Monday, September 28, 2015

5. The Parakiya Rebuttal

Some of the following is repetition and there is still work needed on the footnotes, some of which appear to have gotten lost.

5.1 The controversy

According to Karnānanda, at some time after the GC had arrived in Bengal, a controversy arose in Yajigrama between Vyasacharya, Narottamadasa, Ramachandra Kaviraja, Govindadasa Kaviraja, and other Vaishnavas. The subject of contention was that of sādhya and sādhanā. Narottama states in his Prema-bhakti-candrikā that "that which is desired for in the course of one's devotional practices is matched in the stage of perfection".(1)

Jiva's GC appeared to contradict this by postulating a svakīyā rather than parakīyā state in the nitya-līlā. The dispute was referred to Jiva Goswami for his final verdict and letters were received from him which supposedly settled the matter.(2) Whatever the truth of the Karnānanda account, and it is undoubtedly true that the arrival of Gopāla-campū provoked controversy amongst the disciples of Shrinivasa et al, Yadunandana's account is riddled with contradictions. Specifically, the letters from Jiva supposedly written to settle the controversy, in fact indicate that he had withheld the sending of Gopāla-campū for further revision! The problem seems not to have been resolved by any statement of Jiva's, but rather by obscuring the issue, imputing a subtle motive to him by saying that the GC established a śuddha-parakīyā or "purified illicit love".(3)

In Vivarta-vilāsa, a sahajiyā work written at least a century after Jiva's death, Jiva is said to have engaged in controversy with Krishnadasa Kaviraja, according to which Jiva did not like CC because parakīyā was preached therein (vākyata kariyā kene karile varṇane/ parakīyā bhāva kena kaile prakāśane//). When the MS. was given to Jiva to read, he threw it into the Yamuna in anger. The book floated, however, showing that it had been accepted by the gods, and thus Jiva was forced to admit its greatness. Jiva was already dead when Krishnadas wrote CC, thus there is no possibility of this story's being true. It was written by sahajiya supporters of the parakīyā doctrine to show not only that Jiva was wrong, but that he had admitted the error of his ways.

Rumours of Jiva's disapproval began no doubt when his known promotion of the svakīyā position was coupled with the absence of his name from the list of those who requested Krishnadas to write Chaitanya's biography. The promulgators of these false histories were also unaware that Jiva and Krishnadas's relations were sufficiently cordial that the latter was present at Jiva's side when he was on his deathbed. Krishnadas gives credit to Jiva in every chapter of Govinda-līlāmṛta, a book supporting the parakīyā-vāda, for being among his inspirers.(4) Furthermore, his samadhi is also situated in a prominent place at Jiva’s Radha Damodara temple.

There is little doubt that Jiva wrote to combat a growing opinion amongst the Gaudiyas in Vraja who believed that Rupa Goswami was in favour of the parakīyā-vāda. Later Vrindavan authors, amongst them Radhakrishna Goswami and Rupa Kaviraja, took great pains to refute the svakīyā-vāda. Radhakrishna flies in the face of the evidence that Jiva consistently, in nearly all his works, including the largest (GC) and the last (SKD) that Jiva had altered his opinions to please a friend and disciple, Gopaladasa. The argument is based on a verse found at the end of Jiva's commentary to UN 1.20, where, after establishing the svakīyā doctrine at length, Jiva states,

svecchayā likhitaṁ kiñcit kiñcid atra parecchayā
yat pūrvāpara-sambaddhaṁ tat pūrvam aparaṁ param //
Some things have been written here by my own will,
some at the behest of others,
that which matches what I have said before
and shall say again is the former,
that which is not, the latter.
Radhakrishna further cites a similar verse from KrsnaS(5) and the final passages of Laghu-vaiṣṇava-toṣanī,(6) which are intended to confirm Jiva's insincerity in presenting the dogmas found in Locana-rocanī. In fact, these passages may be taken as little more than humble admissions of inadequacy in a style frequently found in devotional writings and it is rather such an allusion that is being made in the Locana-rocanī verse does.

Radhakrishna goes on to lay further blame for the rise of the svakīyā dogma on the disciple Krishnadas, Jiva's successor at the Radha Damodara temple (and likely author of the Laghu Gopāla-campū).(7) Radhakrishna denies that this Krishnadas had any authority to speak about Jiva's real intentions, for he had made a false claim to be Jiva's disciple, when in fact Jiva had not taken any disciples, only pupils. Such arguments ad personam are not particularly relevant to the establishment of Jiva's real intentions which can be understood only by an examination of the materials themselves. Radhakrishna does not, however, attempt to point out inconsistencies in Jiva's writings, indeed he would be hard-pressed to do so. Rupa Kaviraja, on the other hand, has made such an attempt at the beginning of his Sāra-saṁgraha, but with only limited success.(8)

Jiva's comments on the BrahmaS, his Prīti-sandarbha, the Locana-rocanī commentary on Rupa's Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, Rādhā-kṛṣṇārcana-dīpikā, are all dominated by a defense of svakīyā-vāda. The first chapter of what is generally considered to be Jiva's final work, Saṁkalpa-kalpa-druma, also summarizes the activities of Krishna's avatāra with an end to showing that he leads an eternal existence in the married state with the gopis. The repeated elaboration of the same theme as well as the sheer magnitude of the effort that went into producing the Gopāla-campū with its elaborate description of Krishna's wedding to Radha, would certainly make it difficult to argue inconsistency on Jiva's part. That the parakīyā-vāda was able to supplant Jiva's svakīyā-vāda amongst the Gaudiyas was not due to want of effort on his part.

Radha Govinda Nath claims in his Caitanya-caritāmṛtera Bhūmikā that the Locana-rocanī verse does not appear in all manuscripts, without telling us in which MSS he has examined.(9) If so, it is a very early one indeed, for Radhakrishna lived and wrote in the mid-17th century, less than 50 years after Jiva's death. In view of Jiva's overwhelming consistency, however, it is far more likely that the verse is at most an apology for any inconsistency that might have slipped through despite his best efforts. As such it is similar in both form and substance to comparable verses of his predecessors. Compare, for instance, the following 'sloka found in the introduction of Sanatana's VT:

svayaṁ vilikhitaṁ kiñcit kiñcid yogyair vilekhitam
chidraṁ yad asti tac catra sodhyaṁ vaiṣṇava-paṇḍitaiḥ//
Some things have been written by myself,
worthy persons have instructed me to write others;
whatever fault there may be in this work
should be corrected by Vaishnava scholars.

5.2 Critics and critique

In the century following the publication of the Gopāla-campū, numerous devotees questioned Jiva's position, some of which critique has been discussed above. Particularly outspoken was Radhakrishna Goswami, a successor to the helmsmanship of the Radha Govinda temple which housed Rupa Goswami's deity. In two works, Daśaślokī-bhāṣya and Sādhanā-dīpikā, Radhakrishna Goswami was the first to point out the apparent confession Jiva had made in the Locanarocani. The second major critic, Rupa Kaviraja, who wrote Sāra-saṅgraha, has not been taken extremely seriously by Gaudiyas due to his excommunication by his spiritual master, ostensibly for ignoring commensality laws. In his work he identifies himself as a follower of Mukunda Goswami, a disciple of Krishnadas Kaviraja who is known for a commentary on the Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu. The majority of sahajiya groups trace their succession through these masters. One edition of the Narottamavilasa apparently contains the story of Rupa Kaviraja's disgrace at the hands of Hemalata Thakurani. Whatever one may say about Rupa Kaviraja's later status, he certainly was a qualified scholar and his arguments in Sāra-saṅgraha show evidence of an education in nyaya and a logical mind. Another work has been attributed to him, Rāgānugā-vārtikā.

The third writer, who put the nail in the coffin of the svakīyā position in the Gaudiya school, was Vishwanath Chakravarti. Sometimes called an incarnation of Rupa Goswami, he was a prodigious writer and commentator. He wrote commentaries on most of Rupa Goswami's books, most notably Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu and Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi, in which he takes on Jiva Goswami's position in support of svakīyā head on. His commentary on the Bhāgavata-purāna is one of the most rasika of all ever written. He promoted Kavi Karnapura's Ananda-vṛndāvana-campū by writing a commentary on it rather than Jiva's Gopāla-campū because of its adherence to the parakīyā position. He also wrote original works, in particular Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta, a sequel or supplement to Krishnadas Kaviraja's Govinda-līlāmṛta, which also is a work with a parakīyā emphasis. Other works by this author include Vraja-rīti-cintāmaṇi, Prema-sampuṭa, Stavāmṛta-laharī and a Saṅkalpa-kalpa-druma that was perhaps meant to supersede that of Jiva, which it in fact has. Two other small works by Visvanatha directly address the question of the svakīyā loves: Svakīyātva-nirāsa-vicāra and parakīyātva-nirūpaṇa.

We do not have the space here to discuss in full the arguments presented by these critics. The main point made by Rupa Kaviraja is, as already mentioned above, that since samañjasā rati is the love that a conventionally married woman feels for her husband, the gopis would automatically fall into this category upon becoming married. Their love would thus no longer have its own special qualities.(10) Jiva's numerous comparisons of the relation of Radha and Krishna to the queens in Dvaraka or to Sita and Rama or even Lakshmi and Narayana are inherently distasteful to the devotees who see Radha and Krishna as the supreme couple, their supremacy expressed in their idiosyncratic relationship.(11)

In the same vein, Vishwanath Chakravarti says that the parakīyā relation in the prakaṭa-līlā cannot be considered false because the rāsa-līlā, which is the greatest of Krishna's sports, is described in BhP with repeated reference to such a relation. Without such a relation, the rāsa-līlā would not be relishable. If it were not for the parakīyā nature of the rāsa-līlā, the statement that the gopis were more fortunate than Lakshmi (x.47.63) would also have no meaning. No one has ever described a rāsa-līlā of a married Krishna (though Jiva does mention such a rāsa in GC ii.36.109ff).(12)

Even though Vishwanath Chakravarti agrees that as Krishna's hlādinī śakti, Radha is svīyā, he states that they are worshipped in the context of and not divorced from their līlā. This līlā takes the parakīyā form throughout, in the aprakaṭa-līlā as well as in the aprakaṭa-līlā. The very nature of the gopis' love is expressed in their abandonment of the limits imposed on them by society and religion through their marriage vows. If their love did not take this form in the aprakaṭa-līlā then it would not attain the highest reaches of emotional attachment and mahā-bhāva itself would not manifest.

Vishwanath concludes that Jiva's real intention was in favour of the parakīyā mood.(13) As we have seen, however, Jiva's defence of the svakīyā position is confirmed throughout all his works. The words of Paurnamasi at the end of her account of the svakīyā relation in GC i.15. emphatically confirm the importance which he placed on this doctrine, but also denies any possibility that he might have been of two minds on the issue. Seen in the light of such accusations, Jiva's playful use of different forms of the verb vāc is much more than a "display of pure pedantry"(14); it is rather an exercise in absolute confirmation of conviction in a doctrine:

I was saying it, I have said it, even in dreams did I say it;
I am saying it, I am about to say it and I will go on saying it;
I should say it, I pray to God that I may go one saying it,
I must say it,
if it weren't so, then I would never have said it at all.(15)

1. sādhane bhābibe yāhā, siddha-dehe pāibe tāhā, sādhya sādhaner ei vicāra

2. Karṇānanda, Ch. 5, 92-97.

3. Karṇānanda 5.6-11, e.g.
śuddha parakīyā līlā granthete likhila/
tāhā dekhi prabhura baḍa sukha upajila//
śrī-jīvera gambhīrāśaya nā bujhiyā/
bahiḥ śloka bākhānaye svākīyā baliyā//

4. (ed.) Haridas Das, Nabadwip: Haribol Kutir, 1957: śrī-jiva-saṅgodgate.

5. 181; yad etat tu mayā kṣudratareṇa taralāyitam/
kṣamatāṁ tat kṣamā-śīlaḥ śrīmān gokula-vallabhaḥ//
May the beautiful Lord Krishna, beloved of the Gokula residents, who is forgiving by nature, pardon me, the petty being who has thus been making waves and causing a disturbance. (Anuccheda 181)

6. līlā-stavaṣ ṭippaṇī ca seyaṁ vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī/
yā saṁkṣiptā mayā kṣudratareṇāpi tad-ājñayā//
abuddhyā buddhyā vā yad iha mayakālekhi /
sahasā tathā yad vācchedi dvayam api saheran param api/
aho kiṁ vā yad yan manasi mama visphoritam abhūd
amībhis tan mātram yadi balam alaṁ śaṅkita-kulaiḥ//

7. This is manuscript information. The MS used was from the VRI library.

8. asya svecchākṛta-vyākhyā sevyate 'sau mayā sudhā/ śrīmal-locana-rocanyāṁ tat-kṛdbhir yāsu sañcitā// (1.30). Rupa Kaviraj goes on to cite Jiva's commentary on UN 14.154 where Jiva speaks of the anurāga stage of love in which the sacrifices one make's for love's sake appear to be pleasure. Jiva there talks about the gopīs' desertion of their religious principles and families for Krishna's sake as being a case in point, but does not in any way contradict anything he has to say elswhere about the gopis having an eternal svakīyā relation with Krishna in Goloka.

9. 4th edn., Calcutta: Prachyavani Mandir, 1958; 377. Nath makes no references to specific MS. materials, thus diminishing the weight of his claim.





14. S.K. De, op. cit.

15. GC 1.15.18
avacam avocam uvāca ca vacmi hi vaktāsmi vakṣyāmi |
ucyāsam idaṁ vacyāṁ vacāni no ced avakṣyaṁ na ||

(4) The Rasa Shastra Perspective

This is the second last of the series. I have some reflections that I will make in a subsequent article, but for the time being, just getting this file up on line has been time consuming. I will give a table of contents with links as soon as I can. I will try to put a bit of order into everything. The files have been fairly long for a blog and the Sanskrit puts the spell checker through a frenzy, poor beast, and I do not know what magic words to whisper in his ear to quieten his spirits.

(4) Does Krishna Marry the Gopis in the End? Rasa Shastra.

Rupa's UN commences with an outline of the romantic hero (nāyaka), who to the author can only be Krishna. He describes him as being of two kinds, either a husband (pati) or a paramour (upapati). His incarnation as husband takes place in Dvaraka, while that of paramour is found in Vraja. As an example of Krishna the paramour, Rupa quotes with relish an old verse by Acarya Gopika found in SKM (275) and also in Pv (205). He footnotes that verse by saying, in total contradiction to the previous traditions of Indian dramatic theory, that the most perfect state of love is found in the paramour.(50) In support of such a bold statement he quotes a verse purported to be that of Bharata:
That love on account of which many obstacles arise,
where desire must of necessity be concealed,
and in which the lovers find it difficult to meet,
is the strongest that Cupid [can bestow].(51)
The section concludes with Rupa warning (UN 1.21) that any levity or baseness (laghutvam) imputed to the paramour by the arbiters of poetic good taste refers to lovers other than Krishna, for he has descended "to relish the essence of the sentiments (rasa)."(52) Jiva chooses to make this verse the locus of the bulk of his arguments supporting the svakīyā position.

4.1 Adultery is unacceptable for rasa

Jiva's long commentary under UN 1.21 (cited above) refers to a tradition of opposition to the positive treatment of the extramarital sexual liaison in Sanskrit literary circles. He takes a quote found in Vishwanath Kaviraj's Sāhitya-darpaṇa which declares the superior nature of the śṛṅgāra sentiment,
The word śṛṅga is taken to mean the sprouting forth of love. The sentiment which produces this love is of the highest nature and is called śṛṅgāra. Thus, the nāyikā can be neither one married to another man nor a prostitute who has no affection for the hero.(53)

The attribute of purity is given preeminence in the sentiment of love, which is further confirmed by the synonyms for it used by the ālaṅkārikas such as śuci "pure" and ujjvala "bright". How then could extramarital love, which is synonymous with sin (jāraḥ pāpa-patiḥ samau), be acceptable therein? Vishvanath in SāhD delineates the situations which would produce contradictory sentiments in the śṛṅgāra-rasa (rasābhāsa). Included as taboo for the Sanskrit author are descriptions of relations with the wife of a saint or a teacher, a woman's possessing numerous lovers, or love between inferior persons or animals, etc. First in this list is the nāyikā's taking of a paramour (as the word upanāyaka is interpreted by Vishvanath).(54) In cases where such love is described, it is never to be done as the main theme of a literary work, i.e. as it’s aṅgī rasa, but as a secondary theme to be mocked or as comedy relief, etc. This attitude is also referred to by Rupa in a later verse of UN.(55)

In society, of course, adultery was supposed to be frowned upon and even Krishna himself spoke against it to the gopis when they came to meet him on the night of the Rāsa dance: "For a well-bred family woman, consorting with a man other than her husband is not the path to heaven; it leads rather to infamy, falsehood, distress, fear, and is everywhere considered with distaste."(56) The gopis indicate their concurrence in principle when they say in wistful criticism of Krishna and the ways of the world, "A prostitute deserts the man who has lost his wealth, a paramour the woman he has seduced." (57)

Parikshit further confirms the social attitude towards extramarital love when he inquires about Krishna's apparently paradoxical behaviour, "The Lord of the Yadus is completely fulfilled, yet he performed acts that are regarded as abhorrent."(58) Thus the word laghutvam ("levity") in the UN verse (1.21) is equated with "abhorrent behaviour."

When Krishna is said to be a paramour (upapati), however, it should be understood that he is only temporarily acting as such. The purpose of such a charade is that it gives him an opportunity to enjoy "essence of rasa", i.e. various aspects of love-in-separation with their final climax in the joys of samṛddhimat sambhoga. At that point Krishna's true and eternal marital relationship with the gopis is revealed. In view of this it should be taken that Bharata's verse about obstacles, etc., enhancing the romantic sentiment (l.c. 7.32 above) was cited by Rupa in order to praise those aspects of the relation, but not the state of being a paramour itself. Krishna's desire to experience samṛddhimat sambhoga, etc., is not a sign of levity on his part, but of greatness. In the absence of such a background, however, the mundane hero who indulges in like behaviour is condemned as wanton. The ignorant take use Krishna as an example of such a condemnable mundane nāyaka, (59) not understanding that Krishna's engaging in paramourship is like a man's eating something nourishing and beneficial, even though it has been forbidden him by one ignorant of the food's value.(60)


50. UN 1.19;
atrāsya paramotkarṣaḥ śṛṅgārasya pratiṣṭhitaḥ//

51. UN 1.20;
bahu vāryate khalu, yatra pracchanna-kāmukatvaṁ ca/
yā ca mitho durlabhatā sā manmathasya paramā ratiḥ
The closest verse to this one traceable in Nāṭ is 22.207, which contains the same meaning though the language differs. Despite these differences, Jiva appears to have known the Nāṭ context, Cf. below
yad vāmābhiniveśitvam yataś ca vinivāryate/
durlabhatvaṁ ca yan nāryah sa kāmasya parā ratiḥ
Verses with a similar purport are quoted by Rupa at UN 3.20-21: Rudra Bhatta’s Śṛṅgāra-tilaka (2.30) and the unknown Viṣṇu-gupta-saṁhitā.

52. UN 1.21;
laghutvam atra yat proktam tat tu prākṛta-nāyake/
na kṛṣṇe rasa-niryāsāsvādārtham avatāriṇi//

53. SāhD 3.258:
śṛṅgaṁ hi manmathodbhedas tad-āgamana-hetukaḥ/
uttama-prakṛti-prāyo rasaḥ śṛṅgāra isyate//

54. SāhD 3.263.

55. UN 5.3;
neṣṭā yad aṅgini rase kavibhiḥ paroḍhās
tad gokulāmbuja-dṛśāṁ kulam antareṇa/
āśāṁsayā rasa-vidher avatāritānāṁ
kaṁsāriṇā rasika-maṇḍala-śekhareṇa//

56. BhP x.29.26.

57. BhP x.47.7.

58. BhP x.33.26.

59. This is undoubtedly a reference to Vishwanath's own use of Krishna as an example in his discussion of rasābhāsa. SāhD 3.263f.

60. UNc 1.21; tasmād upapatīyamānatvenaivāsāv upapatir ity upadiṣṭaḥ. varyamāṇatvādy-aṁśena laukika-rasa-śāstra-kṛdbhir api stutaḥ, kintūttaratra vyakta-dampatye vipralambhāṅgasyaupapatye bhramasya samṛddhimad-ākhya-sambhoga-rasa-poṣakatvāt | tasmiṁs tu na laghutvaṁ yuktaṁ, kintu mahattvam evety āha--na kṛṣṇa iti. tatra hetum āha--rasa-niryāsa iti. etat-paripāti-sad-bhāvābhāvāt prākṛta-nāyaka eva, na tu śrī-kṛṣṇe | vāstavenaupapatyena laghutva-śabda-vācyaṁ nikṛṣṭatvaṁ ghaṭate. apathya-buddhyā lobhyaṁ pāthyaṁ bhuktavati bhukta-pathyatvavat tad etat tattvam avidvāṁsa evānyathā manyamānās tam api tathodahārantīti bhāvaḥ.

4.2 The excitement of forbidden love: Rupa Goswami's Lalita-mādhava

Having denied that Rupa's purpose in citing Bharata's verse was to confirm that Krishna was an upapati, Jiva alludes to its original context, remarking that Bharata's intention was to point to a type of romantic situation found described in plays like Ratnāvali or Yayāti-carita.(61) In these and other dramas of the genre, obstacles are created by rival queens to the hero and a particular type of heroine, called abhyantarā according to Bharata.(62) I have discussed this above as “the essential romantic myth of Hindu royalty.” The theme, quickly summarized, is that the heroine is already intended for the king in some way, but he falls in love with her without knowing this. Obstacles arise from his other wives, but eventually overcome and destiny is put aright. This plot appears in various permutations in many Sanskrit plays, but most importantly for this discussion, however, is that Rupa's own Lalita-mādhava uses the same structure.

The heroine in most of these plays is the kanyā. Nevertheless, because she is destined for marriage to the royal hero both through the arrangements of men and gods, and does indeed later marry him, she must rather be classified svakīyā, as indicated by Bharata's nomenclature (abhyantarā). By pointing out the above tradition, Jiva confirms his statement that the verses cited to show that the parakīyā relation is more exciting do not in fact praise the parakīyā relationship at all, but rather the excitement alone.

We have already seen that Jiva has relied to some extent on LalM in our earlier discussion of samṛddhimat-sambhoga. In the context of this discussion, it is worthwhile examining this work in somewhat greater detail. The LalM is the second of Rupa's two plays, completed some four years after Vidagdha-mādhava (1533-4).(63) Evidently, Rupa himself set great store by this play; in his work on dramaturgy, Nāṭikā-candrikā, he uses examples almost exclusively from it. The plot of the play is more complex than that of the light-hearted ViM and arguably met with less favour amongst the community of Vaishnavas than the ViM.(64) Jiva states that the two plays are rather like his two campūs, i.e. the pūrva and uttara divisions of what is essentially the same play: the former concerned exclusively with the amusements of Vrindavan, while the second attempts to resolve, in a rather idiosyncratic manner, the problems presented by Krishna's departure for Mathura and separation from the gopis.(65)

Jiva leaves other clues to the great importance this play has for him. The last chapter of the Pūrva-campū is given the same title as the last act of the Lalita-mādhava, "the fulfilment of all desires" (pūrṇa-manoratha). The same words (lalita-mādhava-pūrṇa-manoratham) are used as a pun to refer specifically to Krishna's wedding when the astrologers are fixing the auspicious moment for the ceremony (GCU 32v37). It might be said that in writing GC, Jiva was following in the footsteps of his uncle, but whereas Rupa was free to improvise in his play without binding himself by the strictures of the scriptural evidence, Jiva took the challenge of basing his restructuring of Krishna's life from within the confines of Puranic revelation.

In LalM, Rupa tells too complicated a tale to give a full summary here.(66) The key factor is that Chandravali, Radha and the other gopis are all, like Krishna, possessed of dual identity. Though they are primarily Vrindavan-based, they were born elsewhere (like Krishna in Mathura) and were subsequently transferred to Vraja. After Krishna's departure with Akrura, this premise permits Rupa to imagine the reunion of the gopis with Krishna in Dvaraka, where they reappear as his wives.(67)

From this long and somewhat convoluted play, two remarkable points can be made. The first is that Rupa adapts the above-described royal polygamy myth of Sanskrit drama to the dramatis personae of Krishnaite mythology. Radha, though given in marriage to Krishna in her alterego of Satyabhama, being unable to identify the prince of Dvaraka as her beloved Krishna, asks Rukmini (Chandravali) to be placed under her protection so that she may avoid any contact with any man. Rukmini, the chief queen, is only too glad to accommodate the request of her potential rival, whom she does not recognize as her Vrindavan cousin Radha. This is followed by the stereotyped themes of meeting, love, the surmounting of obstacles presented by Rukmini, until finally the identity of Radha is made known to all and her marriage to Krishna is sanctioned by her rival. The clear adoption of this tradition by Rupa gives further credence to Jiva's contention that being the wife of another is not an indispensable precondition for a more intense experience of the erotic sentiment as is the prima facie indication of Rupa's citation from the Nāṭ (UN 1.20).

The second point to be remarked upon here is that Rupa adhered to Chaitanya's instruction to keep Krishna in Vrindavan, albeit by a sort of trick. When Krishna marries Radha and asks her whether she has any further wishes to be fulfilled, Radha assures Krishna that everything is perfect as it is. When pressed, however, she admits that she actually preferred everything as it was in the old Vrindavan. Krishna says, tathāstu and in springs the heretofore unseen Ekanamsa (Krishna's sister and another form of Yogamāyā), to announce that, in fact, no one had ever left Vrindavan, and that these events had taken place "simply to pass the time."(68) Radha then asks that everyone take their original form and return to Gokula.(69) It would appear that Rupa's intention is that they all enter here into the nitya- or aprakaṭa-līlā, which as we have seen from Jiva's exposé‚ has a simultaneous existence and into which the prakaṭa-līlā of the incarnation merges. This is evident from the expression bahiraṅga-janālakṣatayā, "outside the range of vision of the uninitiated.”(70)

Radha's expression of a desire to return to Vraja near the end of the play also has its parallel in GC. The LalM verse is as follows:
That fortunate land in Mathura
which is filled with sweetness, surrounded by forests
which spew forth the odours of līlā-rasa,
is where you must sport again,
the flute sitting joyfully on your lips,
and surrounded by us, our minds unsophisticated
due to the frivolous nature of cowherd girls.(71)
In LalM, Radha and the gopis wish to return to the Vraja that they knew. Parakīyā (i.e. paroḍhā) supporters say that the words caṭula-paśupī-bhāva and mugdhāntara indicate a desire on Radha's part to return to the former parakīyā state. Jiva uses a well-known verse with a pointed history in Chaitanya legends to make a parallel statement in GC, while denying any possibility of such a parakīyā interpretation:
My husband (vara) is the same who took my maidenhead
and these the moondrenched nights we knew;
the very breeze is blowing from the Vindhya hills,
heavy with the scent of newly blossomed jasmine.
I too am still the same;
and yet with all my heart I yearn for the reedbeds by the stream
which knew our happy, graceful,
unending bouts of love.(72)
This verse is quoted no less than three times in the Caitanya-caritāmṛita, for it was mysteriously uttered by Chaitanya during the chariot festival in Puri and is said by Krishna Das Kaviraj to have been particularly revealing of his mind. According to Krishna Das and a pastiche verse written by Rupa,(73) the verse reflects the mood of Radha at Kurukshetra where she meets Krishna after such a long interval, a situation of which Chaitanya was reminded by the hurly burly of the Rathayatra. Radha cannot be fully content amidst the pomp and majesty of Krishna's Dvaraka manifestation and his entourage; she thus yearns for the old days in Vraja.

Two preliminary points should be made here which will highlight the somewhat individual nature of Jiva's understanding of this verse. In the context of Chaitanya's usage, the word vara cannot be interpreted as "husband." Second, if the lover is now become husband, then the nāyikā's past situation cannot be construed as that of the paroḍhā, for that would have rendered her later marriage impossible. Even so, this reminiscence of secretive pre-marital "bouts of love" is parakīyā in the context of the kanyā and could thus be considered parallel to that of the gopis by analogy. Chaitanya simply took the verse as an expression of the yearning sentimentality for a beautiful moment of love once known in youth but lost forever, i.e., of the mood of love in separation which dominated his life. The added interpretation found in Rupa's pastiche is that Radha could not be swayed from her constancy toward the Vraja form of Krishna for in his Vāsudeva aspect he had lost all compatibility with the gopis. Seeing Krishna thus aggravated her nostalgia for the old Vraja.

On the other hand, though Jiva's first citation of this verse ("My husband, etc.") in GC includes a very rare reference to the acts of Chaitanya, referring directly to the context in which the verse came to have meaning for the Gaudiyas, his only point, through emphasis on the word vara which he unhesitatingly understands as “bridegroom” or "husband," is that Chaitanya supported the ultimate marriage of Radha and Krishna.(74)

Its second citation (GCU 36.122) serves a function more closely parallel to the LalM verse under discussion ("That fortunate land..."). At some time after the consummation of her marriage to Krishna in Vraja, Radha expresses her lack of complete satisfaction by reciting "My husband, etc." Krishna suggests that the words "the banks of the Reva" be changed to "the banks of the Yamuna" and that her nostalgia can be easily treated by a simple change of locale.(75) This is the signal for the ascension into Goloka which then takes place in the next chapter, the last of the book. Jiva thus ignores the possible inference that a return to former joys hankered for by Radha implies a desire to return to the parakīyā situation.


61. UNc 1.21: ato muninā bharatenāpi ratnāvalī-nāṭikāvad yayāti-caritavac ca dāmpatyam eva sapatnādi-kṛta-vāryamānatvādinā dāmpatye ratiḥ praśastā bhavatīty eva mataṁ, naupapatya-ratiḥ praśastā syād iti. katham tarhi tad-vākyenaivaupapatya-ratiḥ praśasyate?

62. Nāṭ 22.152-4.

63. (ed.) Rama Bandyopadhyaya, Calcutta: Gauranga Grantha Mandir, 1970.

64. Cf. Donna M. Wulff, Drama as a Mode of Religious Realization: the Vidagdhamādhava of Rupa Gosvami, Chico, Cal.: The Scholar's Press, 1984. p.3.

65. GCP 33.319 ...vidagdha-mādhava-lalita-mādhavāhvaye pūrvottara-nāṭaka-dvaye ...

66. For a summary of LalM, see S. K. De (1942), 444-8.

67. Jiva has also made the parallel of the chief gopis with the eight chief queens, following Rupa's identifications, though he never goes so far as to say that they are the same persons as Rupa has done in LalM. Cf. GCU 17v52-3: vivāhā yat kṛtāḥ kṛṣṇenāsīt tat-kalayāpānam/ gopajāḥ kṣatrajātāś ca tad amūr eka-dharmikāḥ// ..tāsām āśu svaika-rūpyam anumodanaṁ ca darśitam. tathā hi, candrālyā bhīṣma-kanyā vṛṣa-ravi-sutayā satyabhāmā viśākhā-nāmnyā dyu-ratna-kanyā sphurati lalitayā jambavad-varṣma-jātā/ śyāmāṅgyā lakṣmaṇākhyā śivi-tanujuṣā mitravindābhidhānā bhadrāvaly atha bhadrā prakṛti-dara-samā padmayā sā ca satyā//

68. LalM 10.261, sakhi rādhe, mātra saṁśayaṁ kṛthāḥ, yato bhavatyāḥ śrīmad-gokule tatraiva vartante, kintu mayaiva kāla-kṣepaṇārtham anyathā prapaJṇcitam. tad etan manasy anubhūyatām, kṛṣṇo’py eṣa tatra-gatā eva pratīyatām.

69. LalM 10.266, bahiraṅga-janālakṣatayā śrī-gokulam api sva-svarūpair alaṅkaravāmeti.

70. The use of the term Gokula by Rupa rather than Goloka, which is preferred by Jiva, though not necessarily contradictory, here may indicate a slight difference in vision of the eternal abode.

71. LalM 10v38,
yā te līlā-pada-parimalodgāri-vanyā-parītā
dhanyā kṣauṇī vilasati vṛtā māthurī mādhurībhiḥ |
tatrāsmābhiś caṭula-paśupī-bhāva-mugdhāntarābhiḥ
saṁvītas tvaṁ kalaya vadanollāsi-veṇur vihāram ||

72. In the secular poetic tradition, the verse appears as a supporting example for various different points of concern to the critics. KavP 1, RASK 2.115 ad. (p.91). It appears in many of the anthologies, including SRK 809, SKM 533, Śārṅgadhara-paddhati 3768, Sūkti-muktāvali 7.9, etc. In Gaudiya Vaishnava sources it appears at Pv 382; CC ii.1.6, ii.13.6, iii.1.7 (ref. to Skt. verses only); GCP 33.318, ii.36.122;

yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapās
te conmīlita-mālatī-surabhayaḥ prauḍhāḥ kadambānilaḥ |
sā caivāsmi tathāpi tatra surata-vyāpāra-līlā-vidhau
revā-rodhasi vetasī-taru-tale cetaḥ samutkaṇṭhate ||

This translation is based on that of Ingalls with alterations to fit the reading of the Bengali tradition starting with Sadukti-karṇāmṛta. Singabhupala uses this verse as an example of weak or diminished affection, directing a criticism to the wanton who even after obtaining the desired result of having her paramour for a husband speaks of her lack of strong feeling in the present. Ras 2.115ad; atra kayācit svairiṇyā gṛhiṇītva-paricayena pati-daśāṁ prāpte'pi jāre upekṣāpekṣayor abhāva-kathanān mandaḥ snehaḥ.

73. Pv 383; CC ii.1.7, iii.1.8 (ref. to Skt. verses only);
priyaḥ so'yaṁ kṛṣṇaḥ sahacari kurukṣetra-militas
tathāham sā rādhā tad idam ubhayoḥ saṅgama-sukham |
tathāpy antaḥ-khelan-madhura-muralī-pañcama-juṣe
mano me kālindī-pulina-vipināya spṛhayati ||

74. GCP 33.318;
yaḥ kaumāra-haraḥ sa eva hi varas tā eva caitra-kṣapās
ity adyāpy adhiyan kayācid uditaṁ gopālikā-gīr iti |
bhāvonmāda-ja-gaṇa-nṛtya-vivaśaḥ śrī-guṇḍīca-parvasu
śrī-caitanya-tanur matam sa bhagavān aṅgī-kariṣyaty adaḥ ||

75. GCU 36.123; sādhūktaṁ preyasi sādhūktam | kintu “kṛṣṇā-rodhasi tatra kuñja-sadane” iti paṭhanīyam | yasmād adya sadya eva śrīmat-pitṛ-caraṇānucaran-nija-cāru-kaumāra-pracāra-maya-vihāra-sāra-sandīpita-vara-kālindī-dakṣiṇa-pāra-sanditaṁ vṛndāvanam eva sañcarituṁ gocarayiṣyāmi iti |

4.3 Sthāyi-bhāvas and samarthā rati: problems and their resolution

The later critics of Jiva's understanding of the nature of Radha and Krishna's relation in the eternal world, stress the indispensability of the paroḍhā relation for the most intense quality of love. They primarily base their critique on the hierarchy of the divisions of love, or sthāyi-bhāvas, described in chapter 14 of Rupa's UN, which are said to dominate in any particular dramatic representation. This is in fact a continuation of the classification started in the BRS, and indeed further explains some of the terms used in that book. For some, like Rupa Kaviraj, this chapter is of the greatest importance in establishing the eternal character of paroḍhā love. Jiva has to some extent anticipated and pre-empted many of the arguments of his later detractors.

Rupa's vision of sthāyi-bhāva is original, though clearly following in the tradition of Singabhupala.(76) The general term for the feeling of love is rati, or more exactly, madhurā rati. Rupa classifies this single basic feeling into three separate streams into which its further stages or sthāyi-bhāvas can fall.(77) These appear at first sight to have been categorized by Rupa according to the three types of nāyikā which are familiar from the customary divisions of the poeticians. They are: sādhāraṇī ("common" = sāmānyā nāyikā), samañjasā ("conventional" = svakīyā nāyikā), and samarthā ("competent" = parakīyā nāyikā). These three kinds of rati are graded as progressively superior, compared in turn to ordinary jewels, the thought-jewel (cintāmaṇi) and the kaustubha jewel of Narayan.(78)

Though Rupa rejected the sāmānyā or courtesan for his devotionally based conception of poetics and categorized Kubja as a type of parakīyā nāyikā, (79) he nevertheless here places her in a category of her own in order to account for her rather unrefined and overtly sexual behaviour. Her love for Krishna is based entirely upon sexual attraction and contains a rather strong element of selfish desire. (80) The word samañjasā means "correct" or perhaps "conventional." Its essence is said to be the pride of wifely identity (patnī-bhāvābhimānātmā); it is thus said to contain an element of ego-centred sexuality which occasionally pierces through the veneer of selfless devotion. (81) When such an attitude is struck, the queens are not able to bring Krishna under their own control. The samarthā "competent" rati is defined as being identical in form to sexual desire, but despite such an appearance of identity, the erotic desire never has an independent life of its own. Every effort of the possessor of such competent affection is uniquely dedicated to the pleasure of Krishna.(82) It is thus the most pure and intense of all the forms of love according to the standard mooted by Rupa at the beginning of BRS.(83)

Though a parallel has been made above of the three types of nāyikā to these three types of rati, some clarification is necessary. First, even though Rukmini is at first technically a kanyā parakīyā who had to face numerous obstacles presented by her family before she could be wed to Krishna, she is never considered to possess anything other than samañjasā rati. Rupa's example clearly indicates what is meant by "pride in wifely identity":
What lofty virgin, Mukunda, thoughtful and of noble birth,
seeing you to be equal to her in nobility, character, beauty,
education, age, wealth and effulgence,
would not in time choose you, oh lion amongst men,
who are pleasing to the minds of the world of men. (84)
Again, though Rupa clearly indicates the paroḍhā gopis of Vraja including Radha when he speaks of samarthā rati, in his definition of this category of love, Rupa nowhere specifically links it to the parakīyā nāyikā in the way that samañjasā is linked by definition to the married woman.

The subsequent stages or degrees of rati are named prema, sneha, māna, praṇaya, rāga, anurāga, and bhāva.(85) All these sthāyins are further subdivided (see Fig.), the primary criterion being whether the nāyikā is possessive or not. Madīyatā, or possessive love, is considered superior to its opposite, tadīyatā. There is no point in here detailing the various subtle differences between these sthayi-bhavas, suffice it to say that sādhāraṇī rati reaches only as far as preman, samañjasā as far as anurāga, while the samarthā rati attains the very limits of mahā-bhāva. (86) Even amongst the gopis, Radha is shown to be supreme, for only she and those close to her know the intoxicating condition of madana-mahā-bhāva. (87)

[Table of sthayi-bhävas]

It would superficially appear that according to Rupa, only a parakīyā nāyikā was able to reach the highest stage of love. If we look at the definitions of the different types of mahā-bhāva, however, we see that the highest stage, known as madana, encompasses the gamut of features found in every other stage and degree of love, including those of union (modana) and separation (mohana). It is manifested, however, in union in the nitya-līlā and not in separation. (88) Rupa's example also stresses the inseparability o undivided (advaita) aspect of the Divine Couple. (89)

Jiva draws attention to the consistency of Rupa's presentation by saying that the three types of rati are sui generis. Thus, by definition, even when the obstacles, etc., which enhance love are present, samañjasā and sādhāraṇī cannot change and become samarthā, the only type which can attain to the very limit of bhāva. Due to its special qualities, this samarthā rati is desired by the seekers of liberation (as stated by Uddhava, x.47.58) and even by the queens of Dvaraka (as stated by them in x.83.43), yet neither the seekers nor the queens actively wish for the obstacles and interference faced by the adulteress, what to speak of marriage with someone other than Krishna. Thus, the particular emotional status of each group remains unique to itself even when obstacles, etc. are experienced equally by all.

Moreover, the obstacles faced by the gopis desirous of meeting Krishna reveal the strength of their love, like the chains which bind an elephant in rut; they are not in any way responsible for the existence of the love itself.(90) Therefore, when it is said, "The gopis abandoned their own kith and kin, and the path of morality, so difficult to give up" (x.47.61) and "ignoring their obligations to this world and the next, they offered their hearts out of love" (UN 3.17), this should not be taken to imply that the obstacles, in this case those presented by the par"dha situation, are of a permanent nature, or indeed that they are integral to the particular rati which they experience, i.e. they do not preclude the marriage.

Jiva further anticipates the argument that separation improves the quality of love on the basis of Krishna's own statements in BhP,
My beloved friends,
I do not deal with those who deal with me
strictly according to the way in which they desire.
Think, rather, of the poor man who loses the wealth he has gained,
and alone, thinks of nothing else. (91)
Jiva answers that such statements are meant to show that love within a particular class is increased, not that one type becomes another. He gives the example of the digestive powers of different species of animal. Though exercise might increase the hare's power of digestion, it will never increase to the point of equalling that of an elephant no matter how much it jumps about. Similarly, samañjasā or sādhāraṇī rati will not become samarthā even if subjected to similar conditions, i.e. of separation or obstacles, etc. (92)

Jiva continues with the same example to show that separation is not an end in itself. The hare's (or indeed the elephant's) hunger is not itself mitigated by its exercise, rather it is increased. In other words, any amount of separation produced by obstacles etc., cannot satisfy the hunger that a devotee feels for the association of the Lord, no matter how much such separation serves to increase their desire. Therefore, the opinion of the mundane literary critics which was mooted in the verse bahu vāryate [UN 1.20] is for the superficial understanding of those who also follow the school of thought in which separation and obstacles, etc., are necessary ingredients in the increase of love.


76. RASK (Rasārṇava-sudhākara) 2.104ff. Compare for instance, the definition of raga, RASK 2.116, UN 14.182.

77. See UN 14.43-60.
sādhāraṇī nigaditā samañjasāsau samarthā ca
kubjādiṣu mahiṣīṣu ca gokula-devīṣu ca kramataḥ

78. UN 14.44:
maṇivac cintāmaṇivat kaustubhamaṇivat tridhābhimatā
nātisulabheyam abhitaḥ sudurlabhā syād ananya-labhyā ca

79. UN 5.8-9;
sāmānyayā rasābhāsa-prasaṅgāt tādṛg apy asau
bhāva-yogāt tu sairindhrī parakīyā iva sammatā

80. UN 14.45:
nātisāndrā hareḥ prāyaḥ sākṣād darśana-sambhavā
sambhogecchā-nidāneyaṁ ratiḥ sādhāraṇī matā

UN 14.47:
asāndratvād rater asyāḥ sambhogecchā vibhidyate
etasya hrāsato hrāsas tad-dhetutvād rater api|

81. UN 14.48:
patnī-bhāvābhimānātmā guṇādi-śravaṇādijā
kvacid bhedita-sambhoga-tṛṣṇā sāndrā samañjasā

UN 14.50:
samañjasataḥ sambhoga-spṛhayā bhinnatā yadā
tadā tad-utthitair bhāvair vaivaśyatā duṣkarā hareḥ

82. UN 14.52-3:
kāṁcid viśeṣam āyantyā sambhogecchā yayābhitaḥ
ratyā tādātmyam āpannā sā samartheti bhaṇyate
sva-svarūpāt tadīyād vā jāto yat-kiñcid-anvayāt
samarthā sarva-vismāri-gandhā sāndratamā matā

UN 14.54-5:
sambhogecchā-viśeṣo'sya rater jātu na bhidyate
purvasyāṁ kṛṣṇa-saukhyārtham eva kevalam udyamaḥ

83. BRS i.1.11;
anyābhilāṣitā-śūnyaṁ jñāna-karmādy-anāvṛtam
ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānuśīlanaṁ bhaktir uttamā

84. Note Rupa’s example drawn from BhP x.52.38:
kā tvā mukunda mahatī kula-śīla-rūpa-
vidyāvayo-draviṇa-dhāmabhir ātma-tulyam
dhīrā patiṁ kulavatī na vṛṇīta kanyā
kāle nṛsiṁha nara-loka-mano'bhirāmam
(UN 14.49)

85. The expanded description of the sthāyi-bhāvas appears to originate with Bhoja, though Sharadatanaya (Bhāva-prakāśikā 4.55, p.82) gives the credit to Abhinavagupta. I have not, however, been able to trace any reference to the subject in Abhinavabharati. Rupa appears to have based his discussion of the sthāyi-bhāvas on Singabhupala though he has quoted at least two verses from Bhoja that are not found in Ras. Rupa has however shown a great deal of originality in his description of the sthāyi-bhāvas. Singabhupala's (p.152-3) three divisions of sneha, i.e., prauḍha, madhya and manda and their definitions match those given by Rupa for similar divisions of prema. His characteristics of anurāga are those Rupa gives for bhāva. Rupa's description of the divisions of (<>mahā
)-bhāva into rūḍha and adhirūḍha, and then into madana, mohana and madana are original.

86. UN 14.232:
adya premāntimāṁ tatrānuragāntām samañjasā |
ratir bhāvāntimāṁ sīmāṁ samarthāiva prapadyate ||

87. UN 14.219:
sarva-bhāvodgamollāsī madano'yam parāt paraḥ |
rājate hlādinī-sāro rādhāyām eva yaḥ sadā ||

88. UN 14.225:
yoga eva bhaved eṣa vicitraḥ ko'pi madanaḥ |
yad-vilāsā virājante nitya-līlāḥ sahasradhā ||

89. UN 14.220:
asṛṣṭer akṣayiṣṇuṁ hṛdaya-vidhu-maṇi-dravāṇāṁ vakrimāṇāṁ
pūrṇatve'py udvahantaṁ nija-ruci-ghaṭayā sādhvasaṁ dhvaṁsayantam |
tanvānam śaṁ pradoṣe dhṛta-nava-navatā-sampadāṁ madanatvād
advaitaṁ naumi rādhā-danuja-vijayinor adbhutam bhāva-candram ||

90. UNc 1.21; tathā nivāraṇādi-sāmye'pi tāsāṁ sva-sva-gaṇa-rater jāti-bhedenaiva vaiśiṣṭyasyātraiva nirūpayiṣyamāṇatvāt| tathā jigīṣūṇāṁ matta-hastinaḥ pada-durgārgala iva nivāraṇādikaṁ tāsāṁ rateḥ prabalatāṁ vyajayaty eva na tu janayati| ata evoktam ya dustyajam svajanam ārya-pathaṁ ca hitvā [x.47.61] iti, rāgeṇaivārpitātmāno loka-yugmānapekṣiṇaḥ [UN 3.17] iti. svakīyā-lakṣaṇaṁ tac cānena saṁvadate|
nāhaṁ tu sakhyo bhajato'pi jantūn
bhajāmy amīṣām anuvṛtti-vṛttaye
yathādhano labdha-dhane vinaṣṭe
tac-cintayānyan nibhṛto na veda //

92. yac ca, na vinā vipralambhena [UN 15.3] ity-ādinā, nāhaṁ tu sakhyo bhajato'pi jantūn [x.32.20] ity-ādinā ca viraheṇa rateḥ prakarṣaḥ śrūyate, tac ca prāṇi-bhedanaṁ jaṭharāgner iva jāti-bhedāt para-prakarṣa upalabhyate | na hi laṅghanādinā hastinām iva śaśakānāṁ tad agnir vikāśaṁ prāpnoti | tataś ca yathaiva kāntārādi-laṅghane kriyamāṇā eva yā bubhukṣā syāt, sā tathā na praśamyate, tathā nivāraṇādi-nityatā-maya-viraha-mātra-jīvanā ratiś ca | kiṁ ca, tadvat kādācitka-viraheṇa kadācit praśasyate iti ca gamyate | tasmāt bahu vāryate [UN] ity-ādi yal laukika-rasa-vidāṁ matam utthāpitaṁ, tat khalu tan-mata-rāgiṇām apy āpāta-bodhanāyeti | tatra rasa-niryāsāsvādārtham avatāriṇi [UN 5.3] ity anena yad avatārād anyadā na tādrśāyāḥ svīkāraḥ kim uta kintu dāmpatyasyaiveti labhyate |

4.4 The perfections of the married state

Given the emphasis on both samṛddhimat sambhoga and madana bhāva made by Jiva in his arguments, he has made little effort to demonstrate directly through descriptive poetry exactly what form these emotional states entail. The nature of Radha and Krishna's amorous dealings in the nitya-līlā are only described in a somewhat anodyne fashion at the beginning of GCP 2. Other than this, Jiva makes one further attempt to show the superiority of the marital state in a speech by Vrinda. Essentially, Jiva postulates that fear and disgust are rasas in their own right (bhayānaka and jugupsā). Neither of these is stated to be compatible with the erotic sentiment. Embarrassment or bashfulness (Skt. trapā or lajjā) manifests itself both when one engages in sinful acts or in sexual activity. The two are different in nature, and the shame one feels in sinful acts is identical with fear. Thus when one is married the shame, one feels becomes purified, whereas when one engages in sexual acts with the wife of another man, it does not because of fear and criticism.(93)

The romantic sentiment is weakened when mixed with fear,
while its sweetness is aroused when combined with bashfulness,
when it has been thus ascertained by all the critics of poetry,
then it should also be determined that
the hidden sexual union born of irreligion,
being covered by the first of these (horror)
must truly bring distress,
while that religious union which is combined with shyness
is highly relishable. (94)
Thus though Jiva admits that some purpose might be achieved by a temporary causing of fear or horror, he states that no useful purpose could be served if fear remained permanently. Jiva ends with a verse which states the same conclusions made in his commentary to UN 1.21.
The power of the gopis natural love
is not a result of their fear,
but rather was internalized by them (antaḥ-kṛta)
to see whether or not they could overcome their fear.
If by overcoming the social and religious barriers
the power of their love is increased, it is confirmed;
it is like gold which, already known to be pure,
having undergone the test of fire,
is put in the fires once more
[to increase again its purity].(95)


93. GCU 36v13-4;
patnyāḥ saṅge viviktāṅge sūcitam gacchati trapā |
parāsya bhaya-nindābhyāṁ kliṣṭe tad-rūpatāṁ na tu ||
anācārāt tathā gopyacaral lajjā bhaven nṛṇām |
pūrvā bhayād abhinnātmā parā lajjā paraṁ matā ||

94. GCU 36v15;
śṛṅgārasya bhayānakena milane hānir hriyā mādhurī
tasya syād uditeti sarva-kavibhir bāḍham kṛte nirṇaye |
prācā satyam adharmajā mithunatā dhatte vṛtā vyagratāṁ
dharmyā cāparayā parantu katarā rasyeti nirṇīyatām ||

95. GCU 36v17;
nāmūṣāṁ sahajānurāga-vibhutā bhī-nirmitā kintu bhīr
laṅghyā syān na tu veti kautuka-maya-jñānārtham antaḥkṛtā |
taj-jñātaṁ yadi dharma-setu-dalanāt tasyāḥ punar vistṛtiḥ
śuddho'py agni-parikṣayāgniṣu yathā sthāpyeta tadvan matā ||

Monday, September 21, 2015

For Radhashtami: The glory of Radha Nam

anullikhyānantān api sad-aparādhān madhupatir
mahāpremāviṣṭas tava parama-deyaṁ vimṛśati
tavaikaṁ śrī-rādhe gṛṇata iha nāmāmṛta-rasaṁ
mahimnaḥ kaḥ sīmāṁ spṛśatu tava dāsyaika-manasām

Krishna discounts even an unlimited number
of great offenses to the sadhus and,
being completely overwhelmed with love,
puzzles over what great gift he can bestow
on the person who simply pronounces
your immortal nectar-like name,
O Sri Radhe!

Who then could ever reach
the outer edges of the glory
of those whose minds are entirely
devoted to your service? (RRSN 156)

I often translate purely as a technician, making sure all the parts fit and that the car (for the sake of the metaphor) is remade in the mother tongue, rolls off the tongue. At least in a rationally sequential model. Rather than rasa, is what I mean. My primary goal is purely technical rather than artistic.

But that long run on sentence, and then the second one, has a rather "Sanskrit" effect to it in the way it rhythmically builds up that whole sequence of ideas until it is too much. It really is the way that Sanskrit works. So I am pleased to read this translation after many years of writing it and see that I can learn from myself.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The purpose of the historical quest

The evolution of religious ideas

As I return to this theme of svakīyā-parakīyā and the research work I did while doing my doctoral dissertation in connection with the current work on Kṛṣṇa-sandarbha, some thoughts have been coming to me about the general thrust of my own thought about the history of religions and what I see as being the purpose of my own intellectual quest in this regard.

Krishna consciousness, like any other thought system, is based in positive principles that where universal are or should be exportable to other religions and ideologies. In other words, they are translatable.

Now in order to translate religious experience from one linguistic and symbolic conversation, often one that has been going on for thousands of years, first one must discover what that experience is, not just by looking at the entire complex in isolation, but also by looking at the universal experience of humanity.

This is the logic behind the study of comparative religion, just as it is with comparative linguistics. The Chomskian theory of a natural linguistic hardware in the brain can be exported to thinking about religion also. And such a language includes atheism, as that is part of the conversation, which is the question of life's ultimate meaning or meanings.

The first thing to do to pass from the relative to the universal where religion is concerned, is to dissolve literal beliefs into symbolic understandings. The symbols themselves may or may not easily communicable or exportable because of their cultural or historical anchoredness, though by their very nature they do touch some deep aspect of human consciousness, and as soon as one insists on the absoluteness of a certain symbol system, one automatically undercuts the sense of unity, i.e. love.

This is one of the reasons why the analogy with language is accurate. Nearly all religions have a sacred language, the loss of which -- in the interests of democratizing religious experience and participation -- required an elite of religious professionals, who were then required to communicate that to the non-professionals at whatever level they were capable of doing. But to translate jala to "water" we have to dissolve the phonemes of the first word, look to the significand, and then find the appropriate equivalent in the second language.

But as soon as one undercuts literal beliefs, then that necessarily means changing the very tradition itself, since all traditions begin in literal belief and develop philosophical and theological systems to discover exactly what it was that was being believed in, and then to either protect and defend it, or supersede or embellish it. The goal is to further the conversation so that the truth hidden away in it is indeed that Truth in which I can believe.

This process is observable historically, and indeed, this is the purpose of the current ongoing discussion on this blog about svakīyā and parakīyā. What is the meaning of this debate? Why is Jiva Goswami so conflicted and yet so driven to bring Radha and Krishna together, to not allow them to be forever separated, as the cruel Krishna of the Bhagavatam seems to wish, making empty promises, "I will return, I will return." (āyāsya iti dyotakaiḥ).

In my opinion, it really is about understanding love in this world. The tradition itself points to human love as the highest value, as the locus of the Divine, and so the conversation that is taking place is about the dynamics of love, as humanity experiences them, and is furthermore an attempt to deepen the understanding of love in such a way as to enhance humanity's individual and collective experience thereof. In other words, it is evolutionary, which means there is a traceable historical development of the interpretation of symbols.

And if you don't understand the historical ground where a particular seed sprouted, warts and all, i.e., in what might be considered a "backward" or "less-evolved" culture, as it were, then you will never clearly understand the plant, nor fully enjoy its flowers or fruits.

The insight of our version of devotion to God, i.e, religion, arises from direct experience of Love of God. This is where our microscopes and telescopes are focused. This is where the seed of revelation first comes into view. Now how do we view its growth and transformation? A seed that grows in a dark room does not flourish like one in a natural environment, or an enhanced one. So we examine the seed (the vision of pure love of God) and its manifestations and subsequent historical transformations. Has it remained true to its destiny?

But whether we accept all change as degradation and loss of pristine archaic primitive purity, or as the divine hand of evolution and "aren't we all so grand and wise and enlightened nowadays!", it happens. Call it adjusting to conditions at the worst. But in our particular case, that of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, we have been told a few things about the specific glory of a historic event, namely the appearance of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, whose inner world was known to Rupa Goswami. And by extension, we incorporate a Chaitanya world, and a Rupa-Raghunath world, and a Radha-Krishna world in this complex.

So what is the nature of post-Chaitanya Vaishnavism, and what is the necessity or importance of pre-Chaitanya Vaishnavism or Hinduism? Do not many things get rejected when we say things like na dharmaṁ nādharmaṁ śruti-gaṇa-niruktaṁ kila kuru and so on.

All the scriptures are about rejecting other parts of the scriptures. Gita tells you to revamp your understanding of yajna and not to bother with the old, superficial understanding. Mahaprabhu says eho bāhya āge koho ār. This means that choices are being made and certain things are considered necessary and others are considered problematic and create obstacles.

Of course, obstacles of various sorts must be present so that every variety of material temptation can be evoked, but whereas the purpose of sādhanā, if there is one underlying discovery that is at the basis of the whole Indian system or approach, it is that you must be ekānta, ekāgra. One-pointed. You pick a sādhanā and you follow through on it. And you focus so closely, like Arjuna and the target bird's eye, that you see nothing else.

If your goal is madhura-rasa, then madhura-rasa is your sādhanā. Madhura-rasa is your object of study. Because that is the empirically verifiable source of our minds and bodies.

That is what Rupa Goswami did: He showed the purpose of eroticism as a path to the divine. A trained and pure eroticism, that eventually becomes so refined that it permeates every corner of the universe, but that is the subject, that is the means and that is the end. Prema.

Borrowing, influences

But the point is that borrowing does take place. Some things are hard to place exactly, i.e., clear and direct lines of influence are not readily available. For instance, few Hindu believers would enthusiastically admit to Muslim influence, and yet the Muslim presence in India for 700 years would necessarily have resulted in cross currents of influence. We readily hail "Muslim poets writing about Krishna" but what direct and indirect responses were there? The entire bhakti movement can and indeed SHOULD be seen as a reaction to both Islam AND Brahminical orthodoxy. In a sense, their respective critiques of each other have both been embraced, especially in the nirguṇa schools.

So now the goal is this: Having experienced the Krishna consciousness movement as it appears to us in the late 20th century and early 21st century in Western countries, which messages are ours? Whose insights can we use? What WAS the intent of the Goswamis? Can it be distilled and essentialized without losing its cultural vitality, and if it can't, then what are we holding on to?

And of those above questions, the first one which I have tried to deal with is, "What is the evolutionary flow of the Vaishnava religion, and what is its direction?"

My answer is that it is Prema. It flows towards prema.

And therefore the goal is to understand according to our acharyas what is pure prema and how does that get implemented in practice.

Then once we know that, then we can apply it in foreign environments (beginning with our own brains). Then we can start to see how prema is the universal human goal into which all human beings have some insight and therefore can make some offerings to the universal human quest for prema, from which we, as participants in this universal quest, can borrow.

(3) Does Krishna Marry the Gopis in the End?

3.1 The background to the svakīyā-parakīyā controversy

The term parakīyā arises from the literary critical tradition rather than the puranic. The word means "belonging to another" and generally indicates "the wife of another", the equivalent of para-dāra (in Kāma-sūtra), para-yoṣit, para-kalatra, etc. According to the Kavyālaṁkara of Rudrata, the first extant work which makes the division of the nāyikā into parakīyā and svakīyā, it includes both unmarried virgins (kanyā) and adulteresses (paroḍhā).(1)

Though it is clear that the gopis were always conceived of as being parakīyā, there is some uncertainty about which of its two categories they belonged to. The earliest epic/puranic source, Harivaṁśa, and the earliest secular source, Hala's Gāhāsattasāi, make no definitive clarification of the matter, though in a verse pertaining to the Sattasāi tradition, the gopis are depicted as still hoping for marriage to Krishna, thus indicating they are kanyas. (2) In Bhasa's Bālacarita, another early source which mentions Krishna's comparatively innocent dancing with the gopis, they would appear to be young unmarried girls. By the time of the ViP, however, it is clear that at least some of the gopis were considered to be married (v.13.59, 24.16) and at around the same time, Magha's Shishupala rails against Krishna's being a lover of the wives of other men. (3)

The secular poetic tradition, meanwhile, gingerly delved into some aspects of the paroḍhā relationship. Hāla has a few humorous verses in which an adulterous woman (Pkt. asaī) advertises her availability to a stranger, (4) or cleverly deceives her husband as he catches her red-handed with her lover. (5) There are also some wistful verses in which the asaī is seen in a more positive light and her activities are taken as serious expressions of love. In the later poetic tradition as found in the Sanskrit anthologies, the asati is most often described either in her role as a serious flirt or as an anxiety-ridden but beautiful abhisārikā on her way to the trysting place. It would appear, surprisingly, that these themes only gradually found their way into writing about Krishna, and furthermore that Krishna's love affairs were not taken up seriously as a literary subject to any great extent by poets of stature. Only a handful of muktakas (individual or stand-alone verses not necessarily belonging to any larger work) are found in the early Sanskrit anthologies in which the gopis are described in accordance with the abhisārikā theme, etc., but no complete work of literature with such a relation as its basis and dating from the pre-Chaitanya period survives to the present day.

In general the poeticians or dramatic theoreticians did not consider the parakīyā-nāyikā to be a relishable topic for literature or drama. The critics and the poets using the Sanskrit medium, starting with Bharata, themselves had roots in a courtly tradition steeped in its own peculiar tastes and values. The overwhelming number of heroes in Sanskrit dramas are kings, of whom only Rama is monogamous. Theparakīyā woman was avoided, even when, as in Krishna's case, theological considerations might have absolved the author of fault. The ambivalence to the subject was so strong in the courtly circles, that in the 14th century, Vishwanath gave an example of an exchange between Krishna and a gopi as an example of rasābhāsa, even while including the benedictory formula, hariḥ pātu vaḥ.(6)

Though the South-Indian Alvar Vaishnavas who promoted the erotic spirit in devotionalism were primarily interested in the mood of the young virgin who seeks a marital relation with Krishna, when their traditions were joined to that of the ViP in BhP, the paroḍhā relation was wholeheartedly adopted. In addition to the paroḍhā in BhP, however, the kanya mood of Kotai also finds a place (in x.22) and other Alvar themes are also used in the descriptions of the sentiments of the queens of Dvaraka (x.52, x.90).

The court of the Bengal Sen dynasty, whose roots were in Karnataka, also cultivated Krishnaite eroticism. The verses about Krishna in Sridhara's Sad-ukti-karnāmṛta contain some of the most unambiguous paroḍhā material. At the same time and place, however, Jayadeva's Gīta-govinda appears to reflect the idea of a transcendental Krishna, one who incarnates in ten avataras, but whose original form is engaged in an eternal cycle of love-games with Radha in a world which has no place for other men; Krishna is the only male in the Vrindavan of GītaG. In this unreal world there is no need for a formal marital relationship. We are occasionally reminded of the activities of Krishna's other incarnations in which existed the parakīyā relation to Radha (1.1) or the married relation to Lakshmi (12.25). Though some find evidence in the GītaG for the parakīyā mood, (7) it is not strong, while the words pati and dampati can also be found referring to Krishna's relation with Radha. (8) Thus it would appear that the dichotomy of the prakaṭa and aprakaṭa relations was intuited by Jayadeva, if it were not already a matter of dogmatic belief amongst the Vaishnavas of the day. (9)

Jayadeva's vision of Radha and Krishna had an all-pervasive influence in both the secular and devotional worlds, but probably more in the latter than the former. Poets such as Surdas and Hit Harivams seem to have visualized the relationship of the divine Radha and Krishna in terms not dissimilar to his. There are a few isolated examples of later works, secular in character, in which Krishna is said to have been married to Radha. (10) On the other hand, those puranic sources which discuss Radha's marriage to Ayana or mention Krishna's marriage to Radha, all appear to be of eastern Indian provenance and very late in their composition. They were most likely unknown to Jiva. (11)

The popularity of the Radha-Krishna theme in the vernacular song-writing and literature of eastern India in the 15th century gave particular impetus to the parakīyā conception. Badu Chandi Das (Krishna Kirtan) seems to have been the first to record the name of Radha's husband and his relation to Krishna's mother, adding a further forbidden dimension to their liaison. At the same time, another Chandi Das poignantly expressed the emotional dimension of such forbidden love. Paradoxically, though it is generally thought that Chandi Das used Radha and Krishna as a metaphor for his own deeply-felt love for a married woman, he was responsible for respiritualizing that which to a great extent had lost its spiritual dimension.

In this period of flourishing Bengali culture, the BhP seems to have made a sudden appearance. Whether or not the BhP in its present form was current in Bengal prior to this period cannot be stated with absolute certainty. We know that Lakshman Sena's work Adbhuta-sāra (late 12th c.) contains a few verses from BhP iii, but other than this, the learned works of the early medieval period show a complete ignorance of this purāṇa. (12) Those aspects of BhP which are the most profound are only marginally influential on the vernacular works referred to above. In the late 15th century, however, translations of BhP started to appear in Bengali and this purāṇa became the main religious text for the bhakti revival of Chaitanya.

Rupa Gosvamin was the first to write in Sanskrit to any great length about the paroḍhā relationship, and certainly the first to have made Krishna the centerpiece of an entire drama, Vidagdha-mādhava, that is filled with paroḍhā themes. Furthermore, in his influential theoretical works, Rupa glorified the parakīyā loves of the gopis in terms which rendered anti-climactic the existence of any svakīyā relation with them. Nevertheless, Jiva was not only convinced that scripture supported the view that Krishna was married to the gopis, but that Rupa Gosvamin also supported it.

Jiva's arguments can be divided into two categories as they were for the establishment of Krishna's return to Vraja: those based entirely on revealed statements from BhP and other purāṇas, and those based on the divine aesthetics and writings of Rupa Gosvamin.


1. Kāvyālaṁkāra 12.30: parakīyā tu dvedhā kanyoḍhā ceti. The virgin is included somewhat artificially under the parakīyā rubric ostensibly because she is under the protection of her father. Cf. Dhanika's Avaloka to Daśarūpaka 2.20: kanyakā tu pitr-ādy-āyattatvād apariṇītāpy anya-strīty ucyate. Bharata in Nāṭya-śāstra, 22.154, uses different terminology for slightly different categories of nāyikā, bahiraṅga, etc. Kāmasūtra also clearly distinguishes the kanyā from the paradāra; the former is in fact discussed as a svīyā nāyikā for men expected to wed a virgin.

2. Hāla 435.

3. Sis 16.8;
kṛta-gopa-vadhū-rater ghnato vṛṣam ugre narake'pi samprati
pratipattir adhaḥ-kṛtainaso janatābhis tava sādhu varṇyate //

The verse has a double meaning: Sisupala intends to insult Krishna, but the poet protects him from the blasphemy. Thus despite Krishna's engagement in what is universally accepted as sinful activity, e.g. adultery and cattle slaughter, he was not adversely affected by such activity.

4. Hala 669:
etthā nimajjai attā etthā aham etthā pariano sayālo
e pahiya rattiyāndhayā mā mahā sayane nimajjihisi

[ito nivasati śvaśrur atrāham atra parijanāḥ sakalāḥ
he pathika rātry-andho mā mama śayane nimaṅkṣyase //

5. ibid. 397, 401.

6. SāhD 3.82.

7. Lee Siegel writes in Sacred and Profane ṭraditions of Love in Indian Traditions, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1978, 119. "Radha is clearly a parakīyā nāyikā - her love-making with Krishna is in defiance of Nanda, Krishna's foster father, who as a representative of authority exemplifies the social order, the ideal of dharma." But later, "Jayadeva avoids clarity; the relationship is ambiguous." (ibid., 120)

8. Gīta-govinda 5.19: dampatyor iha ko na ko na tamasi vrīḍāvimiśro rasaḥ; 12.13: patyur manaḥ kīlitam.

9. J. S. Hawley, "A Vernacular Portrait: Radha in the Sur Sagar", in (ed.) Hawley, The Divine Consort, p.53. "If anything, Sur seems to relish the ambiguity of Radha's position somewhere between wife and mistress. Its lack of definition adds to her fascination and ... acts as a factor that makes her ultimately worthy of worship.... It is not her position that matters but her feeling, and the ambiguity of her position serves to underscore that effect."

10. Pañcatantra, (ed.) D. D. Kosambi, Bombay: Nirnayasagara Press (9th edn.), 1950, p.54: rādhā nāma me bhāryā gopa-kula-prasūtā prathamam āsīt sā tvam avatīrṇā, Campū-bhāgavata 6.67ff.

11. Of these Brahma-vaivarta-purāṇa is perhaps the most significant and has had the widest appeal. Radha is Krishna's wife: BVP ii.48.47: svayam rādhā kṛṣṇa-patnī kṛṣṇa-vakṣaḥ-sthala-sthitā prāṇādhiṣṭhātṛ-devī ca tasyaiva paramātmanaḥ // Brahma conducts Krishna and Radha's wedding ceremony in rather unusual circumstances: BVP ii.49.37-43, iv.15.119-131. This same story is retold in Garga-saṁhitā, Goloka-khaṇḍa, ch. 16. On the other hand Radha's marriage to Ayana is spoken of in BVP ii.51.34:
tāṁ rādhām upaśamyāmy āyana-gopo mahāmune |
klībatvaṁ sahasā prāpa śambhor icchānusārataḥ //

Different combinations of these elements, apparently derived from BVP are to be found in Mahā-bhāgavata-purāṇa, Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa, DevI-bhāgavata-purāṇa. Cf. R. C. Hazra, Studies in the Upapurāṇas (Calcutta University, 1969), for the eastern Indian provenance of these works. PadP iv.82 contains material on the 24 hour day of Krishna which follows closely that of Govinda-līlāmṛta. This entire section of PadP (iv.69-83) is almost certainly an interpolation by someone influenced by Gaudiya Vaishnava ideas. Most notably, comp. BRS i.2.22 and PadP iv.77.62 or Pv 83 (= CC ii.19.106) and PadP iv.77.52. Major citations found frequently in Gaudiya works, such as PadP iv.81.54 (Bṛhad-gautamīya-tantra, GC i.15.14), iv.76.8-12 (ibid., GC i.1.18), iv.69.23 (BrS 5.2, GC i.1.21) etc., etc., are never attributed to PadP.

12. Cf. Sukumar Sen, Bāṅglā Sāhityer Itihās, ii.1 (1978), 98-9.

3.2 Arguments from the religious texts

To establish the eternal wedded condition of Krishna with his consorts, Jiva is faced with even more problems than he had in establishing the return of Krishna to Vraja. Just as Krishna's return to Vraja is nowhere stated overtly in BhP, his chief source of evidence, neither is there any wedding of Krishna to the gopis. The BhP author's vision of the gopis seems to be ambivalent. On the one hand, certain verses describe the gopis as ignorant sinners who are redeemed by their love for Krishna (Cf. x.47.59), whereas others in Uddhava's eulogy of them show the seeds of an understanding that they are goddesses even more glorious than Lakshmi (Cf. x.47.60ff). Nevertheless, Krishna's chief queen Rukmini is positively identified as Lakshmi and her fortune (and that of the other queens) at having Krishna's constant company is stated to be out of the reach of the gopis. (13)

It is doubtful that the purāṇas and upapurāṇas of east-Indian provenance such as Brahma-vaivarta or Mahā-bhāgavata were available at that time in their current form. Jiva, in any case makes no use of any evidence that these works might have provided toward proving his case. He is rather left once again to argue valiantly from whatever weak evidence he finds to confirm his dogma. He felt it necessary to show, not only that Krishna has an eternal relationship with the gopis which is self-evident (svataḥ-siddha), but that this relation had to be established by ritual means, viz. a wedding, in the manifest līlā also after the false relationship with the gopis' so-called husbands had been revealed as a sham.

The evidences marshalled together by Jiva can be roughly divided into three categories. First, those that argue that the gopis are eternally united with Krishna in the eternal or aprakaṭa-līlā, i.e. that they belong to his hlādinī śakti or pleasure-giving potency and are thus his de facto wives. Next are those evidences that are used to argue that the gopis desired to become his wives and even considered themselves to be such during the course of the prakaṭa-līlā, when others understood them to be wives of other men. Finally, Jiva argues on the basis of weaker evidence, that after Krishna return to Vraja, he actually did sanctify his relation with the gopis by a wedding ceremony.


13. Rukmini is named as Śrī several times in BhP x.49.46, x.54.60, x.53.37, x.60.9, etc. Cf. KṛṣṇaS 185. BhP i.10.28:

nūnaṁ vrata-snāna-hutādineśvaaḥ
samārcito hy asya gṛhīta-pāṇībhiḥ/
pibanti yāḥ sakhy-adharāmṛtaṁ muhur
vraja-striyaḥ saṁmumuhur yad-āśayāḥ//

Naturally the Gaudiya commentators see praise of the gopis in this verse, a testimony to the depth of their love. Cf. also i.10.30:

etāḥ param strītvam apasta-peṣalam
nirasta-śaucaṁ bata sādhu kurvate/
yāsāṁ gṛhāt puṣkara-locanāḥ patir
na jātv apaity āhṛtibhir hṛdi spṛśan//

3.3. The gopis are Krishna's śaktis

The problem of the divine Krishna's dealings with the gopis required answering from the time that the parakīyā relation was first mooted. Thus in ViP, the first attempt at rationalization and justification is made by recalling Krishna's divine position in terms not unlike those encountered in Krishna's reminders to the gopis of their eternal aprakaṭa state of union:
That Krishna is the god who like the air pervades their husbands, the gopis themselves and indeed every created thing in the form of the soul. Just as the ether, fire, earth, water and air pervade all the elements, so too is the soul Krishna situated within all. (14)
This appeal to the divine majesty of Krishna, for whom nothing is "other" (parakīyā) and to whom all is his own (svakīyā), there can be no sin in any activity he chooses to engage in. Property relations of this world are subject to the world's inherent limitations which he transcends.

BhP expands on the lead given by ViP: Shukadeva concludes the Rāsa section with answers to Parikshit's questions about Krishna's apparently immoral behaviour. He first answers that the powerful are not subject to the same rules as the rest of humanity, but goes on to say:

gopīnāṁ tat-patīnāṁ ca sarveṣām api dehinām
yo'ntaś carati so'dhyakṣa eṣa krīḍana-deha-bhāk
He who dwells within the gopis, their husbands, indeed within all embodied beings, is the director partaking of a body meant for recreation.
Jiva (in GC) says that the immediately available meaning of this verse, in which Krishna is identified with the antaryāmin or indwelling oversoul is intended for the uninitiated (bahiraṅga). The following meaning is intended for the aware (antaraṅga):
That there are two types of gopis, some married and some unmarried, is a worldly understanding only. In fact, they are all the eternally liberated beloved wives of Krishna, superior to all women in all respects. (gopīnāṁ) They, as well as the other women of Vraja, all of whom are enriched with feeling for Krishna, whether young girls, young women or aged; (tat-patīnāṁ) the gopis' husbands as well as the unmarried men, all of whom are to be inferred from "husband"; (sarveṣām api dehinām) indeed, all the creatures residing in Vrindavan know only Krishna as the centre of their lives. All of them possess bodies which are paraphernalia for his recreational activities (krīḍana-deha), because they are possessed of qualities suitable to such a purpose. Krishna becomes attached (bhāk) to those bodies and dwells (carati), i.e. plays, in that celebrated place indicated by the word "within" (antaḥ), his eternal, non-mundane personal opulence which is not visible to worldly eyes. He is the director (adhyakṣaḥ) who sometimes becomes perceptible (adhyakṣaḥ) to this world and plays here. Therefore, the bond of Krishna to his eternally beloved (wives) exists since time immemorial; thus the suggestion that he is merely their unmarried lover is improper; a marital relation such as that of the lords of the spiritual world, Lakshmi and Narayana, is befitting to them. (16)
The gopis are, like all the rest of the Vrajavasins, Krishna's eternal associates. Their bodies are meant for his pleasure, thus their relationship is fixed as his eternal wives. But the gopis are much more than this, they are the personal energies of Krishna, his svarūpa-śakti. The various functions of the svarūpa-śakti, primary amongst which is the pleasure-giving (hlādinī), are described in BhagS. (17) This energy is identified with Lakshmi or Sri, or as the wife of the personified god. (18) She never leaves his side: when he appears as a god, she is a goddess, when he appears in human form, she is there as a woman. Whenever he becomes incarnate in whatever form, she is there as his helper. (19) The gopis in particular are predominantly characterized by a surfeit of love for Krishna, which is the essential pleasure-giving function. (20)

In the last nine sections (anucchedas) of the KṛṣṇaS, Jiva focuses on the gopis and their special relation with Krishna as his śaktis. Though BhP verses can be summoned to show that Rukmini is the goddess of fortune or Lakshmi, the gopis too must be identified as Krishna's śaktis or Lakshmis. In fact, they are super-Lakshmis for on the occasion of the rasa dance, they are said to have received a mercy that was never attained even by Narayana's consort Lakshmi. (21) It is this logic, which identifies the gopis and the chief amongst them, Radha, as Krishna's eternal consorts, related to him in the same way that Lakshmi is to Narayana, that leads Jiva to insist on the gopis relation to him as svakīyā nāyikās.

His favoured pramāṇa for this contention comes from Brahma-saṁhitā:
I worship the primeval man, Govinda. who although he is the all-pervading soul, resides particularly in Goloka with those portions of his who are imbued with ecstatic conscious pleasure, being, as they are, manifestations of his very self. (22)
To this he adds the following comment in Dig-darśinī:
By the word nija-rūpatayā is meant that the gopis act as his own wives and not as the wives of others as they do in the prakaṭa-līlā. Because they are the supreme Lakshmis, there is no possibility of their being the wives of anyone else. Such a relation was displayed by Māyā in order to nourish a feeling of eager desire through playfully disguising the taste of the marital relation. By saying, ya eva the author wishes to emphasize that the very person who in his activities displayed in the world of matter lived with them who behaved as the wives of other men, in theaprakaṭa-līlā in Goloka, he lives with them where they are revealed in their true forms (nija-rūpatā).... By saying "in Goloka alone", it is emphasized that this married līlā is nowhere else revealed. (23)
In KṛṣṇaS, Jiva adds that "in Goloka alone" means that there is no possibility that the parakīyā relation could exist in the unmanifest activities. (24)

The BrS calls the gopis Lakshmis in at least two other places, (25) but their identity as goddesses of fortune (Lakshmi) should be seen in the same light that the Pandavas are considered to be Kauravas: though they belong to the same genus, they form a special species within it. Thus as one can say "the Pandavas defeated the Kurus" even though in truth the Pandavas are themselves Kurus, similarly one can state that the gopis, though themselves Lakshmis, are superior in every respect to the Lakshmi who is Narayana's consort. (26) As goddesses of fortune in their own right, identified as even more fortunate than she who is Narayana's consort, the parakīyā concept could not reasonably apply to them for they are eternally joined with Krishna.

Another favourite set of evidences comes from the Gautamīya-tantra (2.22-4) in which the meaning of the 10-syllable mantra (klīṁ gopī-jana-vallabhāya svāhā) is explained. There, the epithet of Krishna, gopī-jana-vallabha, is glossed in three ways, the word gopī interpreted as prakṛti for the first two. The third and conclusive interpretation is given as follows:
Or, it means "the husband of the gopīs",
who are perfect throughout many births;
he is also known as the son of Nanda,
who increases the joy of the three worlds. (27)
The word aneka-janma-siddhānām means that the gopis have accompanied Krishna throughout his eternal incarnations on earth, just as Krishna told Arjuna [Gita 4.5] that he was such a companion. The word pati negates the possibility of Krishna's being their paramour, as he illusorily appears to be in his manifest pastimes.


14. ViP v.13.61-2:
tad-bhartṛṣu tathā tāsu sarva-bhūteṣu ceśvaraḥ
ātma-svarūpa-rūpo'sau vyāpī vāyur iva sthitaḥ
yathā samasta-bhūteṣu nabho'gniḥ pṛthivī jalam
vāyuś cātmā tathaivāsau vyāpya sarvam avasthitaḥ//

15. BhP x.33.35. The reading here is that given by Jiva. The reading given in BhP is as follows:
gopīnāṁ tat-patīnāṁ ca sarveṣām eva dehinām
yo'ntaś carati so'dhyakṣa krīḍaneneha deha-bhāk

16. GCP 15.78;
atrāntaraṅgān prati tv ayam arthah gopīnāṁ kāścid vyūḍhāḥ kāścid avyūḍhā iti dvidhātra loka-mātra-prasiddhānām vastutas tu nitya-siddhānāṁ sarvataḥ śreyasīnāṁ tat-preyasīnām anyāsām api nānā-bhāva-samṛddhānāṁ kumārī-taruṇī-vṛddhānāṁ tathā yathā-sambhavaṁ tāsāṁ patīnāṁ tad-upalakṣitatayā kumāra-tatīnāṁ kiṁ bahunā sarveṣām api tad-eka-jivānāṁ vraja-jīvānāṁ yāni tat-tad-ucitata-cita-tadīya-krīḍa-sādhana-dehāni tad-āsaktāḥ sann antaḥ śabdābhihite mahite jagan-netrād antarhite sad-abhāve sva-vaibhave yaś carati krīḍati sa eṣa evādhyakṣaḥ kadācij jagan-netra-pratyakṣaḥ san krīḍati| tasmān nija-preyasībhiḥ samam anādita eva mithunateti kathanād aupapatyam asya nopapatty-arhaṁ kintu parama-vyomādhipa-lakṣmī-nārāyaṇavad dāmpatyam eva tad-arham bhavatīti|

17. KṛṣṇaS 117f, pp.149-60;
athaivam bhūtānanta-vṛttikā yā svarūpa-śaktiḥ sā tv iha bhagavad-dhāma-savartinī mūrtimatī lakṣmīr evety āha anāpāyinī bhagavatī śrīḥ sākṣād ātmano harer iti. [BhP xii.11.20]. Cf. RKAD, 10-4.

18. ibid. p.158;
tathā yato bhagavad-vigraha-prakāśaka-viśuddha-sattvasya mūrtitvaṁ vāsudevatvam ca tato tat-prādurbhāva-viśeṣe dharma-patnyā mūrtitvaṁ prasiddham.

19. ViP i.8.17;
nityaiva sa jagan-mātā viṣṇoḥ śrīr anapāyinī
yathā sarva-gato viṣṇus tathaiveyaṁ dvijottama

Two other verses attributed by Jiva to ViP but not found in the text:
evaṁ yathā jagat-svāmī devadevo janārdanaḥ
avatāraṁ karoty eṣa tathā śrīis tat-sahāyinī
devatve deva-dehā sa manuṣatve ca mānuṣī
harer dehānurūpaṁ vai karoty eṣātmanas tanum
// See RKAD, p.14.

20. KṛṣṇaS 188, p.111;
tāsāṁ mahattvaṁ tu hlādinī-sāra-vṛtti-viśeṣa-prema-rasa-sāra-viśeṣa-prādhānyāt. Radha stands out amongst even the gopis (KṛṣṇaS 189, p.112): tad evaṁ parama-madhura-prema-vṛtti-mayīṣu tāsv api tat-sārāṁśodreka-mayī śrī-rādhikā tasyām eva premotkarṣa-parākāṣṭhayā darśitatvat.

21. BhP x.47.63;
nāyaṁ śriyo'ṅga u nitānta-rateḥ prasādaḥ
svar-yoṣitāṁ nalina-gandha-rucām kuto'nyāḥ
rasotsave'sya bhuja-daṇḍa-gṛhīta-kaṇṭha-
labdhāśiṣāṁ yā udagād vraja-sundarīṇām

22. BrS 5.48;
tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam aham bhajāmi //

23. BrSc 5.48;
nija-rūpatayā sva-dāratvenaiva na tu prakaṭa-līlāvat para-dāra-tva-vyavahāreṇety arthah| parama-lakṣmīṇāṁ tāsāṁ tat-paradāratva-sambhavād asya svadāratva-maya-rasasya kautukāvaguṇṭhitatayā samutkaṇṭhā-poṣanārthaṁ prakaṭa-līlāyāṁ māyayaiva tādṛśatvam vyañjitam iti bhāvaḥ| yā evety eva-kārena yat prāpañcika-prakaṭa-līlāyāṁ tāsu para-dāratā-vyavahāreṇa nivasati so'yam ya eva tad aprakaṭa-līlāspade goloke nija-rūpatā-vyavahāreṇa nivasatiti vyajyate… goloka evety eva-kārena seyam līlā tu kvāpi nānyatra vidyata iti prakāśyate.

24. KṛṣṇaS 177, p.98; goloka eva nivasatīti prakaṭa-līlāyām iva parakīyātva-prapañcanam niṣiddham.

25. BrS 5.29: lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam; 5.58: śriyaḥ kāntāḥ, etc. See GCP 1.24.

26. UNc 1.21; lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam ity atra ca saṁhitāyāṁ khalu lakṣmītvena ta nirdiśati tathāpi pāṇḍava-śabdasyeva gopī-śabdasyaiva prācuryeṇa prayogāt pāṇḍavaiḥ kuravo jitā itivat nāyaṁ śriyo'ṅga iti pravartate. See also GCP 1.25.

27. aneka-janma-siddhānāṁ gopīnāṁ patir eva vā |
nandanandana ity uktas trailokyānanda-vardhanaḥ ||

3.4. The appearance of a marriage elsewhere is illusory
If the gopis are Krishna's eternal śaktis, then they cannot possibly "belong" to anyone else. The entire event of marriage has been managed by Krishna's yoga-māyā, of whom he is said to have taken shelter at the beginning of the rasa dance (x.29.1). In BhP, the gopis' husbands are said to have been bewildered by this Māyā and so they did not feel angry with Krishna. (28) Rather they thought, "How could Krishna, who is the very centre of our religion, our meaning, our friends, our dear ones, our hearts, our children, our lives and our souls, possibly do anything inauspicious like accept the wife of another man?" (29)
In order to protect Krishna's eternal wives from the sexual approaches of others, she created duplicate forms of them which their so-called husbands saw by their sides. The BhP states that this took place on the night of the rasa dance, but of course, the supremely powerful Yogamāyā had been constantly vigilant to protect the gopis from dishonour ever since they were married to the other cowherds. (30) In some editions of KṛṣṇaS, KūrmaP (32.513-30) is quoted in full to show how Sita prayed to the household sacrificial fire when she realized that Ravana sought to abduct her. By the fire god's grace, Ravana was not able to abduct the real Sita, but was left with a Doppelgāngerin. This was later revealed at the time of her trial by fire after her safe return to Ayodhya. Jiva adds, "As the same rule is seen to take effect for any devoted wife in similar circumstances by the power of her devotion to her husband, then why would Māyā, who serves the husband of the gopis, not especially protect them in the way that Rama's fire protected Sita? For Garga said about devotees in general that Krishna's enemies will never overcome those who take shelter of him (x.8.18), what to speak of the gopis who never abandon him even in error."(31)

A similar statement is made in Rupa Goswami's LalM by Paurnamasi, the personification of Yogamāyā, in answer to questions by Gargi:
Gargi: Then surely the marriage of Govardhana and the other cowherds to Candravali and the other gopis was arranged by Māyā. 
Paurnamasi: What else? The gopis are the wives of these cowherds only in the sense that the latter claim possession of them, but that is all. In fact, they rarely even see one another. (32)
Thus, when an apparent reference is made to the gopis' children in BhP and elsewhere, it should be otherwise understood, for if such children existed a contradictory sentiment (rasābhāsa) would result. (33)They might be considered the offspring of other women, such as their sisters-in-law, etc. as in x.29.6 where pāyayantyah śiśūn payaḥ is to be so interpreted, for had these children indeed been the gopis', the words sutān stanam would have been used. In x.29.20, where Krishna says that "Your mothers, fathers, sons, brothers and husbands are searching for you", it should be taken that Krishna is joking, otherwise there would have been rasābhāsa in view of the fact that he was about to accept them.


28. BhP x.33.37;
nāsūyan khalu kṛṣṇāya mohitās tasya māyayā/
manyamānāḥ svapārśvasthān svān svān dārān vrajaukasaḥ//

29. KṛṣṇaS 177, p.101.
tasya māyayā mohitāḥ santo nāsūyan tasya sva-nitya-preyasī-svīkāra-lakṣaṇe katham asāv asmad-dharmārtha-suhṛt-priyātma-tanaya-prāṇaśaya-jīvātutamaḥ para-dāra-svīkāra-mangalam angīkarotīti doṣāropaṁ nākurvann iti.

30. ibid.;
parama-samarthayas tasya māyayā nija-prabhu-preyasīnāṁ tad-ekānurāga-svabhāvānāṁ maryādā-rakṣanārthaṁ pariṇayam ārabhya sadaiva sāvadhānatayā yogyatvāt tad-dinam upalakṣaṇam eveti.

31. ibid. (fn.1);
tad evam pati-vratā-mātrāṇāṁ viśeṣataḥ śrī-bhagavat-preyasya prabhave sati,
ya etasmin mahābhāge prītim kurvanti mānavāh/
narayo.abhibhavanty etan viṣṇu-pakṣān ivāsura // iti
sāmānya-viṣaye garga-vacane ca sati tadṛśīnāṁ bhrame.api nitya-kāntam aparityajantīnāṁ nityaṁ tat-kāntam paricaranti mayā śrī-rāmāvasathyāgnivad api kim rakṣām na kurvīta?
Jiva also gives the example of Sita's being saved by Agni in this way in GCU 32.58.

32. LalM 1.54-5, p.15;
Gārgī: "nūnaṁ goaḍḍhanaigoehim candavali-pahudinam ubbaho maae nivvahido." [nūnaṁ govardhanādi-gopaih candrāvalī-prabhṛtīnām udvāho.api māyayā nirvāhitaḥ.]
Paurṇamāsī: "atha kim. patiṁmanyānāṁ ballavānāṁ mamatāmātravaśeṣitā tāsu dāratā. yad ebhiḥ prekṣaṇam api tāsāṁ durghaṭitam.

33. ibid., p.102;
svāpatyatve sati vibhāva-vaiguṇyena rasābhāsatvam āpadyeta.

3.5. Marriage with Krishna is the fulfilment of the gopis' desire

The proponents of the parakīyā position, though not denying that the gopis are Krishna's eternal śaktis, deny that they desire a married relation with Krishna. The general view of all Vaishnavas is that one's spiritual attainments match the quality of one's desires. This is, of course, in keeping with the Bhagavad-gītā's statement that, "As one surrenders to me, so do I deal with him." (34) Jiva's primary source for believing that the gopis did indeed possess such a desire is the words mat-kāmā ramaṇam in BhP xi.12.13 discussed in the next section below, but he finds other evidences also. The gopis' praises of Krishna's flute show the proprietary feelings that they had for him, "Oh gopis! What penances did this flute do that it should enjoy the nectar of Krishna's lips which rightfully belongs to us gopis?" (35) Similarly, when Krishna turned them away on the night of the rasa dance, telling them to serve their husbands, the gopis responded by saying,
That which you, the knower of religion,
have told us is the duty of women,
to follow the needs of her husband, children and relatives,
may it all be done for you who are the Lord,
the ultimate object of the instruction;
you who are the most dearly beloved,
the friend and soul of all embodied beings.(36)

Not only did the gopis desire Krishna as their husband, but they actually thought of him as such, as is revealed by their use of the honorific ārya-putra, generally reserved for use by a wife for her husband.(37)

Krishna, too, is said to have thought of the gopis as his wives, as Jiva argues in GC: (38)

While sending Uddhava to Vraja (x.46.3-6), Krishna said to him, "Go to Vraja, gentle Uddhava, and convey my affection to my parents." [By calling Nanda and Yasoda his own parents] he revealed that he identified himself as a cowherd, thus when he says "My cowherdesses (ballavyaḥ) are my very life" (x.46.6) it should be understood that he is speaking in the same way that a brāhmaṇa speaks of his brāhmaṇī, meaning his wife.

Similarly, in the half-verse, "They think of me as their husband, their dear one, as their very self", it is abundantly clear that though to the vision of the uninitiated it sometimes seems that Krishna is the gopis' unmarried lover, to the vision of those in the inner circle he is constantly perceived to be their married husband.(39)

Other scriptures are marshalled forth to show that de facto such a relation was accepted by their authors. The strongest of these statements is found in the Gopāla-tāpanī (2.28), where Durvasas says to the gopis after being questioned by them about Krishna's identity, "He is verily your husband." Sukadeva also calls them Krishna's wives in the course of describing the rasa dance.(40) Similarly, he points out that a few verses after this usage, the word ṛṣabha appears and is interpreted to mean husband by no less an authority than Sridhara.(41) Jayadeva's Gīta-govinda, Saṅgīta-śāstra, the Yamunā-stotra attributed to Sankara and even a verse found in Padyāvalī sometimes said to be by Chaitanya, are all similarly cited.(42)



36. BhP x.29.32-33;
yat paty-apatya-suhṛdām anuvṛttir eva
strīṇāṁ sva-dharma iti dharma-vidā tvayoktam |
astv evam upadeśa-pade tvayīśe preṣṭho
bhavāṁs tanu-bhṛtāṁ kila bandhur ātmā ||

37. BhP x.47.21: ārya-putra

38. GCP 15.71 etc. See also KåñëaS 177ff.

39. ibid.
tad idaṁ gacchoddhava vrajaṁ saumya pitror naḥ prītim āvaha iti vallabhābhimānitāmātmani vyajya śrīkṛṣṇasya vacanaṁ brāhmaṇādīnāṁ mama brāhmaṇītyādivat|
tathā mām eva dayitaṁ preṣṭham ātmānaṁ manasā gatāḥ [bhā.pu. 10.46.4] iti pracuraṁ pracuratārdhapadyena ca tābhir api bahir-dṛṣṭyā paraṁ tatra kvacid upapatitvaṁ pratīyate |


A wedding takes place in the prakaṭa-līlā

The relation that the gopis have with Krishna as nitya-kanta is based on their sense of identity rather than on a ceremonial marriage as such. Such a ceremonial relationship should of course not be necessary any more than is Krishna's birth in the womb of Yasoda in Goloka.(43) Though Jiva feels that this relation is nitya-siddha, like that of Lakshmi-Narayan and would not need any ceremony to validate it, nevertheless, just as in the prakaṭa-līlā union was felt to be necessary after the long separation, the gopis needed to be ceremoniously wed to Krishna in order that their desires be properly fulfilled. In his commentary to UN 1.21, Jiva says,
If the gopis are thus eternally married to Krishna, their so-called parakīyā relation is not only false but is ultimately dispelled when the illusory force which promoted the falsehood is retracted, at which time the beginningless and eternal state again comes into force. However, if no actual wedding ceremony took place, there would be a danger of clash of sentiments, i.e. of disgust marring their pure love as a result of the knowledge of the previous relation.(44)

Jiva refers to LalM where Krishna's marriage to Radha takes place in the last act named "The fulfilment of all desires" (purna-manoratha). Jiva takes it that the wedding of Krishna to the gopis is a logical corollary of the samṛddhimat sambhoga, for as mentioned above, the removal of all dependancy (paratantrya) is part of its definition. The union after prolonged separation must be without disturbances (nirvighna); the repetition of separation is likened by Jiva to the bath of an elephant which sprinkles itself with dust after bathing, and must not be allowed to happen. Thus marriage is a necessary part of samṛddhimat sambhoga.

In KṛṣṇaS, therefore, Jiva's point of departure in substantiating his belief in the gopis' marriage to Krishna comes after he has demonstrated his return to Vraja. Of the verses of BhP said to "prove" that Krishna returned to Vraja to award the gopis the fulfilment of their desires, Jiva focusses on those in the eleventh book, spoken by Krishna to Uddhava in Dvaraka not long before he departs from the world, or in Jiva's parlance, from the prakaṭa-līlā of his Dvaraka manifestation. Again, Jiva's exegesis is interesting. The most important of these verses are as follows:

When I was taken with Rama to Mathura by Akrura,
the gopis, their hearts attached to me,
suffering a great malaise of separation
out of their deep feeling for me,
saw nothing else which could give them pleasure.

Those nights which were stolen
by me, their most dear one in Vrindavan,
seemed to pass in a brief moment.
Without me, their nights took on the length of aeons.

Their intelligence bound up in attachment to me,
they knew not their own selves, nor "mine", nor "not mine";
as sages merge into trance, or rivers into the sea,
or name into form, they merged into me.

Desiring me, [though] they knew not my real identity,
they attained me, their lover and paramour,
who am the supreme brahman,
a hundred-thousand fold by virtue of association.(45)

Of these four verses, the first two are said to describe the period of Krishna's departure from Vraja. The use of the perfect tense indicates, according to Jiva (and Sanatana before him (46) that these events are of the distant past. The third verse is said to indicate Krishna's return to Vraja; the word anuṣaṅga having as its primary meaning "close adherence" or "association". Such association would only have been attainable upon his return there. At this time, they had no further knowledge of their identities, or this or that, i.e. they had no further confusion about their existence in this prakaṭa manifestation or the eternal one, the separation of the manifest activities of Krishna has merged with the unmanifest. Just as rivers which form part of both land and sea, the gopis were not aware of any distinction between the two.

The last of these verses is said to indicate the nature of the gopis' attainment. Jiva's interpretation is, again, somewhat at variance with the immediately understood meaning of the verse. Of the two words in apposition to brahma māṁ paramam, ramaṇam ('lover, husband') is treated separately from jaram in syntactical relation to the first of the two adjectives describing the gopis, mat-kāmāḥ, while asvarūpa-vidaḥ is read in relationship with jāra. Ramaṇa is taken to mean husband alone, and not as a synonym of jāra, which can only be defined as "paramour."(46) Thus, according to Jiva's gloss, the verse is to be read: "They attained me, the supreme brahman named Krishna. Not knowing their own identities as my eternal beloved [wives] (preyasī) they first attained me as their paramour. Nevertheless, since their desire was to have me for their husband, they later attained me as such. Not only they, but hundreds of thousands of other gopis also realized the same goal through their association." (47) Jiva's conclusion is that the gopis were indeed wed to Krishna.

In order further to substantiate this, Jiva returns to the two PadP verses found within the prose portion quoted above (2.6). There it was said that Krishna "frolicked constantly" (aniśam) and "enjoyed pleasant sports" (ramya-keli) with "a great taste of love" (bahu-prema-rasena). Constant enjoyment is felt by Jiva to indicate that the secrecy which had characterized his earlier relations with the gopis was no longer maintained.(48) That the sports were pleasant also indicates that the dangers, etc., involved in a parakīyā relationship were not present.(49)