We have always said that the authorities to which we look as our reference point are:
Guru (our own spiritual master)
Sastra (revealed scriptures)
Sadhu, (saints like our past Acaryas)
However we find something interesting in the Radha Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika of Srila Rupa Gosvami.
ye sūtritāḥ satā ratyā
prasiddhāḥ śāstra-lokayoḥ |
vyākriyante parīvārās te
grantheṣu vividheṣu ca |
purāṇe cāgamādau ca
tad-bhakteṣu ca sādhuṣu ||4||
te samāsād vilikhyante
I (Sri Rupa Gosvami) have gathered all the well-known information about the associates of Sri Krishna and Srimati Radharani, the King and Queen of Vrindavana, that is available in the area of Mathura, in histories told by general people from generation to generation, in various scriptures such as the Puranas and agama-sastras, and in the knowledge gathered by the devotees currently in the assemblies of the sadhus.
Based on this information, i will systematically and concisely describe the different groups of the eternally perfected residents of Vraja, as is favourable for the path of raga. i am doing this for the pleasure of my well-wisher (Sri Sanatana Gosvami). May an attachment for Sri Radha, Sri Krishna and Their associates awaken in everyone by this description.”
It appears that Rupa Gosvami has adopted four types of reliable source of knowledge:
Local oral tradition (sastra-lokayoh);
Local Vrajavasis (mathura-mandale-loke);
Books written by devotees (granthesu-vividhesu)
Great devotees and saints (tad-bhaktesu-ca–sadhusu)
The interest aroused by these three verses is remarkable since we are accostumed to frown everytime we read on the web (and not only in the web) all sorts of weird stories that are not backed up by any authority. In India anyone would cook up all kind of stories in exchange of a few rupies and these have no validity.
However we should not go from one extreme to the other, one extreme being to believe anything anyone tell us and the other to reject everything and everyone.
According to Srila Rupa Gosvami local traditions and culture should not be disregarded. We just have to confirm it with our spiritual master like we did when Srila Prabhupada was with us.
And in one sense all these classifications fall in one of the three main types of authorities, namely Guru Sastra, Sadhu.
You find the Radha Krishna Ganoddesa Dipika here:
- Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
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Post view 59 times from March 2020