Madanmohanji. Pervasion is not really quantifiable. It also occurred to me that the term vibhU is often placed in opposition to the term aNu, minute, localized. Thus, aNu means minute and located in only one place and vibhU is its opposite: all-pervasive and not localized (but capable of manifestation and action in one, many or all places). Perhaps prakAza means merely appearing somewhere and vilAsa means appearing and acting somewhere. We will have to test this when we get to that part of the Lb.
namastasmai bhagavate kRSNAyAkuNThamedhase| yo dhatte sarvabhUtAnAmabhavAyozatIH kalAH|| 1||
Om obeisance to Sri Krsna!
Obeisance to that supreme person, Krsna of sharp intelligence, who assumes beautiful forms for the release of all living beings (Bhag. 10.87.46). (1)
kRSNAvarNaM tviSAkRSNaM sAGgopAGgAstrapArSadam| yajJaiH saGkIrtanaprAyairyajanti hi sumedhasaH|| 2||
[In the Age of Kali] intelligent people worship him, on whose lips are the syllables kRS-Na and whose complexion is not dark, along with his limbs, sublimbs, and companions, by means of sacrifices that are mainly congregational glorification (Bhag. 11.5.32). (2)