[Advaita-l] Rasalila (was Re: Temple Worship by all)

Muralidhar Maddala muralidhar.maddala at gmail.com
Fri Jun 11 05:34:40 CDT 2010

Namasthe, Though there could be numerous explainations and interpretetions on this topic, I thank you Anandji for your reply and bringing back the focus onto ones self (the observer).  As you rightly mentioned, the storm of bhakti is beyond any reason unlike the logically lofty Advaita.  
There are many aspects that I have trouble in comprehending about our lord's acts. One such is to have multiple wives unlike in his Ramavatara. I am not sure if these acts have anything to do with the prevailing yuga dharma.  

I tell myself  Did'nt the lord say that "his" swaroopa or deeds are inexplainable! Which again suggests the limitlessness in his ways and being above/beyond contradictions. 


Anand Hudli <ahudli at gmail.com> wrote:

>I had written briefly about this earlier (
>I will try to post Sridhara Svami's comments on this later.
>I will mention other explanations here. One approach is to focus on the
>person who is reading the bhAgavata or listening to it. Let us call this
>person the observer. The focus is not on Krishna, but on the observer! Now,
>if the observer is one who has cultivated Krishna bhakti, he will simply be
>fascinated by the RAsa dance. He may still have some questions in his mind
>and to address them, the bhAgavata already provides an explanation at the
>end of the chapter in which the Rasa dance is described. Another explanation
>I have heard while listening to lectures on the Saundarya laharI by Shri
>Ganesh Bhat HobaLi, produced by the Gokhale Institute, is that there is a
>parallel between questions about the Rasa dance and the propriety of
>studying the SaundaryalaharI. The SaundaryalaharI is a hugely famous hymn
>addressed to the Mother Goddess and it contains Her detailed (physical)
>description. Is it not inappropriate for a sannyAsin or a brahmacharin to
>recite it? Why should such a person engage his mind in such study of what an
>ordinary person would call "female anatomy"? Why did Shankara
>Bhagavatpada compose it in the first place, assuming we accept the work to
>be his, as is commonly held? Why did he write a poem that reveals the
>shringAra rasa? These questions arise because we are ignoring one important
>element - bhakti! Bhakti rasa, when it is present in full measure, trumps
>all other rasas, including the shringAra rasa. When only the bhakti rasa
>remains, the bhakta does not experience any other rasa. He reads or listens
>to the stotra and experiences only bhakti. There is no scope for any other
>rasa or inappropriate thoughts to creep in. In a similar fashion, the bhakta
>who reads or listens to the Rasa lila of Krishna only experiences the bhakti
>rasa and none other. Such episodes are meant for those who have cultivated
>the bhakti rasa and are able to savour it, not for others. Regarding why
>Shankara Bhagavatpada composed the SaundaryalaharI, one more explanation can
>be given. He was regarded as an avatAra of Shiva Himself. So there is
>nothing inappropriate in his composing a stotra on the devI.
> If the observer is just another curious person who has heard heretics
>criticize Krishna, he will conclude that Krishna sported with married women.
>It is hard to provide an explanation for such a person, assuming he has no
>background in bhakti.
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