Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Monday, April 30, 2007

More evidence of Siddha-deha

I'm not so keen on philosophical egghead discussions these days and would much prefer to do Krishna-katha, but of course it is necessary to have a strong philosophical grounding. Either way I would prefer not to argue too much about it. Back in August '06 I ordered some books via the Net including the famed Govinda-bhashya Vedanta commentary by Sri Baladeva Vidyabhushan, and David Haberman's "Acting As A Way To Salvation". I spotted some interesting tidbits that helped to make sense of a long-running controversy about the siddha-deha (spiritual body): Is it bestowed by the guru or is it inherent within?

Of course this is a bone of contention between those who adhere to those respective views as well, with much acrimony and bitterness being expressed in defending those views. Like I said I'm not interested in arguing but would prefer discussing this as a matter of shastra, a spiritual discussion that is elevating. So you can go ahead and see what I wrote about it back then, check out the comments too. The discussion went further on Advaita dasji's blog. The general view is that the majority of scriptural evidence (and also real history) argues for the "bestowed" view; that the siddha-deha is bestowed upon the aspirant by the guru, and that the siddha-deha is realized and perfected through appropriate spiritual practice. The other view - that the siddha-deha is inherent and automatically manifests upon reaching a certain level of purity - seems to be a minority view and has very little actual scriptural backing. How can we say this?

Sri Rupa Gosvami, Sri Sanatan Gosvami, Sri Jiva Gosvami - three of the famous Six Gosvamis - subscribe to the "given" theory. So does Sri Baladev Vidyabhushan, the great Acharya who provided a commentary on the Vedanta-sutra. In fact you would be hard-pressed to find a prominent Gaudiya-acharya who does not back the "given" theory as, to cut a long story short, makes more sense in the whole context of Gaudiya siddhanta in the long run. But since Sri Baladeva's Vedanta commentary was being used to promote the "inherent" view, I took it upon myself to transcribe the relevant sections from the Govinda-bhashya. You can find it here. I was also surprised to find Sripada Madhvacharya backing the "given" theory.

So I wanted to tie up some loose ends now that I've found more evidence for the "given" theory by Sri Jiva Gosvami. Sri Jiva's Priti-sandarbha was briefly quoted in the original post which was what I had, and I did not have the original and whole text to see the quotes in their proper context.

Well, now I do! :-)

So roll on the next post.

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Follow-ups:

Priti Sandarbha 10
Priti Sandarbha 11-12
Priti Sandarbha 13

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2 Comments:

  • At 03 May, 2007 02:30, Blogger visnudas said…

    Acting as way of salvation is a phenomenal deconstruction of the mechanics of raga marg as seen thru the eyes of a very nice western mind.
    A very valuable resource for mleccha pseudo-vaisnavas like myself.

     
  • At 07 September, 2007 01:31, Blogger The Truth said…

    i read your articles . The heart desiring to hear more about Bhakti.. relished each word of yours, thanks a lot .

     

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