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Vaiśeṣika Sūtras of Kaṇāda with Praśastapāda Bhāṣya - By Babaji Satyanarayana Dasa
Sanskrit for Beginners by Gururaja
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Krishna’s Routine, Dharma, Catur-vyuha
Questions & Answers

Krishna’s Routine, Dharma, Catur-vyuha

Question: Does ākāśa (ether) record almost everything in existence—all information, activities, thoughts, and actions? 

Answer: No. 

Question: What does?

Answer: The mahat-tattva.

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Question: At what time does Kṛṣṇa have breakfast in prakaṭa-līlā and what does His menu consist of?

Answer: Frankly speaking, such a question assumes that He has a watch, and He does His daily activities with the watch. The aṣṭakālīna ḷīlā description is for meditation. It does not mean that Kṛṣṇa follows His daily routine exactly as it is described. Kṛṣṇa eats after waking up and finishing His morning duties. As far as the menu, I can only assume that it is similar to what people eat in Vraja now—capātī, porridge, yogurt, butter, buttermilk, vegetables, milk sweets, etc. They consume what grows locally. No huge trucks carrying fruits and vegetables from another part of the land. There are no big stores, no shopping malls.

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Question: I have a question about the 3rd line of the famous mahājano yena gataḥ sa panthāḥ śloka, cited in CC 2.17.186. A literal translation of dharmasya tattvaṁ nihitaṁ guhāyāṁ does not make much sense—“the truth of religion is hidden in the cave.” The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust says that guhāyām means “in the heart of a realized person.” These lines are thus translated as “The solid truth of religious principles is hidden in the heart of an unadulterated, self-realized person.”

I was thinking that the guha is the heart of each of us—the truth of religion is hidden within our hearts as intuition. What is your opinion, please?

Answer: The popular meaning of the word dharma is the various principles prescribed in Vedic scripture. That is also the sense of dharma understood from the context of the verse. So I do not think that intuition is the intended meaning of dharma here.

There are four sources of dharma as per Manu Smṛti (2.12):

vedaḥ smṛtiḥ sadācāraḥ svasya ca priyam ātmanaḥ
etac caturvidhaṁ prāhuh sākṣād dharmasya lakṣaṇam

“Veda, Smṛti, sadācāra, and what is satisfactory to oneself – these four are the direct defining principles of dharma.”

A similar statement is made by Śrī Nārada to King Yudhiṣṭhira (SB 7.11.7):

dharma-mūlaṁ hi bhagavān sarva-veda-mayo hariḥ
smṛtaṁ ca tad-vidāṁ rājan yena cātmā prasīdati

“The source of the dharma, O King,  is Bhagavān Hari, the embodiment of all the Vedas, the Smṛtis composed by the knower of the Vedas, the conduct of such people, and that by which the self is pleased.”  

So I think that the third line of the śloka referred to by you hints at sadācāra. There are many situations in life that we face for which we cannot find answers in the Veda or Smṛti. For such situations, we depend on the sadācāra of sādhus—sādhu-vartmānuvartanam (BRS 1.2.100). For instance, should a Vaiṣṇava eat potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate, etc.? No help comes from śāstra. Sadācāra is our only pramāṇa in such instances. Therefore, the word guhā does not refer to the heart of ordinary people but to realized people. They can understand the intricacy of dharma because their hearts are free from the impurities of rāga and dveṣa.

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Question: Is the first Catur-vyūha Dvārakā Kṛṣṇa: Balarāma, Pradyumna, and Anirūddha, and the second Catur-vyūha that comes from Dvārakā Balarāma: Narāyana of Vaikuṇṭha, Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, and Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu?

And are Rāma, Lakṣmaṇa, Bharata, and Śatrugna expansions from Dvārakā Kṛṣṇa, Balarāma, Pradyumna, and Anirūddha?

Answer: Yes, that is right. I would consider them as the second Catur-vyūha, and the one that is mentioned above as the second, as the third.

The one mentioned as second by you is also called second when not taking the above one into consideration.

1 Comment

  • Purujit April 8, 2024

    Pranams
    Is there any pramana, that any Chaturvyuha comes from Balarama? I didn’t find any such pramana. The first Chaturvyuha seems to be Krishna, Balarama, Pradyumna and Aniruddha of Mathura/Dvaraka and Krishna in Vraja as the vyuhi.

    While the Second one is Vāsudeva, Sankarshana, Pradyumna and Aniruddha of Mahavaikuntha where Maha-Narayana is the vyuhi.

    And the “third” vyuha is Karanarnavashayi(Sankarshana), Garbhodakashayi(Pradyumna) and Kshirodakashayi(Aniruddha) who emerge from Bhauma Purusha(Vāsudeva)[this is implied].

    Please confirm if this is correct.

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