Kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam analyzed by vākya

As we discussed in a previous article, in Anuccheda 28 of the Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Goswami presents the emperor statement, kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayaṁ – Kṛṣṇa, however, is Bhagavān Himself – in the famous verse below:

ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ mṛḍayanti yuge yuge

– All these are either portions (āṁśas) or minute portions (kalās) of the Puruṣa, who engladden the world tormented by the asuras in every yuga. Kṛṣṇa, however, is Bhagavān Himself. (SB 1.3.28)

In a previous article, we saw how in Anuccheda 74 of the Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva analyzes the Bhāgavata using śruti and liṅga from Pūrva-mīmāṁsā to support his interpretation of kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayaṁ. Here, we examine his use of the hermeneutical indicator of vākya along with Śrī Babaji’s commentary.


Śrī Jīva first defines vākya as follows:

athākāṅkṣā-yogyatāsattimad-aneka-pada-viśiṣṭaikārthya-pratipādaka-śabda-rūpaṁ vākyaṁ –

“A vākya is defined as a linguistic utterance (śabda), consisting of a number of word units (pada) related to each other through syntactic expectancy (ākāṅkṣā), semantic competence (yogyatā), and word-element contiguity (āsatti), which establishes a unitary meaning.”

We have examined this definition of vākya is in another post. Below, I reproduce a paragraph from there on ākāṅkṣā which is the main focus of Śrī Jīva in Anuccheda 74.2 –

“ākāṅkṣā is the expectation that arises from hearing the first part of the sentence about the second part of the sentence. For example, if one hears the word Rāmaḥ, the expectation arises, what about Rāmaḥ? If the answer is, Rāmo gacchati, Rāma goes, then the sentence is complete.”

Now ākāṅkṣā does not only exist between words within a sentence, but also in between sentences. Śrī Jīva reminds the reader of the popular example from the Artha Sangraha, a treatise of Pūrva-mīmāṁsā, as follows.

aśvābhidhānīm ādatte iti brāhmaṇa-vākyād aśva-rasanā-dāne viniyogaḥ pratīyate

“In the context of Vedic ritual, we find the mantra, imām agṛbhṇan raśanām ṛtasya, “grasping this rein of truth” [Taittirīya-saṁhitā]. The application (viniyoga) of this mantra is clearly indicated to be in the matter of taking hold of reins in general. Then, according to the Brāhmaṇa sentence (vākya), aśvābhidhānīm ādatte, “He grasps the reins of the horse,” it is made evident that the above mantra is to be employed specifically when taking up a horse’s reins.”

The purpose of the six hermeneutical indicators starting with śruti is viniyoga vidhi – identification of those items which are subsidiary to the main utpatti vidhi or sacrificial rite. The mantra “grasping this rein of truth” creates the expectancy or ākāṅkṣā of which reins to grasp; the options are that of a horse or a donkey. Upon looking into the corresponding Brāhmaṇa, one finds a sentence “He grasps the reins of the horse” that fulfills the expectancy. This is why it qualifies as a vākya. One can then imagine a śruti – aśva-raśanāṁ gṛhṇīyāt – Hold the reins of a horse.

How vākya supports kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam

Likewise, Śrī Jīva identifies the following verse from the Bhāgavata as creating an expectancy or ākāṅkṣā –

bhakti-yogena manasi samyak praṇihite ‘male

apaśyat puruṣaṁ pūrṇaṁ māyāṁ ca tad-apāśrayam

“In His pure heart, which was established in perfect fixity through the yoga of unalloyed devotion, He [Vyāsa] saw the original Complete Person (puruṣaṁ pūrṇam) (SB 1.7.4)”

Like the mantra “imām agṛbhṇan raśanām ṛtasya”, here also it is unclear who the words “puruṣaṁ pūrṇam” refer to. Who is this original, complete person? Like aśvābhidhānīm ādatte fulfills the mantra’s expectancy, the expectancy of the above verse is fulfilled by the following verse (which comes after two intervening verses), which qualifies it is as a vākya –

yasyāṁ vai śrūyamāṇāyāṁ kṛṣṇe parama-pūruṣe

bhaktir utpadyate puṁsaḥ śoka-moha-bhayāpahā

“Indeed, in the very act of receptively and attentively hearing this Śrīmad Bhāgavata, bhakti to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the Supreme Person (parama-pūruṣe), self-manifests in a person’s heart, dispelling lamentation, illusion, and fear. (SB 1.7.7”

This verse identifies the parama-pūruṣa as Śrī Kṛṣṇa. In this manner, an analysis using vākya also supports the conclusion that Kṛṣṇa Himself is the Svayaṁ Bhagavān described in SB 1.3.28.

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