Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Love, an impersonal energy

Let's look at it a bit differently. I was reading a book A Spiritual Approach to Male/Female Relations recently in which the following sentence popped out at me: "...life can become more meaningful by recognizing that this very personal attraction comes from an impersonal energy in the universe, which we sometimes glibly term 'love'. Aligning ourselves with this love, with its impersonal and palpable reality, can be a first step towards improving all our human relations."

This is an interesting statement that has a certain intuitive cogency. The word anaṅga, which is a name for Kamadeva, means "bodiless." In one sense, love is shapeless. When people say, "God is love," they can mean various things. One is "Love is God," in the sense that this amorphous, all-pervading, underlying substratum of love can be tapped into and experienced.

There are various ways to experience the underlying unity of all existence--one is simply by being, another by understanding, and the third, by loving.

But the way that this seems to be to me is that just as there are various energies present in the universe, but in order to quicken them there must be some nexus of production. For instance, electricity is supposedly everywhere, but to produce it in a way that makes it usable, one must generate it through the apposition of positive and negative charges.

Similarly, love is like that, too.

Radha and Krishna represent the very basis of that production of love. This is why I give such importance to the verse that states, "God was One, but enjoyed not. He desired another and so divided himself in two, becoming like lovers locked in embrace." The Upanishads say, "He desired (so'kāmayata): I am one, let me become many."

The parallel is that sat, chit and ānanda related respectively to the experiences of being, consciousness and joy. Joy means love.

7 comments:

anadi said...

Dear Jagat
you said:
"We also have to think of our acharyas' admonishments about the difference between sambhogecchatmika and tat-bhavecchatmika kamanuga bhaktis. But that is a little more complex, so let us just say this: Bhakti is carried out on two levels--physical and mental, external and internal. Of the two, Jiva says that the internal is the sadhya, the external is the sadhana."

1. I'm not so positive about the idea that the internal is sadhya, and the external would be sadhana.
Raganuga sadhan bhakti is totally internal, not external.
One conceives on the mental platform his siddha deha, and the backgound of the lila, and get into it, to serve, and feel according some patterns, until one is really sucked into lila.

anadi said...

The external side of raganuga sadhan is that one chants during one's meditation

Jagat said...

The statement about sadhya and sadhana is based on Sri Jiva's commentary to BRS 1.3.1.

The mind is also external to the sadhya, which is bhava and prema.

Jagat said...

I realized that my wording was incorrect. The internal is not really mental. Raganuga bhakti is practiced more directly in the mind, but it is still a sadhana leading to bhava and prema. My mistake.

Satya devi dasi said...

(BRS 1.3.1)
śuddha-sattva-viśeṣātmā
prema-sūryāḿśu-sāmya-bhāk
rucibhiś citta-masṛṇya-
kṛd asau bhāva ucyate

"When devotional service is executed on the transcendental platform of pure goodness, it is like a sun-ray of love for Kṛṣṇa. At such a time, devotional service causes the heart to be softened by various tastes, and one is then situated in bhāva [emotion]."
http://vedabase.net/cc/madhya/23/5/en

In trying to figure out what the heck you were referring to in BRS 1.3.1, I came across this (sorry for the long address): http://www.purebhakti.com/teachers/bhakti-discourses-mainmenu-61/20-discourses-2001/89-bhakti-and-mukti.html

Would you say something more about Srila Jiva Goswami's commentary on this verse? Thank you.

Jagat said...

Good quality of discussion. Shows the difference between Narayan Maharaj and Iskcon.

But I was just refering to the introduction to the commentary by Jiva Goswami where he makes the distinction that I mentioned here. Sadhana, he says, is using the senses to cultivate the sadhya, which is bhava in the first instance and prema in the second. Bhava, translated loosely, means feeling. Better understood it means sthayi-bhava, or the specific sense of identity, or mood.

The mind should be understood as one of the senses. Therefore smarana, technically speaking, is not the sadhya (even though that is often stated as the goal "Remember Krishna always, never forget him," etc. The goal is love, prema. Bhava is the interim stage which makes love possible.

The discussion in the conversation transcript you linked seems a little confused, though, when it comes to suddha-sattva-visesatma. Jiva Goswami here uses that famous paraphrase that bhava is a combination of the essence of the samvit and hladini energies, not sandhini as stated here. Atma here means essence. It is, in other words, the essence of a particular characteristic of pure being.

Pure being, in the Vaishnava conception, includes consciousness and bliss. So the special character of that pure being is the samvit and hladini energies. Samvit means a particular type of consciousness, but consciousness without love is not complete, though love cannot exist without consciousness. Here the consciousness means knowledge or awareness of one's specific eternal identity in relationship to Radha and Krishna. Ananda means that this relationship is one of love.

Prema means that this bhava is intensified and the ecstatic aspect of it dominates more profoundly the bhava, which simply becomes the raw material for prema.

anadi said...

Well it is not quite clear what do you (Jiva would have meant) by internal and external.

The idea, is that we must come on the level of internal sadhana, because this is the way we can meet Krishna, Radha, the sakhis, and engage...

In this connection, at the end of His speach to Arjuna (18.51-53), Krishna said that to realize the spiritual realm - brahma bhuta - and than "engage" in pure bhakti to Him - mad bhaktim labhate- one has to come on the level of meditation:

"Purified by one's dicrimination power (intelligence) - buddhyā viśuddhayā-,
and with determined mind regularly engaged - yukto dhṛtyātmānaḿ niyamya ca-
giving up talking and sense injoyment - śabdādīn viṣayāḿs tyaktvā -
also givig up the attachment and (the resulting) hatred - rāga-dveṣau vyudasya ca -
living in a solitary (undisturbed) environament - vivikta-sevī
eating little - laghv-āśī -
controlling speach (mantra) the body (no external disturbance) and the mind (no internal disturbance) - yata-vāk-kāya-mānasaḥ
always engage in the supreme yoga of meditation - dhyāna-yoga-paro nityaḿ
taking shelter of renunciation - vairāgyaḿ samupāśritaḥ
without a sense of proprietorship -nirmamaḥ —
beeing freed from false ego, false strength, pride,lust,anger, and acceptance of material things -
ahańkāraḿ balaḿ darpaḿ
kāmaḿ krodhaḿ parigraham-
one becomes peaceful and ELIGIBLE to attain spiritual perfection - śānto brahma-bhūyāya kalpate

Many think that bhakti is some service to somebody, one calls (sat) guru, and chanting 16-64 rounds, but this is not all.

The conditions for SUCCESS are generally tough, but there is no other way for one who follows Mahaprabhu's teachings, except the meditational yoga and the conditions linked with it - called raganunga sadhan bhakti.

ps
You can put a better translation of the verses, if you please. It might be not 100% "proper".