Шри Чайтанья Чаритамрита. Ади-Лила, Глава 2. Стихи 1-11. Чтение и комментарии | Лекция Б.Ч. Бхарати Свами (Александр Драгилев) от 6 и 13 августа 2017 года
ADI-LILA. Chapter 2. The Supreme Lord in His Primordial Form. Verses 1-11
Lectured by Bhakti Chaitanya Bharati Swami, August 6 and 13, 2017
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Chapter two. The title is The Supreme Lord in His Primordial Form.
Krishnadas Kaviraj, the author, is a fanatic who believes Sri Chaitanya, the ‘insane’ Bengali man, who lived about the same time as Martin Luther and a ‘politician’ who rebelled against the Muslim rule, is much more than God’s manifestation, that Krishna is Sri Chaitanya’s manifestation. We can forgive the author because he is Bengali; people in Vrindavan believe Krishna is the Supreme Lord contrary to the Bengali who believe Chaitanya is the Supreme Lord. Here is Verse 1 of Chapter 2:
I bow down to the feet of Lord Chaitanya by whose overwhelming grace even a small child can find the rescue path in the ocean of rapacious false teachings.
Thus, in the first verse Krishnadas claims that Lord Chaitanya is no other than the Supreme Lord because even a small child can find, by His grace, rescue from the ocean of false teachings.
Oh my Graceful Lord, may the sweetest river of Your heavenly acts bring to life my deserted tongue, may the lotuses of songs, dances, and prayers for Krishna blossom in the desert to rapture Your beloved devotees that circle like swans and bees around beautiful honey flowers .
Glory to Sri Chaitanya! Glory to Nityananda! Glory to Advaita-Acharya and all devoted servants of Sri Gaura!
Now, I start explaining the third verse of the first fourteen of Chapter One. Listen to it once again to define the Truth in the ultimate form.
The Holy Spirit described and interpreted in old legends is the Light coming from the image of Sri Chaitanya, the All-Pervasive Soul, and the plenary form of Sri Chaitanya. He is the Supreme Lord in person opulent with His six properties, Lord Chaitanya, the Absolute Truth, Unsurpassed, the One and Only.
The Unsurpassed is turyam, i.e. there is nothing above/beyond this; there is something above Bhagavan.
The Holy Spirit, All-Pervasive Soul, and Supreme Lord personally are three definitions corresponding to a certain interpretation: universal (limitless), all-pervasive (indefinite), and the self-existent source of both (definite).
It should be specified that Krishnadas writes sometimes in Sanskrit and sometimes in Bengali. This very verse comes in Sanskrit: brahma atma bhagavan anovada tina anga prabha amsha swarupa tina vidieha china. Brahma is Brahman that is universal or limitless/beyond limits; atma or Paramatma is all-pervasive and indefinite; the genuine source of both is definite. We have here limitless, indefinite, and definite. Bhagavan has no limits; atma, the observer that is indefinite; the genuine source of both that is definite. Brahma is beyond limits and the observer/atma beyond definitions; any definition sets limits that is why the mayavada say that Bhagavan stands lower, i.e. all forms are lower than Brahman because when talking about forms we inevitably set limits. A form is something we give definitions to. This is why the mayavada philosophy is so tempting. We say ‘Krishna’ so He has a name, a character, He is of a certain height, smell, color, He is full of faculties, and once we define Him we set limits thus distinguishing Him from someone else. By saying ‘red’ I define something but also indicate the existence of ‘not-red’ thus distinguishing this color from another one.
Talking of God and His faculties I give definitions and distinguish Him from something else while the Lord is beyond limits. The mayavada reflect as follows: yes, we can say that Krishna, Vishnu, Brahma, Kurma, Vamana, etc., is God, His forms, and forms are definitions that set limits to anything. You want to limit God because you are a believer and need a sort of ‘crutches’ to go forward, you are in need of forms but as soon as you get mature you can understand that God has no visible forms. He is not fish or flesh, not Krishna and not Vishnu, He is limitless. We say ‘limitless and indefinite’ and the Vaishnavas say there is also a definite One who is over the limitless and indefinite. How come? It’s easy to explain. For example, you have a description that God is tall, has curly hair, etc.; this description is dynamic because He might be whatever He wishes. He might have black curly hair or be bold, or both and in this way He is higher than the limitless and definite because the two latter are not dynamic, they stand still. Although we say ‘definite’ the limits always shift and ‘surf’. We define Him somehow and the definitions might be there but He plays with them. This is the Vaishnava philosophy and that’s why they say that the defined Bhagavan is higher than limitless and undefined.
LISTENER: And at the same time He has avatars such as the Fish and…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: Right, He becomes indefinite and the definite forms/manifestations come from the indefinite, and then they disappear. They emerge and perish as waves in the ocean or river one after another but the ocean/river sets the limits and plays with them. With Paramatma and Brahman, however, there is no playing, they don’t play with the limitless; they are static, not dynamic.
These verses are hard to crack. The first seven chapters of the Adi-Lila are not easy at all but further on we’ll have some fun with simple descriptions like someone came, said some words to make other people sing joyfully or faint, etc.
LISTENER: You were telling that, in the Bhagavatam, there’s a certain sequence with the philosophy coming first and followed by the climax…
BHARATI MAHARAJ: It goes waves-like, philosophy, fairy tales, less philosophy, more logics, some stories, etc. It’s like constant rolling and moving on.
LISTENER: Is there any disguised sense in the Chaitanya-Charitamrita?
BHARATI MAHARAJ: This is a story of insanity in progress. This insanity coming since the early years of Chaitanya is something the Vaishnavas dream about. When Mother Shachi asked the doctor to see her son he checked the pulse, looked into the patient’s eyes, and said: I wish I could be as mad; this is incurable. You can learn about Mahaprabhu and His teaching in the book by Bhaktivinod Thakur Life and Teachings of Sri Chaitanya; the whole Chaitanya is abridged to the size of a summary. The devotees also compiled a book The Golden Volcano of Divine Love based on the lectures by Sridhar Maharaj; it’s the very essence of the Chaitanya-Charitamrita, the nectar of the teaching.
Let’s read Verse 6 once again:
The Holy Spirit, All-Pervasive Soul, and Supreme Lord personally are three definitions corresponding to a certain interpretation: universal (unlimited), all-pervasive (indefinite), and the self-existent source of both (definite).
Here we read about Brahman, Paramatma, and Bhagavan. Brahman is universal. Paramatma is all-pervasive/omnipresent. Bhagavan is self-existent, is the source Himself which doesn’t depend on the previous two.
Here comes Verse 7:
The interpretation (rheme) always follows the statement (theme), with a conversion in between. This is the structure of any philosophic work. Now, I shall confirm my concept with texts from the Holy Scriptures.
First of all, Krishnadas develops the concept of Sri Chaitanya as the Supreme Lord; not a form or manifestation but the Supreme Lord personally united with His devotees. Krishna is always surrounded by His close devotees and they always seek unity with Him. Krishna is the supreme male entity contrary to the supreme female one; Krishna and Radharani. Radharani is said to have many expansions but, in fact, these are derivatives, with personal nature and female form. Mythologically, they are gopi of various sorts, girlfriends of different age, and all are derivatives of Srimati Radharani. And all of them are anxious to unite with Him. This unity is yoga based on prema, the unconditional devotion, actually, beyond conditions and morality, sort of shameless devotion. We tend to see everything as black and white but when the process of unity starts everything goes in circles and we cannot distinguish black or white because something quite different in quality appears. Again, mythologically, when Krishna and Radharani leave the Love dance and disappear somewhere in the bush this is the moment when Chaitanya emerges. Sri Chaitanya is where Radha and Krishna are together. This is what Krishnadas Kaviraj Goswami is trying to explain. And he starts from afar telling us about rheme and theme, conversion and interpretation.
At first, he says, we set a theme, and then give the interpretation, and it’s never vice versa. E.g.: a car is a trough with wheels; this is how we define it. You cannot make it vice versa like: a trough with wheels is a car; that’s incorrect. The interpretation (rheme) always follows the statement (theme) so ‘a car’ is the theme which is followed by interpretation. In other words, Chaitanya comes first and then the interpretation follows that He is the Supreme Lord, etc. What Krishnadas Kaviraj says is that in the Scriptures when they tell about Lord Chaitanya they clearly state the theme, i.e. Him, and then give interpretations, explanations, and it’s never done vice versa. When, in the Scriptures, they say that Sri Chaitanya is the Supreme Lord, i.e. two united supreme counterparts, this is not just a statement but the statement under the Holy Scriptures. Hence, Now I shall confirm my concept with texts from Holy Scriptures; Krishnadas writes and then gives the waterfall of themes and rhemes, statements and interpretations, from the Bhagavata-Purana mostly. We’ll add the exact number of the quoted text later.
Krishna is the self-existent initial entity omnipresent in His form of Vishnu the Almighty. He is beyond the being. He is All-Knowing, Krishna the Bliss.
Self-existent means existing independently, on His own. Krishna is the theme and the rest of the sentence is the rheme, explanation. Krishnadas presents this kind of philosophical sequence. For those doubting that Krishna is the source of everything he shows that the Holy Scriptures consider Krishna the theme and put all description/explanation as a rheme. This is also true regarding His forms where each one comes first and is followed by explanation. In the original, the author just writes that Krishna is Vishnu and I add some definitions to specify. If we stick to philosophy we can see that Krishna is the statement and Vishnu is a definition to better understand who Krishna is, i.e. Vishnu is the rheme. We know it, contrary to the traditional Hindu who would say: no, no, Vishnu is the theme and Krishna is his avatar, i.e. the rheme. I specify it in the Verse: Krishna is the self-existent initial entity omnipresent in His form of Vishnu the Almighty, in order to avoid footnotes or commentaries. In Sanskrit it’s just Krishna is Vishnu; Krishna is always the theme followed by explanations like it’s Vishnu or Narayana, Paramatma, Parabrahman, etc. Krishna always comes first, i.e. He is the source.
Then, the author finds a text where Chaitanya is Krishna. In fact, here, Krishna is the explanation of who Chaitanya is. The author is a Bengali and he must have found the written proof somewhere in Bengal but we’re not going to check it. I’m just telling you in brief of his mode of thinking. It’s always the same structure: Chaitanya is the statement and Krishna is the explanation of who Chaitanya is. It’s about Krishna who is Chaitanya but that Chaitanya is Krishna. Once again: Krishna is the self-existent initial entity omnipresent in His form of Vishnu the Almighty. He is beyond the being. He is All-Knowing, Krishna the Beatitude. Chaitanya is the Beatitude/Bliss relishing Himself.
Sridhar Maharaj says: imagine that everyone knows the taste of sugar except sugar; it doesn’t know its taste. What should it do to know its own taste? Touch anything with a sugarcane and it will become sweet but not as sweet as the sugarcane. Imagine a sugar bunny which licks itself with its tongue and you’ll get sugar tasting sweetness. That’s impossible as much as an eye which cannot see itself but we believe that the Lord is almighty and everything is possible for Him. Should God be an eye it could see itself. This is what Chaitanya is. Krishna is bliss/beatitude and happiness per se and Chaitanya is Krishna who managed to relish this happiness. Chaitanya is the Lord in the skin of His devotee; He who serves Himself.
Here’s the following text from the Bhagavatam:
‘He whom the Bhagavata-Purana names the Son of Nanda descended to the earth in the form of Chaitanya’.
Multi-faced Krishna manifests Himself as the all-pervasive limitless radiance, omnipresent indefinite source and certain personality.
I.e. Krishna takes forms of multiple bhagavans, avatars, lila-avatars, purusha-avatars, yuga-avatars, etc. There are the Supreme Observer – Paramatma and the observed by Paramatma, i.e. Brahman, and Lord Krishna (Vrindavan) is above all.
This is all for today. Next time we’ll start with Verse 11.
Translator Elizabeth D.