[Advaita-l] Shridhar Swami on Rasalila
Jaldhar H. Vyas
jaldhar at braincells.com
Sun Dec 25 00:30:22 CST 2005
The preminent commentator on Bhagavata Purana is Shridhar Swami. He was
an Advaitin though inexplicably sometimes Gaudiyas think he is one of
their own. Here are his comments on the subject. (I should mention that
this is based on a Gujarati translation, I haven't read his shridhari tika
in Sanskrit. However I do believe the translator has rendered it accurately.)
"The rAsakrIDa described here is to be taken in an adhyAtmika sense only
not historically. Knowing this one can interpret it correctly. The
feeling of Bhakti can rise and become firm through the ShR^I.mgara rasa
It is for this reason that the author has described bhakti in the shape of
The adhyAtmika meaning of kR^iShNa and gopI is as follows
kR^iShirbhUvAchaka.h shabdo Nashcha nirvR^itivAchaka.h |
tayAraikya.m para.m brahma kR^iShNa ityabhidhIyate || 
svamAtra.m brahma gopAyati AvR^iNotIti gopI mAyA |
svAtiriktAstitvabhrama.m nAmarUpAbhyA.m gopAyatIti gopI mAyA | 
In this way the play  of the sdhyAtmika kR^iShNa and the adhyAtmika
gopIs (i.e. chaitanya and mAyA] continues constantly from the beginning of
sa.msara to its end. It is only this that the author has described in
beautiful poetic imagery.
Should someone think it the actions of the historic kR^iShNa which are
being described then that is untenable. Because when the rAsalIlA
occurred, yadunandana ShrIkR^iShNa was only 9 years old. Such a young
boy would not have been described by the far-seeing sages as being
engaged, contrary to all shastraic norms, in such acts."
[to be continued.]
 The rasas are the nine moods or attitudes in kAvyashAstra. ShR^I.mgara
is the mood of love and pleasure.
 maharShi vedavyAsa the author of the bhAgavata.
 The word kR^iSh means existence and Na means sorrowlessness. The one
whom both are united together, that [sat-chit-ananda] parabrahman is called
 gopI is that which only protects i.e. covers Brahman--mAyA
gopI is that which has no independent existence apart from the AtmA
but is the false notions of name and form that cover it--mAyA.
 Joy of the house of Yadu.
Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
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