Myth, Significance of Gotra, Gopala-mantra

Question: In present times, other cultural literature is deemed as mythology by the general and intellectual masses. These include Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Greek, Roman, Japanese, Chinese, Norse, and other literature. While I would like to believe that Hindu philosophy is true, I wonder about other literature and cultures. There has to be one truth; consequently, all others must be mythology. 

Where should the line be drawn? Hindu philosophy is extensive and inexhaustibly profound. It also reveals details that closely match modern scientific findings about the universe, whereas other “myths” seems childish.

Can we say that the naivety of these texts has led to the creation of a “myth notion” among the masses which people have generalized to all cultures, eventually engulfing our Vedic philosophy?

Answer: Your question is very black and white. It is not true that everything in non-Vedic literature is a myth. They also contain some truth.

For example, Buddhism has many principles that match with the Yoga Sūtras, Bhagavad-gītā, Advaita Vedanta, etc. You cannot say that the whole of Buddhism is a myth. For example, Buddhism says that everything is temporary. This is very true for anything material. Buddhism says that there is suffering everywhere. This is also very true; even Krsna says so.

Therefore, you have to study each piece of literature and then distinguish between truth and myth. 


Question:  What is the significance of gotra in Sanātana Dharma?

Answer: Gotra played a great significance in Vedic rituals, especially in marriage. For every ritual, such as the daily sandhyāvandana, one has to pronounce one’s gotra along with the present day, time, and place. Gotra is also needed when making saṅkalpa before any yajña. Marriage between a boy and a girl of the same gotra is forbidden. The gotra gave one a very clear sense of identity.


Question: The mantrakliṁ kṛṣṇāya govindāya gopī-jana vallabhāya svāhā” is described in both SB and Brahma Saṁhitā. Does it appear in any other scripture? Also, could you kindly explain the various purposes of this mantra? Some authorities claim that this mantra clears up negative emotions.

Answer: This mantra is also found in Krama-dīpikā and in Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad. The prime purpose of the mantra is to get Kṛṣṇaprema. But being like a kalpa-vṛkṣa tree, one can chant it for whatever one desires.

Question: Is there any śāstra-pramāṇa about Parīkṣit Mahārāja’s spiritual identity after his death by Takṣaka?

Answer: I have not read anything. But I would say that because the Pāṇḍavas are eternal associates of Kṛṣṇa and Parīkṣit is their grandson who had direct darśana of Kṛṣṇa, he will be part of the Pāṇḍavas’ eternal līlā with Kṛṣṇa. 

Question: What is the original source for saying that Anaṅga Mañjarī is the svarūpa-śakti expansion of Balarāma? If I´m not mistaken, this originally comes from Anaṅga-mañjarī-sampuṭikā by Ramai Gosai, but I don´t think this information is present in any Gosvāmī  literature.

Answer: I do not know another source except what you mentioned above. 



3 thoughts on “Myth, Significance of Gotra, Gopala-mantra”

  1. Question What is the difference between ”Raj uvaca” and ”Pariksit uvaca” Also what is the difference when referring to Sukdev as ”Suka uvaca” and ”Rishi uvaca”

    1. A: “Raja uvaca” may be indicative of some royal qualities. It has to be seen from what he says. For example, before verse 10.14.49 it says raja uvaca. Then Pariksit asks how is it that the Vrajavasis had more love for Kṛṣṇa than their own children.
      Here, the implied sense can be that as a king, I treat my subjects as my children but I do not love them more than my own children.

      Q: Also what is the difference when referring to Sukdev as ”Suka uvaca” and ”Rishi uvaca”

      A: A similar sense can be understood here also. “Rishi uvāca” may imply that what he would say will be beyond the experience of a common person. Or it may imply that it is very authoritative, authentic, or secretive.
      For example, in SB 5.16.3, the king requests Sukadeva to speak about the gross material form of Bhagavan. By this, he means the structure of the universe. After that it is said “rishir uvaca,” which indicates that this description is beyond the perception of normal human beings.

  2. The word ‘veda’ connotes śabda-pramāṇa. Any work composed by a realized being in any field would technically be called a veda. Much of modern scientific work is speculative and conjectural and hence not vedic. The challenge is to decipher the meaning as was/is intended by the author. Metaphors and similes aren’t barred in a śabda-pramāṇa aiding disclosure of meaning. Veda can be expressed as a kāvya of which Rāmāyaṇa is an instance.

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