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Thread: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

  1. #1
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    Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa


    Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa, as per my understanding is as follows:

    Sunlight is different from Sun, but in practical terms they are one and the same. Which means, they cannot be differentiated, although Sun is different and sunlight is different.

    So also, jeevatman is different from the paramatman, nevertheless, they act as one. They are non-differentiated although their prabhava (effulgence) is different.

    Raasa Leela:

    When Lord Krishna danced with Smt. Radharani, all gopis wanted to share the same blissful joy with Krishna. So Krishna duplicated himself in so many forms and danced with one and all!

    Whether this actually happened or not, is not the matter of this discussion.

    To discuss the dance with respect to Achintya Bedhabedha Tattwa, we can see the event philosophically as follows:

    What Lord Krishna means by duplicating his form, is that, he insists each gopa, that just as sunlight is non-differentiated from sun (despite being different from it), when the gopi turns her mind steadfastly towards the Lord, her prabhavam (effulgence, innate nature, etc). vibes so much like HIM that she can feel the divine radiating within herself always!

    In other words (for better understanding), it is akin to Sri Krishna talking to the gopis as such -

    "O gopis! Make yourself as sweet (madhurya) as myself in all ways, then you will feel that you are non-different from me. Thus you can feel my presence always within each of you and you will feel non-differentiated from me!".

    Thus, Raasa Leela is the best example to me of Achintya-Bedhabedha tattwa.

    All corrections, clarifications, negations, welcome.

    Thank you for reading!

    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  2. #2

    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Hare Krsna Viraja ,

    Very nice post, and the example of sun and sunlight is usually given, without sun there are no sunrays and where there are sunrays it means that the sun is present even if its not directly in ones view, they cant be separated, they are not two. Some philosophical examples may be used in different ways to teach and give gradual understanding, so what i will write is not about taking anything away from you have written, as devotees are always churning the pastimes finding new nectar, but a simple attempt to share about acintya beda abeda tattva.

    The gopis certainly are enjoying madhura rasa, (sweet tates), but this is within the private/exclusive lokas of divine realms, it applies within that state of consciousness only, even the mighty shiva, who is without one ounce of difference between him and sri krsna and even goes by the name of radheswara is not allowed entrance into rasa lila, there is very deep, beautiful and esoteric meaning behind this.

    In the teachings of Sri Krsna and his devotees which comes in many of his forms the same teachings of acintya beda abeda applies, what you say applies and nothing need to be taken away from it, but the jiva has many relations with the Absolute in different lilas ( pastimes) and yugas ( states of consciousness within Time) , all representing union with the Ultimate state of consciousness, the union and effect has many layers, Arjuna and Sri Krsna on the battlefield and in mahabharata is also union of the jiva and Paramatma, acintya beda abeda tattva is absolute on every level and each one will have different rasa ( taste, quality) and bhava spiritual (emotion and quality).

    If one was to go into this in more detail then it may need explaining more what are rishis, not as physical beings but as supramental potentials within us to see the nature of consciousness, they are not existing outside of being, but maybe stored or hidden by layers of the mind. It would take quite a few posts to gradually go through the stages of consciousness through the cosmic being to understand fully, and there isnt much written about this at the moment.

    The Gopis are rishi's( seers ) that had dharshan ( direct view ) of sri ramachandra, who is tri lokanatha, Raja or ruler of the 3 states of being ( avastha) , its utterly within or on the subtle realms , while Sri Rama is absolute, consciousness expands, the rishis do not want to just see and be within the rule of tri loka, they also want to experience rasa, bliss and divine union and intimacy.

    The same as Arjuna's dharshan and interaction with Sri Krsna the rasa gets more subtle more sweet, but all powers of previous rasa can still exist within the relationship/union with the Absolute, just like Krsna or Vishnu remain eternal divine attributes existing within each other but can expand to other forms without losing that identity, we can also apply that to acintya beda abeda tattva, Sri Krsna and Sri Ramachandra are acintya beda abeda tattva, Vishnu and Shiva are acintya beda abeda tattva, Shiva and Shakti are acintya beda abeda tattva, they are all transcendent realms and its powers is all part of one consciousness, Nirguna (without attributes ) and saguna ( with attributes ) are also acintya beda abeda tattva. On doesnt necessarily negate the other as inferior or superior, on the Absolute level there are complete and whole, as per isha upanishad Om purnamadah purnamidam, the whole always remains whole, even though so many expansions which are also complete and whole, the whole doesnt lose any of its wholeness.

    Hare Krsna

  3. #3
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    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Markandeya ji,

    You have touched the point I had missed in the OP and one that is vital to this Achintya Bedabedha tattwa.

    That is, not that jeevas will individually feel his presence within themselves if they let their 'I' dissolve in him, but that, it is also possible to feel that rasa of being one with him always, despite the bedha (qualified difference).

    I had to read your reply several times to understand this point.

    It is that quality of being able to feel oneness with the absolute within the confines of maintaining/preserving the individual identity of the seer (gopi) which makes it all special.

    I deduced the said meaning interpreting your reply, substituting my understanding as follows:

    Ramachandra/Tri Lokanatha/Rama is absolute: Individual identity, awareness of oneself as a separate being with a mind of his/her own (not to be confused with the ego factor).
    //On doesnt necessarily negate the other as inferior or superior, on the Absolute level there are complete and whole, as per isha upanishad Om purnamadah purnamidam, the whole always remains whole, even though so many expansions which are also complete and whole, the whole doesnt lose any of its wholeness.//

    The above sentence to mean, even though individual jeeva perceives the union with the divine in very many ways, that state of being united with the brahmam is wholesome for all who participate, regardless of the state of perception of their individual identity.

    I thank you for your profound reply. You enrich the knowledge so much!

    Warm regards,

    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  4. #4

    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Hare Krsna Viraja,

    To attempt to give clarity , when the experience of the rasa lila is within consciousness its not that there is any individual there as we know it to experience it. For other readers who maybe new to vedanta some clarification maybe needed, and this is in no way aimed at your OP, as mentioned its good enough on its own. My inclusion is to add some other details on what is Acintya Bhedabheda Tattva , as a siddhanta or a perfect commentary on consciousness , a conclusion on vedanta within the vaishnava tradition, where often it maybe misunderstood or is very difficult to speak about it even among certain circles of devotees. So these posts are more opportunistic to explore more and shed what little light i have learned on acintya bhedabheda tattva as synonymous with advaita vedanta, ive only ever really been interested in easy topics.......

    Firstly i can only give some hints some clues, (which cant really come close to it) what is meant by gopis being rishis, in the form of antaranga shakti, where the internal or yoga maya potency is prominent, any trace of the individual person, is not presence here, its a whole different dimension of consciousness, in the most plain and simple language its consciousness enjoying its own potency, where the rishis ( seers ) in the form of antaranga shakti, left ther homes and danced under the moonlight in divine rasa where yoga maya the internal potency of krsna is manifesting divine lila, divine play. While i sit here mostly what i can say is more along the lines of what that divine lila is not, ie individual jiva's dancing with krsna on a far distant planet somewhere out there past the edge of the outer universe . What it is either comes from anugraha, which is a paradigm shift or via transmission from rasika devotee and both are rare. So rare that even great yogis~ones connected to consciousness , jnanis~knowers of consciousness and tyagis~who have no worldly interests are totally unaware of what it is, but somehow they know that the divine Lila of Krsna , the gopis and the lila of Vrndavana is the most sweet and sought after.

    Im just passing by and doing my routine checks and its the end of the day , so my replies are unscripted and not thought out, maybe it will come to nothing but maybe there might be a chance where it can gradually be explained on all levels in a simple format, because its not so complicated, after all the residents of vrndavan ( advanced rishis ) and refined internal shaktis are just simpletons, not scholars, maybe they never even knew how to read or write, or what religion or philosophy was, didnt even have any concept or idea of what God is.......

    Hare Krsna

  5. #5
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    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Namaste MD ji,

    I can understand what you are saying. I agree that the 'abedha' in this tattwa is truly only for the yogis to understand what it is... That is why, I even dared to describe it in layman terms, as the gopis' nature becoming akin to that of the Lord.

    Well, I'm usually not a Philosophical person, I'm a simple baktha. What made me get interested in Achintya Bedabedha is because I wanted to explore Rasa Leela in retaliation to a local politician tainting the divine play in the most abusive and derogatory terms.

    Somewhere I came to know a little about Achintya-Beda-Abedha and it seemed like it answered the Raasa Leela puzzle to me.

    As a layman who wants to have just a tiny feel for the meaning of the tattwa, although it cannot be described satisfactorily this way, then to me is -

    Achintya Beda Abedha is qualified duality alongside non-duality. It is individual consciousness becoming or rather, feeling one with the cosmic principle, but yet, feeling separate enough in its identity so as to realize the bliss it is experiencing.

    As said, this might not be the most appropriate representation, but it is my understanding, and as far as I can see, it is a better description that just simply exclaiming, "Achintya Beda Abedha is like Sun being non-different from Sunlight, though they are both different, and it is therefore jeevatman being different yet non-different from the paramatman". This description throws such an air of deep mystery around the tattwa, nobody truly attempts to demystify the secret.

    My description may not be the most accurate, but it is rather a more or less accurate starting point to explore, I think.

    Thank you!


  6. #6
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    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Also MD ji,

    On hindsight, I realize a crucial point I missed all along, which you tried to point out.

    That, while Raasa Leela in my point-of-view might be an example for this theory, truly, the essence of Achintya Beda Abedha lies in thinking that all expansions and forms of the divine (Shiva, Ganesha, Narayana, Skanda.....) all share the same essence with the one primordial principle (Krishna) while maintaining their individuality or individual attributes.

    Like you stressed many times, I feel short of right words to describe but believe I'm somewhere there....... close to what you tried to convey all along.

    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  7. #7

    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Hare KRshNa
    Best Wishes to all in Purushottam Maas

    Nice conversation and posts, Virajaji and Markandeya ji

    I feel the better thing is to simply love KRshNa and allow Him to drive that bhAv. Simultaneously be a student of Bhagvad Geeta and VedAnta. Then the devotee gets direct anubhav of these states, rather than someone having to dicipher it for them.

    Not meaning to undermine the importance of expaining philosophy.
    The two of you are doing a great service by explaining it, no doubt, to keep the misunderstanders at bay.

    I am talking about those who are seeking that logical explanation -- they can appreciate achintya-bhedAbhed better by eating the mango than by studying it. This is because VAsudev, Kamalnayan will not hide from true love. Natkhat Bal KRshNa (the baby) will come out of hiding even sooner.

    This is why sadhus will say "Purushottam ParamAtmA se prem karke to dekho"

    KRshNa also likes and encourages His devotees to be yogis , dhyAn-yogis, Rshis, jidnyAsus.
    It is evident that VaikunTha Golok is experienced here as a state of consciousness. Except that it is the connection between the individual and universal ; jeevAtmA(within, local) and ParamAtmA (within-without, local+omnipresent).

    That being said, considering the chaturvyuha (four inner whorls of the adhyAtmic Lotus) -
    VAsudev -- AtmA (turIya, omnipresent)
    SankarshaN = pure-I-ness -- deep sleep, shushupti
    Pradyumna = mind (mAnas) -- dream state, swapna, taijas
    Aniruddha = individual intellect (buddhi) -- wakeful state - jAgrut, vaishvAnar

    I think bhakti is loving communication between the omnipresent VAsudev and either one of [Aniruddha in waking, Pradyumna in dream, SankarshaN in shushupti] inside the devotee depending on the state of individual consciousness at a point in time. Needless to say that in addition there is the universal SankarshaN, universal Pradyumna and universal Aniruddha, as counterparts of the one and only VAsudev, Who is always universal only.

    || om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya ||
    || om Shri PurushottamAya namah: ||
    SacchidAnanda rUpAya vishwat patthyAdi hetave |
    tApatraya vinAshAya Shri KRshNAya vayam numah: ||
    Last edited by ameyAtmA; 04 October 2020 at 03:45 AM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  8. #8

    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Quote Originally Posted by Viraja View Post
    truly, the essence of Achintya Beda Abedha lies in thinking that all expansions and forms of the divine (Shiva, Ganesha, Narayana, Skanda.....) all share the same essence with the one primordial principle (Krishna) while maintaining their individuality or individual attributes.
    Agreed. This is my experience also. The Devas and Devis (devatA) are a great loving family to each other and to the devotee. On the other hand, they are forms and roles that arise from that One primordial chaitanya. (BG 14.27 bramhaNyo hi pratishThAham amRutasyAvyayasya cha | shAshvatasya cha dharmasya sukhasyaikAntikasya cha || )
    Last edited by ameyAtmA; 09 October 2020 at 11:25 PM.
    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

  9. #9

    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Hare Krsna Dandavats,

    Thank you for churning it even more ameyAtma Prabhuji.....

    Internally it is as you say, we simple try to develop that Bhava by internal Bhakti~citta bhavana, which is the wealth of sadhaka or one who puts these things into practice, some other explanations are attempts to either enjoy the churning process through discussion or devotee association ~ satsang or to correct some misunderstandings, which unfortunately the rasa lila and vedanta has plenty, both have their validity depending on circumstance, the former internal cultivation ~ citta bhavana is the only way that the latter (philosophical-intellectual) is truly solved.

    Its no coincidence that this thread came up on purnima~ full moon, which is moonbathing for the yogi/devotee/sadhaka , which has subtle effects on the mind/consciousness.

    Sun and moon are acintya bheda abheda tattva ( tattwa) , without the sun rays the moon would not shine, while jnanis bath in the sunlight the bhakti yogis bath in moonlight, sun and moon both exist simultaneously within purnima. When the sky is clear the moon shines and one can see at night. The rasa of lila is ever expanding, without limit within absolute consciousness Nirguna Brahman~ consciousness without material contamination or influence.

    While in general the Sadhaka ( expansion of shakti) is more interested in Bhava , divine mellows and transcendental bliss, they have full knowledge of the Vidyas, divine knowledge's of the vedas, because the highest knowledge of the vedas and vedanta is Sri Vidya, Sri Vidya and the unlimited shaktis are also acintya bheda abheda tattva, so how can they not be perfected in veda and vedanta on all levels , Sri Vidya is personification of Bhakti, so the gopis who are evolved rishis are perfect knowers of vedanta and siddhanta, the gopis are perfect jnanis and are in perfect seva to Radha the Atma of Krsna.

    Bhakti and Jnana are acintya bheda abheda tattva, purusha and Prakriti is acintya bheda abheda tattva, jnana and vijnana~acintya bheda abheda tattva, veda a combination of shabda ~transcendent sound and joyti transcendent light both illuminate Brahman , veda is also ~acintya bheda abheda tattva, the siddhanta or perfection of Veda is Bhajan, this is the samadhi bhasya perfect absorption and transcendent description of Bhagavat Puarana ( Srimad Bhagavatam).

    In short acintya bheda abheda tattva can be applied to everything, as Viraja so nicely opened the post with the jivatma is acintya bheda abheda tattva with Paramatma or the Supreme Being.

    Maybe for some readers who are not familiar with the the words acintya bheda abheda tattva, acintya~ inconceivable, bheda ~ one and abedha~ diversity, which can loosely be said that the One consciousness of Vedanta ( Brahman~Paramatma~Bhagavan ~ Ultimate Reality ) is One with unlimited potency and diversity, the fulfilment of this realization is to understand consciousness ( Chaitanya) and its Shakti's( divine expansions energy ), ths is tattva, ultimate truth, consciousness and its powers are never separated, the energy and energetic , one cannot exist without the other.

    To say things are totally One maybe be misleadinAg and to say Consciousness is two is also misleading, therefore acintya bheda abheda tattva, Consciousness is inconceivably one, with multidimensional aspects is the perfect conclusion ~siddhanta on Vedanta, as a side note, there is no conflict between the various forms of Vedanta, to say advaita Vedanta of Adi Shankara is somehow different or competing against other Siddhanta's or higher than Bhakti yoga is the problem with intellectual philosophy, there simple is not any competition or duality between them.

    Rasa Lila is the crown Jewel of Manipur Culture

    Hare Krsna

  10. #10

    Re: Raasa Leela and Achintya Bedhabedha tattwa

    Thanks for churning more jewels and more mAkhan Markandeyaji.

    Ah the "coincidence" of Purnima, but no ordinary Purnima. It was Purnima in this on-going Purushottam Maas that appears once in 3 years or 2, so I am sure Virajaji was directed by ParamAtmA in the heart to start this thread.

    What a nice and rasik thing to say about the Sun and Moon! You have made so many subtle and beautiful points about Vedanta. It has always been that multi-coloured spectrum for me. I was making these points 12 years ago with some VaishNavs who did not want to hear it and wanted to drive me out of their 'e-Camp'

    Sri Vidya is personification of Bhakti, so the gopis who are evolved rishis are perfect knowers of vedanta and siddhanta, the gopis are perfect jnanis and are in perfect seva to Radha the Atma of Krsna.

    This is where my observed mArga (given rather than chosen) differs from GauDiya VaishNavs and Nimbarkis. I will leave it at that. It may not be a philosophical difference, but since we are all on that huge spectrum-Kaleidoscope within the One ParamAtmA, my experience may be different from the majority of the formal Vaishnav world. It may be a matter of where the 'abheda' pointer lies on the spedometer, for a sAdhak in this life.

    Closing with a nostalgic DwadashAkshari Bhajan:
    ~ Om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya ~

    || Shri KRshNArpaNamastu ||

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