Sri Vedanta-sutra Volume Five Adhikarana 29 The Different Features of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Fn 3 Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana




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Sri Vedanta-sutra Volume Five Adhikarana 29 The Different Features of the Supreme Personality of Godhead .FN 3 Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 Visaya (the subject to be discussed) Now the following texts from the Gopala-tapani# Upanisad will be considered: .FN 2 eko 'pi san bahudha yo 'vabhati .FN 1 {.sy 168}Although He is one, Lord Krsna appears in many forms." .FN 2 ekam santam bahudha drsyamanam .FN 1 {.sy 168}Although He is one, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appears to be many." .FN 2 atha kasmad ucyate brahma .FN 1 {.sy 168}Why is He called the Supreme?" He Supreme Personality of Godhead has many very different forms. In this way He is like a vaidurya jewel. Although He is one He has many different forms and many different qualities. Samsaya (doubt): Should one meditate on the fact that the Supreme Personality of Godhead has many different forms and many different qualities, or should one not meditate on this fact? Purvapaksa (the opponent speaks): The Lord's blissfulness and other like qualities should always be the object of meditation (as was explained in sutra 3.3.12). However, the plurality of forms contradicts the Lord's oneness. Therefore the Lord's plurality of forms should not be an object of meditation. Siddhanta (conclusion): In the following words the author of the sutras gives His conclusion. .FN 3 Sutra 59 .FN 2 bhumnah kratu-vaj jayastvam tatha hi darsayati bhumnahof the plurality;{.fn 2} kratuyaj{.sy 241}a;{.fn 2} vatlike;{.fn 2} jayastvampre-eminence;{.fn 2} tathasi;{.fn 2} hiindeed;{.fn 2} darsayatishows. .FN 3 Like a yaj{.sy 241}a, plurality is most important. So, indeed, it reveals. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 The Lord's plurality of forms is His most important feature. As yaj{.sy 241}as should always be performed, so the Lord's plurality of forms should always be an object of meditation, for this plurality is an essential feature of the Lord. As in an agnistoma-yaj{.sy 241}a, from its beginning until the avabhrta ceremony at its end, it remains always a yaj{.sy 241}a, in the same way among all the qualities of the Lord, His plurality of forms is always present and of prime importance. The evidence for this is given in this sutra in the words, {.sy 168}tatha hi darsayati" (So, indeed, the scriptures reveal). In the Chandogya Upanisad (7.23.1) it is said: .FN 2 bhumaiva sukham nalpe sukham asti .FN 1 {.sy 168}The bliss of the Supreme Personality of Godhead is in His abundant variety. His bliss is not present in a lack of variety." Thus the Lord's bliss and other qualities are present in great abundance and great variety. They should be meditated on in this way. The scriptures reveal this of them. The word {.sy 168}darsayati" in. this sutra means, {.sy 168}they teach this in every circumstance". Without accepting the Lord's plurality of forms it is not possible to accept that His actions are all eternal. .FN 6 Adhikarana 30 Different Meditations on the Lord's Different Forms .FN 3 Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 Samsaya (doubt): Are4 these many forms of the Lord worshiped in one way only or are there many ways to worship them? Purvapaksa (the opponent speaks): Because the object of worship certainly remains one, there must be only way way to worship Him. Siddhanta (conclusion): In the following words the author of the sutras gives His conclusion. .FN 3 Sutra 60 .FN 2 nana sabdadi-bhedat nanavariety;{.fn 2} sabdawords;{.fn 2} adibeginning;{.fn 2} bhedatbecause of the difference. .FN 3 They are different because of different words and other things. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 There are different kinds of worship for the different forms of the Lord. For each form there is a different kind of worship. Why is that? The sutra explains: {.sy 168}sabdadi-bhedat" (because of different words and other things). This means, {.sy 168}because the names of Lord Nrsimha and the Lord's other forms are different, the mantras for worshiping these forms are different, the forms themselves are different, and Their activities are also different". In the Smrti-sastra it is said: .FN 2 krtam treta dvaparam ca kalir ity esu kesavah nana-varnabhidhakaro nanaiva vidhinejyate .FN 1 {.sy 168}In the Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali yugas, Lord Krsna appears in different forms with different colors and different names, forms that are worshiped in different ways." In this way it is proved that the Lord's different forms are worshiped in different ways. .FN 6 Adhikarana 31 The Steadfast Worship of the Lord .FN 3 Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 That the forms of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, beginning with the form of Lord Nrsimha, should be worshiped in ways that are different for each form has thus been described. Samsaya (doubt): Must the worshipers of these various forms meditate on all the Lord's forms together, or is such meditation only optional? Siddhanta (conclusion): In the following words the author of the sutras gives His conclusion. .FN 3 Sutra 61 .FN 2 vikalpo 'visistha-phalatvat vikalpahoption;{.fn 2} avisisthanot better;{.fn 2} phalatvatbecause of the result. .FN 3 It is optional, for a better result is not obtained. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 They have an option. One should worship the Supreme Lord according to the truths taught by a particular community of saintly devotees. One should remain steadfast in that form of worship and not leave it. Why is that? The sutra explains: {.sy 168}avisistha-phalatvat" (for a better result is not obtained). This means that of all the ways to worship the Lord no one way is better than the others. They are all equal. They are all said to bring the same result, which is that liberation where one directly associates with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If by following one such method of worship one attains perfection, what is the need of accepting another method of worship? The lesson taught in the sutra that begins with the words {.sy 168}tad vidusam" should not be forgotten. Therefore, in order to give more evidence to the truth that the ekanti devotees are the best, this instruction is repeated. There is no fault in this. .FN 6 Adhikarana 32 Worshiping the Lord To Attain a Specific Benediction .FN 3 Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 The different kinds of worship of the Lord's different forms, such as the form of Lord Nrsimha and the other forms, all bring liberation as their result. Therefore these activities of worship should be regularly performed by the ekanti devotees. However, in the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad and other scriptures are also described other kinds of worship of the Lord, kinds of worship meant for attaining fame, followers, victory, wealth, and other like benedictions. Samsaya (doubt): May one choose any form of the Lord for such worship, or must one direct this kind of worship to one's chosen deity alone? Purvapaksa (the opponent speaks): Because the worship of any form of the Lord brings the same result as the worship of any other form of the Lord, one should direct this worship to one's chosen Deity alone, as was previously explained. Siddhanta (conclusion): In the following words the author of the sutras gives His conclusion. .FN 3 Sutra 62 .FN 2 kamyas tu yatha-kamam samucci#yeran na va purva-hetv-abhavat kamyahfor the objects of desire;{.fn 2} tubut;{.fn 2} yathaas;{.fn 2} kamamdesire;{.fn 2} samucci#yeranmay collect;{.fn 2} nanot;{.fn 2} vaor;{.fn 2} purvaprevious;{.fn 2} hetureason;{.fn 2} abhavatbecause of the non- existence. .FN 3 For attaining a desire one may accept another or not, as one wishes, for the previous reason is now absent. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 To fulfill desires other than direct association with the Supreme Lord, desires like the attainment of fame in this world, one may worship any for of the Lord, as one wishes, or one need not (worship another form of the Lord, and may instead to continue to worship one's own chosen Deity). Why is that? The sutra explains: {.sy 168}purva-hetv-abhavat" (for the previous reason is now absent). This is is so because the result to be obtained is different. When there is a desire to attain these various material benediction, then one may worship any form of the Lord. When one does not desire these material benefits, one may not adopt the worship of forms of the Lord other than one's chosen Deity. The meaning here is that if one who desires liberation also desires some material benediction, then he should worship Lord Hari alone in order to attain it. He should not worship the demigods to attain his desire. This is explained by Srimad- Bhagavatam (2.3.10) in the following words: .FN 2 akamah sarva-kamo va moksa-kama udara-dhi#h ti#vrena bhakti-yogena yajeta purusam param .FN 1 {.sy 168}A person who has broader intelligence, whether he be full of all material desire, or desiring liberation, must by all means worship the supreme whole, the Personality of Godhead."* Thus have been explained the various kinds of worship of the Lord, kinds of worship beginning with the chanting of the ten- syllable mantra. As explained before, this worship should be directed to one's chosen Deity. .FN 6 Adhikarana 33 Meditation on the Form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead .FN 3 Introduction by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 In the previous passages meditation on the Lord's qualities and virtues has been described. Now will be described meditation on the Lord's bodily limbs and features. In Gopala-tapani# Upanisad (1.38), the demigod Brahma explains: .FN 2 tam ekam govindam sac-cid-ananda-vigraham pa{.sy 241}ca-padam vrndavana-sura-bhuruha-talasi#nam satatam sa-marud-gano 'ham paramaya stutya tosayami. .FN 1 {.sy 168}With eloquent prayers I and the Maruts please Lord Govinda, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, who stays under a desire tree in Vrndavana, and who is this five- word mantra." In the verse that follow Brahma speaks prayers describing the gentle smile, merciful glance, and other features on the Supreme Lord's face, eyes, and other parts of the body. Samsaya (doubt): Are the gentle smile and other features on the Lord's face and the other parts of His body to be meditated on or not? Purvapaksa (the opponent speaks): Because by meditating on the Lord's general qualities and virtues one attains the goal of life, and because that goal thus attained is so great and exalted, there is no need to meditate on the features of the Lord's body. Siddhanta (conclusion): In the following words the author of the sutras gives His conclusion. .FN 3 Sutra 63 .FN 2 angesu yathasraya-bhavah angesuon the limbs;{.fn 2} yathaas;{.fn 2} asrayashelter;{.fn 2} bhavahnature. .FN 3 Appropriate meditation on the limbs. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 One should appropriately meditate on the Lord's mouth and the other parts of His body. This means that one should meditate on the qualities that have taken shelter of the parts of the Lord's body. Thus, on the Lord's mouth there are a gentle smile and sweet words, on His eyes there is a merciful glance, and on the other parts of His body there are other features. .FN 3 Sutra 64 .FN 2 sistais ca sistaihby the disciples;{.fn 2} caand. .FN 3 Also by the disciples. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 In the Gopala-tapani# Upanisad (1.51) it is said: .FN 2 atha haivam stutibhir aradhayami tatha yuyam pa{.sy 241}ca-padam japantah krsnam dhyayantah samsrtim tarisyatha. .FN 1 {.sy 168}Brahma said: As I worship Him, so should you. Chanting this five word mantra, and meditating on Lord Krsna, you will transcend the world of birth and death." In this way Brahma teaches his disciples to meditate on the qualities present in Lord Krsna's form. That is the meaning. Here someone may object: In the Chandogya Upanisad (1.6.7) it is said: .FN 2 yatha kapyasam pundari#kam evam aksini# .FN 1 {.sy 168}The Supreme Lord's eyes are like lotus flowers." Here there is no mention of the Lord's merciful glance or His other features. If this is said, then the author of the sutras gives the following reply. .FN 3 Sutra 65 .FN 2 samaharat samaharatbecause of being collective. .FN 3 Because of being together. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 The word {.sy 168}na" (it is not so) should be added here from three sutras previous. The word applies to both sutras. In this passage of Chandogya Upanisad many other features of the Lord's body are implied. This passage does not mean that the Lord has only lotus eyes and no other bodily features. Here someone may object: The idea that one should meditate on the parts of the Lord's body as having only certain attributes and not others is wrong. I refute it with the following words. .FN 3 Sutra 66 .FN 2 guna-sadharanya-srutes ca gunaof qualities;{.fn 2} sadharanyacommonness;{.fn 2} srutehfrom the Sruti-sastra;{.fn 2} caalso. .FN 3 Also because the Sruti-sastra declares that the qualities are held in common. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 In Bhagavad-gi#ta (13.14) it is said: .FN 2 sarvatah pani-padam tat .FN 1 {.sy 168}Everywhere are His hands and legs."* This passage shows that one should meditate on the parts of the Lord's body as all having the same qualities in common. In Brahma-samhita (5.32) it is said: .FN 2 angani yasya sakalendriya-vrttimanti pasyanti panti kalayanti tatha jaganti .FN 1 {.sy 168}Each of the limbs of the Lord's transcendental figure possesses in Himself the full-fledged functions of all organs and eternally sees, maintains, and manifests the infinite universes, both spiritual and mundane."** In this way the scriptures declare that each part of the Lord's body has all the qualities of all the other parts. In the following words the author of the sutras refutes this idea. .FN 3 Sutra 67 .FN 2 na va tat-saha-bhavasruteh nanot;{.fn 2} vaor;{.fn 2} tatthat;{.fn 2} sahatogether;{.fn 2} bhavabeing;{.fn 2} anot;{.fn 2} srutehfrom the Sruti-sastra. .FN 3 Or not, for the Sruti-sastra does not declare that they have the same nature. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 The word {.sy 168}va" (or) is used here for emphasis. One should not meditate on the different parts of the Lord's body as all having the same features in common. Why is that? The sutra explains: {.sy 168}tat-saha-bhavasruteh" (for the Sruti- sastra does not declare that they have the same nature). This means that the Sruti-sastra does not declare that the qualities of one part of the body are present in the other parts. Also, one should not meditate on the parts of the Lord's body as having the same qualities as the other parts. The descriptions in Bhagavad-gi#ta 13.14 and other passages in the scriptures should be understood to mean that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, being all-powerful, can do anything with any part of His body. That is the meaning. .FN 3 Sutra 68 .FN 2 darsanac ca darsanatfrom seeing;{.fn 2} caalso. .FN 3 By seeing also. Purport by Srila Baladeva Vidyabhusana .FN 1 Therefore the Lord's gentle smile should be understood to be present in His face and His other qualities to be present in the other parts of His body, each in its appropriate place. In this way it is both seen and described.


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