[Advaita-l] Raslila

Sanjay Srivastava sksrivastava68 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 16 07:39:05 CST 2005

Namaste Bhaskar-ji:

Sri Bhaskar wrote:

> Kindly let me know what is the problem in reading the purANa-s also with
> the same spirit...

In that case there would not be any need of classifying one set of
literature as "purANa" and another as "itihAsa". Tradition has
recognized them as different.

> neither any traditional achArya ask us to believe it is a story not a
> historical event...they do give symbolical explanation of these events but
> that does not mean it does not happened at all!!

The point is that for purANas, historical validity is irrelevant.
Whether such incidents actually occurred or not does not make any
difference in our understanding. If they contain certain historical
accounts-- that's fine. If they contain certain a-historical accounts
-- that's fine too. They derive their validity from metaphysical
truths-- not the actual historical occurences.

> true, but this vivEka should not lead us to subjective predilictions.

Yes, it should not. When interpreting shAstra, the first claim should
always go to the literal meaning. However, if literal meaning creates
contradiction, allegorical meanings are necessary.

We know that:

1) bhagvAn Kr^shna tried to set up his conduct as role model
"yadyadAcharati..(BG 3.21)" .."yadi hyayam na varteyam..(BG 3.23)"
etc. Moreover bhagvAn takes avatAra for destruction of adharma.

2) It is known from several smr^ti texts that adultery is adharma.

3) bhAgavatam gives accounts of bhagvAn kr^shna that would "seem" to
be adulterous.

If all three of the above are taken literally, there is an "apparent"
contradiction. One of them will have to be necessarily interpreted in
allegorical terms.

Moreover, I have yet to see a traditional account of bhAgvatam, that
interprets rAs-lilA literally.

Sri Murali Mohan wrote:

> My other religion friends are making fun of these things and I would like to explain to them.

"Those who justify themselves, do not convince.
Therefore wise men embrace the one and set an example to all.
Not putting on a display, they shine forth.
Not justifying themselves, they are distinguished"       (Lao Tsu: Tao
Te Ching- Ch-22)


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