Churning the Bhagavatam – Dashavatara 2 – Kurma – The Monk’s Podcast 78 with Krishna Kshetra Maharaj
Summary from 1.38.55
Chaitanya Charan Prabhu: We started with the special features of Kurmadev. We talked about how it seems that He doesn’t speak, He is a very silent avatar. And there are no prayers offered to him. And then we had a lot of discussion on the nonliteral aspects. So Kurma Dev is worshipped for stability as is recommended by Bhakti Vinode Thakur.
We discussed how Srila Prabhupad while presenting Krishna Bhakti in a relevant way in a context where the Mahatma Gandhi and others were reducing it to myth or bias myth, Srila Prabhupad spoke strongly about literal understanding. Bhakti Vinode Thakur while addressing Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s attempts to bowdlerize Krishna Lila, and to present things, he, he gave people a non-literal way to understand it, but also emphasize that ultimately, it has to be an initial transcendental level.
We discussed various allegories. Metaphor would be more of a particular point of parallel way. Allegory is a narrative in which certain abstract properties are personified to teach something. So Chaintanya Chandrodaya natak is an allegory. At least there are allegorical characters in that. And then with respect to the Bhagavatam’s first canto in the bull and the cow narrative there is a blurring of categories, and the emphasis is on remembering and relishing Krishna. The Acharyas don’t talk so much about whether this is allegorical or not. So, depending on historical context, certain things, which we may consider very important individuality, 100- or 200-years others may think that something else is very important. So rather than focusing on what is considered contextually important we can be more Saragrahahi- essence seeking and focus on remembering the Lord. Before that you mentioned how there are not only multiple avatars present in this, but multiple avatars are cooperating in the pastime.
Then we discuss how Parshuram interacts with Ram. In the spiritual world there seems to be some awareness of at least Dwarka and Vrindavana. But whether there is interaction between the various lokas and the various devotees; that is something which we don’t have clear mention about.
And then we mentioned about Mandala and Yantra.
So, the Kurma being present with the churning rod above him is like a Mandela. Then we have the Mandala’s in the 1st cantoo where Nimisharanya is considered to be the center of the universe. Then we have Bhu Mandala in the 5th canto, and of course we have Rasa Mandala in the 10th canto.
We also discussed the idea of a universal turtle, or the turtles all the way. In our tradition, if you consider Kurma to be the supreme Lord. Then Kashyapa is the Prajapati. So, from the Prajapati everything comes. Kurma sustains everything. So, in that sense, there is a parallel over here.
You also discussed a lot in detail about how when Kurma appears, there is the churning in the 8th the 10th cantos. While, the churning in the 10th […]
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