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ForewordI have read through the manuscript of ‘Love is God’ by Shri Lalita Charan Goswami. ShriGoswami is an authority on ...
all, however opposed ‘Kewaladvet’ (Mayavad) of Shankaracharya as it was placed againstthe very fundamentals of Bhaktivad.V...
object of worship is not only Nandnandan hut it is the divine couple comprisingNandnandan (Krishna) and Vrishbhanunandnj (...
5    Love Sports (Prem-Vihar)    15 - 196    Shri Krishna                20 - 227    shri radha                  23 - 268 ...
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  1. 1. ForewordI have read through the manuscript of ‘Love is God’ by Shri Lalita Charan Goswami. ShriGoswami is an authority on the philosophy of Divine Love propounded by the founder ofthe Devotional Cult-Radha Vallabh and has a number of important works in Hindi to hiscredit. The present monograph in English is another feather to his cap. It is written in afine literary style and will certainly appeal to readers with a devotional bent of mind whoare not quite conversant with Hindi language. PrefaceFrom Vedic times onwards the natural urge in man blur spiritual progress has expresseditself through the medium of three paths namely - the path of knowledge, path of actionand path of emotion (Gyan Marg, Karm Marg and Bhakti Marg). In the long religioushistory of India we have seen that the founders of various religions have been veryskeptical about or even averse to emotions and have discouraged paths of spiritualprogress in which emotions play a prominent role. On the other hand, it is also known tous that in spite of all their efforts, with the passage of time, emotions and the paths ofspiritual progress based on them, have crept in the systems founded by them. Kenyan -the oldest form of Buddhism is, for all purposes, a path of knowledge. But a few Centurieslater, we find Mahayana - an offshoot of Buddhism coming up with emotions playingsignificant role in its development. Mahayana accepted the theory of Divine Descent(Antiradar) and with it came the emotional relation with the deity. Kenyan was notpopular among the common people but the new form of Buddhism (Mahayana) caughthold of the imagination of the masses and seemed to fulfill most of their aspirations.Parallel to the advent of Mahayana a renaissance was taking place in Hinduism also andnaturally, both of them were influencing each other. In the field of philosophy, Mahayanahad developed several new systems which seemed to demolish the philosophy based OfUpanishads. In the 8th century one of the greatest’ philosophers of the world -Shankaracharya - was born in South India. He defeated the upholders of Mahayanaphilosophy by holding direct discussions with them and made way for general decline ofBuddhism in India.On the other hand, the philosophical system of Shankaracharya was too abstruse andlacked the warmth of intimate relation with one’s object of worship. According to most ofthe historians, Alwars in the South, even before the advent of Shankaracharya had beenpropagating devotion (Bhakti) as the best method of attaining the summum bonum ofhuman life. These great devotees were attached emotionally with different incarnations ofVishnu. So they were called Vaishnavas. Ramanuja, who was horn in the lineage ofAlwars, gave Bhakti movement initiated by Alwars the required philosophical base to makeit attractive for Sanskritknowing savants through out India. The philosophical systemdeveloped by him was the first Vaishnav effort in this direction. Madhava, Nimbarka andVallabha followed him. Though all of them were great devotees and subscribed to Vishnuworship in general, yet in their commentaries on Brahm-sutras they developedphilosophical systems different from each other - Ramanuja’ s system is known asVishishtadvet’, Madhavas Dvet’, Nimbarka’s ‘Dvetadvet’ and Vallabha’s Sudhadvet’. They
  2. 2. all, however opposed ‘Kewaladvet’ (Mayavad) of Shankaracharya as it was placed againstthe very fundamentals of Bhaktivad.Vallabha was the last of these Vaishnavacharyas. He was first to substitute Krishna for theword ‘Brahm’ in his commentary on Brahmsutras. With it he accepted Shrimad Bhagvat asan authority alongwith Brahmsutras, Bhagvadgeeta and Vedas and ii proved to be veryhelpful in spreading the cult of Krishna through out India. Though Vallabh too hailed fromSouth India - horn in the year 1535 (Vikram) or 1478 (A.D), he lived near Allahabad inUP. on the hank of the Ganges and his activities were centred in Braj.Chaitanya was born in the year 1542 (Vikram) or 1485 (A.D) in Navadeep, (West Bengal).He was a consummate devotee. He gave birth to a great Bhakti movement in Bengal.Though he personally came to Vrindavana only once, he advised his followers to make ittheir centre for propagation of the new movement. Chaitanya, like the Alwars of SouthIndia, emphasized the practice of devotion in its purest form without worrying or caringmuch for its philosophical base. Shrimad Bhagvata is considered by him sole authority onwhich the whole gamut of his worship (Upasana) is based. His followers have writtencommentaries on Shrimad Bhagvata as well as some original works on ‘Bhakti Rasa’.Sanatan Goswami, Roop Goswami and Jeev Goswami are prominent among those. GopalBhatt compiled the first smriti or the memory- borne codes of law for Vaishnavas. Thecredit of discovery of several places of Krishna-leela in Braj goes also to Chaitanya and hisfollowers.In a well-known Sanskrit verse nearly all the salient features ol Chaitanya Sampradayaare outlined beautifully. The verse says that, in the doctrine expounded by ChaitanyaMahaprabhu, the main object of worship is Bhagwan Nandnandan (Shri Krishna),Vrindavana is his abode (Dham), the beautiful mode of worship (Upasana) is the one thatwas assumed by Gopees of Braj, the only authority is Shrimad Bhagvata, and the greatobject of human pursuits in love.Followers of Chaitanya came from the east in Vrindavana which was at that time a decoit-infested area. So they had to live in other places of Braj. The founder of a distinct sect ofPrema Bhakti - Hit-harivansh came down to Vrindavana during the same period from thewest. it was he who made Vrindavana inhabitable by bringing about a total change ofmind in Narwahan - the leader of decoits then active in the area. Both these doctrines ofPrema-Bhakti which converged in Vrindavana at that time had some similarities. But thedifkrences between the doctrine of chaitanya as outlined in the atre metioned Sanskritverse and that of Hit-harivansh are:(i) In haitanya Sampradaya love is declared to be the most innate of the three powers -Aalhadini, Sandhini and Samvit of the Supreme Being or Bhagwan. Naturally, therefore,the whole structure of their doctrine is based on these three attributes of Bhagwan i.e.Krishna or Nandnandan and He is their main object of worship. On (he other hand, in theopinion of Shri Hit-harivansh’s Radha Vallahh Sampradaya Love is God and these energiesof Bhagwan are quite foreign to the psychological composition of love which is essentiallycomposed of three components namely (a) lover (b) beloved and (c) relation between thelover and the beloved commonly known as love. The doctrinal sturcture of Radha VallabhSapradaya is built on this distinctive psychological approach to love and accordingly their
  3. 3. object of worship is not only Nandnandan hut it is the divine couple comprisingNandnandan (Krishna) and Vrishbhanunandnj (Radha) as Bhogta and Bhogya.(ii) Another distinctive feature of Radha Vallabh Sampradaya is its view-point about‘Leela’. For Speedy spiritual progress, followers of this Sampradaya believe thatconcentration of mind on a well-defined point is very necessary. According to them,Krishna’s leelas, as they are many in number and varied involving innumerable charactersand places, do not help humam mind concentrate on an exclusive point. Moreover, insome leela we find Krishna displaying his super human powers to his parents, friends andGopees. They all are amazed, confused and frustrated too at the sight of it and begin todoubt whether it was proper for them to claim intimacy with such an omnipotent person.To achieve its objective of providing a single point concentration, Radha VallabhSampradaya presents only one leela i.e. Prem Leela of Radha and Krishna. This PremLeela has its own distinctive feature, namely (a) in these leelas the object of love is Radhainstead of Krishna who is the centre of attraction in all the leelas as depicted in ShrimadBhagvata and other puranas (b) Leelas of Radha and Krishna as narrated in variousPuranas were enacted within a limited frame of time and space. As a result of this, both ofthem had to experience separation as well as reunion at different times. But leelas ofRadha and Krishna are introduced by Hit-harivansh and his followers as being performedin present time and that present is pointed out to be eternal one. To underline this idea,most of Hitacharya’s Braj Bhasha Verses begin with the word ‘AAJ’ (today). Thesetranscendental leelas of the divine couple with the supremacy of Radha are called ‘NityaVihara’.(iii) The most charming form of worship of the divine couple Radha-Krishna, is initiated bySakhees who are personification, pure and simple, of the selfless love i.e. relation existingbetween the said couple.(Vi)Hitacharya is unique in declaring that Love is God (not that God is love) and Radhaand Krishna are its embodiments or personified forms. This shows that the concept of loveand love sports as presented by Hitacharya in his writings is different from that ofShrimad Bhagvata. Followers of Radha Vallabh Sampradaya, therefor, have to depenJcompletely on Hitacharya’s Braj Bhasha and sanskrit works and these writings areinvariably considered as final authority for them. For traditional shape of Bhakti i.e.Navdha Bhakti, however, Shrimad Bhagvata is considered in this Sampradaya to be thepreparatory authority and it can be categorically stated that the concept of Hitacharyadoes not come into conflict with that of Shrimad Bhagvata.(V) Love is not only the object of human pursuits but it is ‘God’ Himself. In this small bookwe have tried to give a short exposition of the religious system established by RadhaVallabh Sampradaya on the concept ‘Love is God’. We hope the readers will find it not onlythought provoking but also of great spiritual value. Contents1 Foreword2 Preface v-x3 The Founder 1-74 Object of adoration 8-14,
  4. 4. 5 Love Sports (Prem-Vihar) 15 - 196 Shri Krishna 20 - 227 shri radha 23 - 268 Vrindavana 27 - 319 Sakhi Or Sehchari 32 - 3310 The Path Of Worship 34 - 3811 Message Of The Sampradaya 39 - 41