by Surendranath Dasgupta | 1949 | 186,278 words | ISBN-13: 9788120804081
This page describes the philosophy of works of vallabha and his disciples: a concept having historical value dating from ancient India. This is the ninth part in the series called the “the philosophy of vallabha”, originally composed by Surendranath Dasgupta in the early 20th century.
- Antaḥkaraṇa-prabodha and commentary,
- Tattvadīpa (or more accurately Tattvārthadīpa and commentary),
- Navaratna and commentary,
- Nirodha-lakṣaṇa and Vivṛti,
- Puṣṭi-pravāha-maryādābheda and commentary,
- Premāmṛta and commentary,
- Bhakti-vardhinī and commentary,
- Bhāgavata-tattvadīpa and commentary,
- Bhāgavata-purāṇa-ṭīkā Subodhinī,
- Sannyāsanirṇaya and commentary,
- Sarvottamastotra-tippana and commentary,
- Sevāphala-stotra and commentary,
The Subodhinī had another commentary on it called the Subodhinī-lekha and the Subodhinī-yojana-nibandha-yojana ; the commentary on the Rasapañcādhyāya was commented upon by Pītāmbara in the Rasapañcādhyāyī-prakāśa.
Vallabha’s commentary on the Brahma-sūtra, the Aṇubhāsya, had a commentary on it by Puruṣottama (the Bhāṣya-prakāśa), another by Giridhara (Vivaraṇa), another by Icchārama (the Brahma-sūtrāṇubhāsya-pradīpa), and another, the Balaprabodhinī, by Śrīdhara Śarma. There was also another commentary on it, the Aṇubhāṣya-nigūḍhārtha-dīpikā by Lalu bhaṭṭa, of the seventeenth century; another by Muralīdhara, the pupil of Viṭṭhala (the Aṇubhāṣya-vyākhyā), and the Vedānta-candrikā by an anonymous writer. Vallabha’s own commentary Prakāśa on the kārikās he had written had a commentary on the first part of it, the Āvaraṇa-bhaṅga by Pītāmbaraji Mahārāja.
The Tattvārthadīpa is divided into three sections, of which the first, the Śāstrārtha-prakaraṇa, contains 105 kārikās of a philosophical nature; the second section, the Sarvanirṇaya-prakaraṇa, deals with eschatology and matters relating to duties; the third, the Bhāgavatārtha-prakaraṇa, containing a summary of the twelve chapters of the Bhāgavata-purāṇa, had a commentary on it, also called the Āvaraṇa-bhaṅga, by Puruṣottamaji Mahārāja. There was also another commentary on it by Kalyāṇarāja, which was published in Bombay as early as 1888.
Coming to the small tracts of Vallabha, we may speak first of his Sannyāsa-nirṇaya, which consists of twenty-two verses in which he discusses the three kinds of renunciation: the sannyāsa of karma-mārga, the sannyāsa of jñāna-mārga and the sannyāsa of bhakti-mārga. There are at least seven commentaries on it, by Gokulanātha, Raghunātha, Gokulotsava, the two Gopeśvaras, Puruṣottama and a later Vallabha.
Of these Gokulanātha (1554-1643) was the fourth son of Viṭṭhalanātha; he also wrote commentaries on
- Śrī Sarvottama-stotra,
- and Sevāphala.
He was a great traveller and preacher of Vallabha’s views in Guzerat, and did a great deal to make the Subodhinī commentary of Vallabha popular. Raghunātha, the fifth son of Viṭṭhalanātha, was born in 1557; he wrote commentaries on Vallabha’s Ṣoḍaśa-grantha and also on Vallabhāṣṭaka, Madhurāṣṭaka, Bhakti-haṃsa and Bhakti-hetu; also a commentary on Puruṣottama-nāma-sahasra, the Nāma-candrikā.
Gokulotsava, the younger brother of Kalyāṇarāja and uncle of Harirāja, was born in 1580; he also wrote a commentary on the Ṣoḍaśa-grantha. Gopeśvara, the son of Ghanaśyāma, was born in 1598; the other Gopeśvara was the son of Kalyāṇarāja and the younger brother of Harirāja.
Puruṣottama, also a commentator, was born in 1660. Vallabha, son of Viṭṭhalarāja, the other commentator, great-great-grandson of Raghunātha (the fifth son of Vallabhācārya) was born in 1575, and wrote a commentary on the Aṇubhāṣya of Vallabhācārya. He should be distinguished from the earlier Vallabha, the son of Viṭṭhaleśvara.
The Sevāphala of Vallabha is a small tract of eight verses which discusses the obstacles to the worship of God and its fruits; it was commented upon by Kalyāṇarāja. He was the son of Govindarāja, the second son of Viṭṭhalanātha, and was born in 1571; he was the father of Hariraja, and wrote commentaries on the Ṣoḍaśa-grantha and also on the rituals of worship. This work was also commented on by Devakīnandana, who was undoubtedly prior to Puruṣottama.
One Devakīnandana, the son of Raghunātha (the fifth son of Viṭṭhalanātha), was born in 1570; a grandson of the same name was born in 1631. There was also a commentary on it by Haridhana, otherwise called Harirāja, who was born in 1593; he wrote many small tracts. There was another commentary on it by Vallabha, the son of Viṭṭhala.
There were two other Vallabhas—one the grandson of Devakīnandana, born in 1619, and the other the son of Viṭṭhalarāja, born in 1675; it is probable that the author of the commentary of the Sevāphala is the same Vallabha who wrote the Subodhinī-lekha.
There are other commentaries by Puruṣottama, Gopeśa, and Lālu bhaṭṭa, a Telugu Brāhmin; his other name was Bālakṛṣṇa Dīkṣita. He probably lived in the middle of the seventeenth century; he wrote
- Aṇubhāṣya-nigūḍhārtha-prakāśikā on the Aṇubhāṣya of Vallabha
- and a commentary on the Subodhinī (the Subodhinī-yojana-nibandha-yojana Sevākaumudī),
- and a commentary on the Ṣoḍaśa-grantha.
There is another commentary by Jaya-gopāla bhaṭṭa, the son of Cintāmaṇi Dīkṣita, the disciple of Kalyāṇarāja. He wrote a commentary on the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, on the Kṛṣṇa-karṇāmṛta of Bilvamaṅgala, and on the Bhakti-vardhinī.
There is also a commentary by Lakṣmaṇa bhaṭṭa, grandson of Śrīnātha bhaṭṭa and son of Gopīnātha bhaṭṭa, and also two other anonymous commentaries.
Vallabha’s Bhakti-vardhinī is a small tract of eleven verses, commented upon by Dvārakeśa, Giridhara, Bālakṛṣṇa bhaṭṭa (son of the later Vallabha), by Lālu bhaṭṭa, Jayagopāla bhaṭṭa, Vallabha, Kalyāṇarāja, Puruṣottama, Gopeśvara, Kalyānarāja and Bālakṛṣṇa bhaṭṭa; there is also another anonymous commentary. ’
The Sannyāsa-nirṇaya, the Sevāphala and the Bhakti-vardhinī are included in the Sixteen Tracts of Vallabha (the Ṣoḍaśa-grantha); the others are
- and Pañcapādya.
The Yamunāṣṭaka is a tract of nine verses in praise of the holy river Yamunā.
Bālabodha is a small tract of nineteen verses, in which Vallabha says that pleasure (kāma) and extinction of sorrow (mokṣa) are the two primarily desirable things in the world; two others, dharma and artha, are desirables in a subsidiary manner, because through artha or wealth one may attain dharma, and through dharma one may attain happiness. Mokṣa can be attained by the grace of Viṣṇu.
Siddhānta-muktāvalī is a small tract of twenty-one verses dealing with bhakti, which emphasize the necessity of abnegating all things to God.
Puṣṭi-pravāha-maryāda is a small tract of twenty-five verses, in which Vallabha says that there are five kinds of natural defects, due to egotism, to birth in particular countries or times, to bad actions and bad associations. These can be removed by offering all that one has to God; one has a right to enjoy things after dedicating them to God. Navaratna is a tract of nine verses in which the necessity of abnegating and dedicating all things to God is emphasized.
Antaḥkaraṇa-prabodha is a tract of ten verses which emphasize the necessity of self-inspection and prayer to God for forgiveness, and to convince one’s mind that everything belongs to God.
The Vivekadhairyyāśraya is a small tract of seventeen verses. It urges us to have full confidence in God and to feel that, if our wishes are not fulfilled by Him, there must be some reason known to Him; He knows everything and always looks to our welfare. It is therefore wrong to desire anything strongly; it is best to leave all things to God to manage as He thinks best.
The Kṛṣṇāśraya is a tract of eleven verses explaining the necessity of depending in all matters on Kṛṣṇa, the Lord. Catuḥśloki is a tract of four verses of the same purport.
The Bhakti-vardhinī is a tract of eleven verses, in which Vallabha says that the seed of the love of God exists in us all, only it is obstructed by various causes; when it manifests itself, one begins to love all beings in the world; when it grows in intensity it becomes impossible for one to be attached to worldly things. When love of God grows to this high intensity, it cannot be destroyed.
The Jalabheda contains twenty verses, dealing with the different classes of devotees and ways of devotion. The Pañcapādya is a tract of five verses.
- Āryā, Kṛṣṇa-premāmṛta,
- Sarvottama-stotra with commentary,
- commentary on Siddhānta-muktāvalī, Sevākaumudī,
- and Svāmistotra.
Of these Vidyā-maṇḍana is the most important; it was commented on by Puruṣottama and has already been noticed above in detail. A refutation of the Vidyā-maṇḍana and the Śuddhādvaita-mārtaṇḍa of Giridhara was attempted in 1868 in a work called Sahasrākṣa by Sadānanda, a Śaṅkarite thinker. This was again refuted in the Prabhaṅjana by Viṭṭhalanātha (of the nineteenth century) and there is a commentary on this by Govardhanaśarmā of the present century.
From the Sahasrākṣa we know that Viṭṭhala had studied Nyāya in Navadvīpa and the Vedas, the Mīmāṃsā and the Brahma-sūtra,, that he had gone to different countries carrying on his disputations and conquering his opponents, and that he was received with great honour by Svarūpasimha of Udaypur. Viṭṭhala’s Yamunāṣṭakavivṛti was commented on by Harirāja; his commentary on Vallabha’s Siddhānta-muktāvalī was commented on by Brajanātha, son of Raghunātha.
The Madhurāṣṭaka of Vallabha was commented on by Viṭṭhala, and his work was further commented on by Ghanaśyāma. The Madhurāṣṭaka had other commentaries on it, by Harirāja, Bālakṛṣṇa, Raghunātha and Vallabha.
Viṭṭhala also wrote commentaries on the Nyāsadesa and the Puṣṭipravāha-maryādā of Vallabha. His Bhakti-hetu was commented on by Raghunātha; in this work Viṭṭhala discusses the possible course of the rise of bhakti. He says that there are two principal ways; those who follow the maryādā-mārga follow their duties and attain God in course of time, but those who follow the puṣṭi-mārga depend entirely on the grace of God. God’s grace is not conditioned by good deeds, such as gifts, sacrifices, etc., or by the performance of the prescribed duties. The jīvas as such are the natural objects to whom God’s grace is extended when He is pleased by good deeds. But it is more appropriate to hold that God’s grace is free and independent of any conditions; God’s will, being eternal, cannot be dependent on conditions originated through causes and effects. The opponents’ view—that by good deeds and by prescribed duties performed for God, bhakti is attained, and through bhakti there is the grace of God and, through that, emancipation—is wrong; for though different persons may attain purity by the performance of good deeds, yet some may be endowed with knowledge and others with bhakti; and this difference cannot be explained except on the supposition that God’s grace is free and unconditioned. The supposition that with grace as an accessory cause the purity of the mind produces bhakti is also wrong; it is much better to suppose that the grace of God flows freely and does not require the cooperation of other conditions; for the scriptures speak of the free exercise of God’s grace. Those whom God takes in the path of maryādā attain their salvation in due course through the performance of duties, purity of mind, devotion, etc.; but those to whom He extends His special grace are accepted in the path of puṣṭi-bhakti; they attain bhakti even without the performance of any prescribed duties. The prescription of duties is only for those who are in the path of maryādā ; the inclination to follow either the maryādā or the puṣṭi path depends on the free and spontaneous will of God, so that even in the maryādā-mārga bhakti is due to the grace of God and not to the performance of duties.
Viṭṭhala’s view of the relation of God’s will to all actions, whether performed by us or happening in the course of natural and material causes, reminds us of the doctrine of occasionalism, which is more or less of the same period as Viṭṭhala’s enunciation of it; he says that whatever actions happened, are happening or will happen are due to the immediately preceding will of God to that effect; all causality is thus due to God’s spontaneous will at the preceding moment. The causality of so-called causes and conditions, or of precedent-negations (prāg-abhāva), or of the absence of negative causes and conditions, is thus discarded; for all these elements are effects, and therefore depend upon God’s will for their happening; for without that nothing could happen. God’s will is the ultimate cause of all effects or happenings. As God’s will is thus the only cause of all occurrences or destructions, so it is the sole cause of the rise of bhakti in any individual. It is by His will that people are associated with different kinds of inclinations, but they work differently and that they have or have not bhakti. Viṭṭhala is said to have been a friend of Akbar.
His other works were
- commentaries on Puṣṭi-pravāha-maryādā and Siddhānta-muktāvalī,
- Aṇubhāṣya-pūrtti (a commentary on the Aṇubhāṣya),
- Subodhinī-ṭippaṇī (a commentary on the Subodhinī), otherwise called Sannyāsāvaccheda.
Vallabhācārya’s first son was Gopi-nāthaji Mahāraja, who wrote Sādhanadīpaka and other minor works, and Viṭṭhala was his second son. Viṭṭhala had seven sons and four daughters.
Pītāmbara, the great-grandson of Viṭṭhala, the pupil of Viṭṭhala and the father of Puruṣottama, wrote
- Dravya-śuddhi and its commentary,
- and a commentary on the Puṣṭi-pravāha-maryādā.
Puruṣottama was born in 1670; he wrote the following books;
- Subodhinī-prakāśa (a commentary on the Subodhinī commentary of Vallabha on the Bhāgavata-purāṇa),
- Āvaraṇa-bhaṅga on the Prakāśa commentary of Vallabha on his Tattvārtha-dīpikā,
- Suvarṇa-sūtra (a commentary on the Vidvanamaṇḍana)
- and Ṣoḍaśa-grantha-vivṛti.
He is said to have written twenty-four philosophical and theological tracts, of which seventeen have been available to the present writer, viz.,
He wrote these commentaries also;
- and the Tīrtha commentary on the Bhakti-haṃsa of Viṭṭhala on the Siddhānta-muktāvalī and the Bāla-bodha.
He also wrote a sub-commentary on Viṭṭhala’s Bhāṣya on the Gāyatrī, a commentary on Vallabhāṣṭaka, the Vedānta-karaṇamāla and the Śāstrārtha-prakaraṇa-nibandha, and a commentary on the Gītā. He is said to have written about nine hundred thousand verses, and is undoubtedly one of the most prominent members of the Vallabha school.
Muralīdhara, the pupil of Viṭṭhala, wrote a commentary on Vallabha’s Bhāṣya called the Bhāṣya-ṭīkā; also the
Viṭṭhala’s great-grandson Vallabha, born in 1648, wrote the
- Subodhinī-lekha, a commentary on the Sevāphala,
- a commentary on the Ṣoḍaśa-grantha,
- the Gītā-tattva-dīpanī,
and other works.
Gopeśvaraji Mahārāja, the son of Kalyāṇarāja and the great-grandson of Viṭṭhala, was born in 1595, and wrote the Raśmi commentary on the Prakāśa of Vallabha, the Subodhinī-bubhutra-bodhinī, and a Hindi commentary on the Śikṣāpatra of Harirāja. The other Gopeśvara, known also as Yogi Gopeśvara, the author of Bhakti-mārtaṇḍa, was born much later, in 1781.
Giridharji, born in 1845, wrote the Bhāṣya-vivaraṇa and other works.
Muralīdhara, the pupil of Viṭṭhala, wrote
- a commentary on Vallabha’s Aṇubhāṣya,
- a commentary on the Śāṇḍilya-sūtra,
- the Paratattvāñjana,
- the Bhakti-cintāmaṇi,
- the Bhagavannāma-darpaṇa
- and the Bhagavannāma-vaibhava.
Raghunātha, born in 1557, wrote the commentary Nāma-candrikā on Vallabha’s Bhakti-haṃsa, also commentaries on his Bhakti-hetu-nirṇaya and Vallabhāṣṭaka (the Bhakti-taraṅginī and the Bhakti-hetu-nirṇaya-vivṛti). He also wrote a commentary on the Puruṣottama-stotra and the Valla-bhāṣṭaka.
- and the Gāyatrī-bhāṣya of Vallabhācārya.
Kalyāṇarāja, son of Govindarāja, son of Viṭṭhala, was born in 1571, and wrote commentaries on the Jalabheda and the Siddhānta-muktāvalī.
Devakīnandana (1570), son of Raghunātha and grandson of Viṭṭhala, wrote the Prakāśa commentary on the Bāla-bodha of Vallabhācārya.
Ghanaśyāma (1574), grandson of Viṭṭhala, wrote a sub-commentary on the Madhurāṣṭaka-vivṛti of Viṭṭhala.
Kṛṣṇacandra Gosvāmi, son of Brajanātha and pupil of Vallabhācārya, wrote a short commentary on the Brahma-sūtra, the Bhāva-prakāśikā, in the fashion of his father Brajanātha’s Martcikā commentary on the Brahma-sūtra. This Brajanātha also wrote a commentary on Siddhānta-muktāvalī.
Harirāja (1593), son of Kalyāṇarāja, wrote the Śikṣā-patra and commentaries on the
- the Nirodha-lakṣaṇa,
- and a Pariśiṣṭa in defence of Kalyāṇarāja’s commentary on the Jalabheda.
Gopeśa (1598), son of Ghanaśyāma, wrote commentaries on the Nirodha-lakṣaṇa, Sevāphala and Sannyāsanirṇaya.
Gopeśvaraji Mahārāja (1598), brother of Harirāja, wrote a Hindi commentary on Harirāja’s Śikṣapātra.
Dvārakeśa, a pupil of Viṭṭhala, wrote a commentary on Siddhānta-muktāvalī.
Jayagopāla bhaṭṭa, disciple of Kalyāṇarāja, wrote commentaries on the Sevāphala and the Taittirīya Upaniṣad.
Vallabha (1648), great-grandson of Viṭṭhala, wrote commentaries on the
- and the Madhurāṣṭaka.
Brajarāja, son of Śyāmala, wrote a commentary on the Nirodha-lakṣaṇa. Indiveśa and Govardhana bhaṭṭa wrote respectively Gāyatryartha-vivaraṇa and Gāyatry artha.
Śrī-dharasvāmi wrote the Bāla-bodhinī commentary on the Aṇubhāṣya of Vallabha.
Giridhara, the great-grandson of Viṭṭhala, wrote the Siddhādvaita-mārtaṇḍa and the Prapañca-vāda, following Vidvāna-maṇḍana.
His pupil Rāmakṛṣṇa wrote the Prakāśa commentary on the Siddhādvaita-mārtaṇḍa, and another work, the Śuddhādvaita-parikṣkāra.
Yogi Gopeśvara (1787) wrote the
- the Raśmi commentary on the Bhāṣya-prakāśa of Puruṣottama,
- and a commentary on Puruṣottama’s Vedāntādhikaraṇamālā.
Gokulotsava wrote a commentary on the Trividhānāmāvalī of Vallabha.
Footnotes and references:
See Aufrecht’s Catalogue Catalogorum.
See Aufrechts’ Catalogus Catalogorum.
yeṣu jīveṣu yathā bhagavadicchā tathaiva teṣāṃ pravṛtter āvaśyakatvāt.
Bhakti-hetu-nirṇaya, p. 7.
In the Bhakti-haṃsa (p. 56) of Viṭṭhala it is said that bhakti means affection (sneha): bhaktipadasya śaktiḥ sneha eva. Worship itself is not bhakti, but may lead to it; since bhakti is of the nature of affection, there cannot be any viddhi or injunction with reference to it.
yadā yadā yat yat kāryyaṃ bhavati bhāvi abhūd vā tat-tatkālopādhau kramikeṇaiva tena tena hetunā tat tat kāryyaṃ kariṣye iti tataḥ pūrvaṃ bhagavadicchā asty āsīd vā iti mantavyam.
Ibid. p. 9.