Anu- or Sāttvika- Bhāva
Question: As far as I know, sāttvika-bhāvas are a subset of anubhāvas (i.e., they are both citta-stha-bhāvāna avabhodaka) but sāttvika-bhāvas are distinct from anubhāvas in a sense that they arise without any buddhi. The citta affects the prāṇa so strongly that the prāṇa manifests a physical effect directly, bypassing the intellect.
This seems to be a clear distinction, but when I read the examples of anubhāvas that Śrī Rūpa gives in the Southern Ocean of Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, I wonder if my understanding of the distinction between anu- and sāttvika-bhāvas is accurate, because among the examples of anubhāvas, Śrī Rūpa includes hiccups, heavy breathing, and stumbling. These don’t seem to involve any forethought (buddhi), so why does Śrī Rūpa treat them as anubhāvas and not sāttvika-bhāvas?
Answer: You are right that sāttvika-bhāvas are a subset of anubhāvas and that they manifest involuntarily, while in anubhāva there is a voluntary effort. But the distinction is not very clear; it is very subtle. In sāttvika-bhāvas, there is no physical activity involved, such as during perspiration or stupefaction (except in trembling). In the case of anubhāvas, there is some physical activity, such as rolling on the ground. This also means they can be faked, or that some control can be exercised. Ultimately both spring from the state of mind, but first are taken as indicators of the state, and the second as an outcome of that state.
I think that it has just become a standard that the eight bhāvas, such as perspiration, have been accepted as sāttvika-bhāvas by rasa experts and the rest are considered as anubhāvas.
Battle of Kurukṣetra
Question: Arjuna said in Bhagavad Gītā (1.38-40):
“Even though they, their minds overpowered by greed, see no evil in destroying their own family and no sin in treason to friends, why should we, O Janārdana, who see clearly the evil of destroying one’s own family, not know to avoid this sin? When the family is destroyed, the ancient family traditions are lost, and from the loss of family traditions, irreligiosity (adharma) overwhelms the entire family.”
After the war of Kurukṣetra, this is exactly what happened. This is particularly evident after the disappearance of Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa – family traditions and religion (dharma) were destroyed.
Therefore, would it have been better if Arjuna had not fought and if so, would we today live in a better and more peaceful world without all this terrorism around? Perhaps in this particular instance, Śrī Kṛṣṇa was just giving Arjuna a terribly wrong advice?
Answer: How can you say that after the battlefield of Kurukṣetra exactly what Arjuna spoke in these two verses happened? Where is the proof of that? After the war, King Yudhisthira ruled for 37 years and after that, King Parikṣit ruled for about 25 years. So in the span of 60 years, the problems envisioned by Arjuna do not seem to have occurred. What is described is that after Kṛṣṇa’s disappearance, Kali indeed took possession of people’s minds, yet he was kept in check by King Parikṣit. So even if you see the description of adharma later, it is because of Kali’s influence, and not because of the war. That influence would have happened despite the war.
As an aside, those who have a mental state like Arjuna immediately identify with him and think he is right and that Kṛṣṇa is a warmonger. Kṛṣṇa, however, went to Hastināpura as a peace messenger before the battle began, and Duryodhana did not take heed of His instructions. Moreover Kṛṣṇa Himself decided not to fight.
If Arjuna had refused to fight, Duryodhana’s army would have decimated the Pānḍavas along with their whole army. So would you prefer if Duryodhana had decimated the population instead of Yudhiṣṭhira and do you think then there would have been peace?
Different Kinds of Worship
Question: I would like to ask if there is a difference between pancarātrika archa-vigrahopāsanā and pratīkopāsanā (worship of symbols).
Answer: Yes, there is a difference. In vigrahopāsanā, the vigraha is non-different from the personality of the deva. It is not a symbol or representation. In pratīkopāsanā, it is just a symbol for the deva being worshiped and is not he/she himself/herself.
The spiritual ahankara is giving energy to the material ahankara. The spiritual I gives consciousness to the material I, so you think that, ‘I am this body.’ This identification is very deep and it is not easy to get out of it. It is very difficult to transcend the maya because the atma itself doesn’t have any potency to get out of it. It needs the intrinsic potency. That is why Bhakti is necessary.
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