How wonderful is Śrī Raghunātha dāsa’s pure absorption in Rādhā’s service! He says: vilapāmi kāpi dāsī – “I am known as Your maidservant, Your real maidservant, and my life burns in the fire of separation from You!”
We also do bhajana in allegiance to the ācāryas, therefore we must also somehow attain this condition.
“I may be unqualified, but he who has offered me to Your lotus feet for Your maid service is Your qualified maidservant. Why will You not accept someone who is given to him? When merciful Śrī Gurudeva [in his form as guru manjari] offers me to Your lotus feet, You have to accept me.”
guru kṛṣṇa-rūpa hon śāstrera pramāṇe; guru-rūpe kṛṣṇa kṛpā koren bhaktagaṇe (C.C.).
“The scriptures prove that the guru is a form of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa bestows His grace on the devotees in the form of the guru.”
“This is in another way a gift of Your lover—can You refuse that?”
Śrīmat Dāsa Gosvāmīpāda’s example of rādhā-niṣṭhā is to be followed by the surrendered rasika bhāgavatas.
bhājanaṁ varam ihāsi viśākhe
gaura nīla vapuṣoḥ praṇayānām
tvaṁ nija praṇayinor mayi tena
prāpayasva karuṇārdra kaṭākṣam
O Viśākhe! You are the greatest object of golden Rādhikā’s and bluish Kṛṣṇa’s love! Please bless me and help me to obtain Their merciful glances!
KṚPĀ KAṬĀKṢAḤ (Merciful Glance)
Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
In this verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prays to Viśākhā’s lotus-feet: “You are the greatest object of Rādhā and Mādhava’s love! Please help me to attain the merciful glance of your beloved divine Pair!”
Viśākhā is nondifferent from Śrīmatī Rādhikā and is the supreme object of Her trust. Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has written:
bhāva nāma guṇādīnām aikyāt śrī rādhikaiva yā
kṛṣṇendoḥ preyasī sā me śrī viśākhā prasīdatu
“May Śrī Viśākhā, Kṛṣṇa-candra’s beloved, who has the same mood, name (Viśākhā is another name of the Rādhā-constellation) and qualities as Śrī Rādhikā, be pleased with me!” Continue reading
giri-kuñja kuṭīra nāgarau
lalite devi sadā tavāśravau
iti te kila nāsti duṣkaraṁ
kṛpayāṅgīkuru mām ataḥ svayam
O Lalitā-devi! The lovers of the nikuñja-cottage on the hill are under your loving control, so there is nothing which is hard to attain for you! Please personally accept me out of your mercy (and engage me in the Yugala-service)!
Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
In his natural humility Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī anxiously prays to the lotus-feet of the associates of the Divine Couple. The devotees who worship in the Vraja-mood should follow in his footsteps. A person who has strong aspirations to serve Rādhā and Mādhava cannot remain calm while staying in Śrī Vṛndāvana. The natural beauty of Śrī Vrndāvana will remind him so much of his beloved deity! When premamaya Śrīman Mahāprabhu simply heard the name of Śrī Vṛndāvana, even while being in another country, He became agitated by ecstatic feelings: anya deśe prema uchale ‘vṛndāvana’ nāme (C.C.).
And when He actually came there:
mayūrera kaṇṭha dekhi Kṛṣṇa smṛti hoilā;
premāveśe mahāprabhu bhūmite poḍilā
prabhuke mūrcchita dekhi sei to brāhmaṇa;
bhaṭṭācārya saṅge kore prabhu santarpaṇa
āste vyaste mahāprabhura loiyā bahirvāsa;
jala-seka kore aṅge vastrera bātāsa
prabhu karṇe ‘Kṛṣṇa nāma’ kohe ucca kori;
cetana pāiyā prabhu yān gaḍāgaḍi
kaṇṭake durgama vane aṅga kṣata hoilo;
bhaṭṭācārya kole kori prabhu suṣṭha koilo (C.C.)
“When the Lord saw the bluish necks of the peacocks He remembered Kṛṣṇa and He fainted and fell to the ground in ecstatic love. Seeing the Lord in a swoon, Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya and the brāhmaṇa took care of Him. They quickly took off the Lord’s outer cloth, sprinkled Him with water and fanned Him with the cloth. They loudly chanted Kṛṣṇa’s name in the Lord’s ear, and the Lord regained consciousness and rolled around on the ground. His body was scratched by the thorns in the deep forest, so Balabhadra Bhaṭṭācārya embraced the Lord and consoled Him.” Continue reading
ataeva gopī-bhāva, kari aṅgīkāra, rātri-dina cinte rādhā, kṛṣṇera vihāra
siddha-dehe cinti kare, tāhāṅñi sevana, sakhī-bhāve pāya rādhā, kṛṣṇera caraṇa
“You all must accept gopi-bhava, and day and night think about Radha-Krishna’s pastimes while mentally serving the Divine Couple in your siddha deha. By practicing raganuga-bhakti like this, you will definitely attain sakhi/gopi-bhava and the lotus feet of Radha-Krishna.”
The way – raganuga bhakti
karma, tapa, yoga, jnana, vidhi-bhakti, japa, dhyana |
iha haite madhurya durlabha ||
kevala ye raga-marge, bhaje krishne anurage |
tare krishna-madhurya sulabha ||
“Sweetness is very difficult to attain through fruitive activities, austerity, yoga, intellectual speculation, vidhi-bhakti, recitation of mantras or meditation. The sweetness of Sri Krishna is easily attainable only for the one who affectionately worships Him on the path of raga.”
sakala jagate more kare vidhi-bhakti |
vidhi-bhaktye vraja-bhava paite nahi sakti ||
aisvarya-jnanete saba jagat misrita |
aisvarya-sithila-preme nahi mora prita ||
“Everyone in this world worships Me through vidhi-bhakti. Vidhi-bhakti has no power for attaining the feelings of Vraja. The devotion of the world is mixed with knowledge of My divine prowess. I do not delight in love diluted with prowess.” Continue reading
diśi vidiśi vihāram ācarantaḥ
saha paśupāla vareṇya nandanābhyām
praṇayi jana-gaṇās tayoḥ kurudhvaṁ
mayi karuṇāṁ bata kākum ākalayya
O Loving companions of the children of the best cowherders (Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa)!
You always play and wander all over Vṛndāvana with Them!
Please hear about my sorrow and be merciful to me!
PRAṆAYI JANA KṚPĀ PRĀRTHANĀ
(Praying For The Mercy Of The Beloveds):
Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī is painfully eager and thus he laments out of strong desire for the service of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava. The aspirants will also get some of this eagerness while hearing and chanting the great words of the Gosvāmīs. He submits his heart’s anxious prayers to the feet of his beloved deity. I have no peace if I just practice smaraṇa or see You in visions or dreams – I want You directly! When a sādhaka hears and chants these eager prayers of the Gosvāmīs some of their eagerness will also be infused into his heart. Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is the guru of the sampradāya, and the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇavas do bhajana following in his footsteps.
Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī has written:
ābhīra pallipati putra kāntā dāsyābhilāṣāti balāśvavāraḥ
śrī rūpa cintāmala sapti saṁstho mat svānta durdānta hayecchur āstām
“The desire to serve the lover of the son of the king of the cowherd-village is like a strong rider. May he mount the spotless horse of remembrance of Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī. This should be the desire of the wild horse of my heart.”
In other words: Let my desire for Śrī Rādhā’s devotional service be in faithful adherence to the longings of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. As much as the heart of a sahṛdaya (sensitive rasika) sādhaka thus associates with the mind of a great soul and attains the same feelings, to that amount eagerness will be infused into it, and to that amount he will relish the sweetness of the beloved deity. Continue reading
bhavatīm abhivādya cāṭubhir
varam ūrjeśvari varyam arthaye
bhavadīyatayā kṛpāṁ yathā
mayi kuryād adhikāṁ bakāntakaḥ
O Ūrjeśvari (Rādhikā, the goddess of the Kārtika-month)!
I pitifully pray to You for this benediction:
May Bakāntaka (Kṛṣṇa, the killer of Bakāsura), be more kind to me, knowing me to be Yours!
RĀDHĀ NIṢṬHĀḤ (Loyalty to Rādhā)
Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
The loyalty of Rādhā’s maidservants is evident from these prayers of Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī. To Śrī Kṛṣṇa he prays: “Please make me the object of Śrī Rādhā’s grace”, and to Śrī Rādhā he prays: “May Kṛṣṇa give me more mercy, knowing me to be Your maidservant!”
Śrīman Mahāprabhu’s gift is revealed through the ācāryas. This Rādhā-dāsya is an unprecedented gift of mercy. The conditioned souls are floating in the ocean of material existence, but by some stroke of good luck some of them receive the mercy of guru and Kṛṣṇa in the form of the seed of the vine of devotion.
saṁsāre bhramite kon bhāgyavān jīva;
guru-Kṛṣṇa prasāde pāy bhakti latā bīja
By taking shelter of the lotus-feet of Śrī Guru a fortunate person can attain purification of the self. Gurudeva is bringing the remembrance of a ever-forgotten thing back into the heart.
When fortunate sādhakas take shelter of Śrī Guru’s lotus-feet in the Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Sampradāya they become acquainted with the service of Śrī Rādhā. After establishing the self-identification as Rādhā’s dāsī they continue their bhajana according to the love of rādhā snehādhikā (greater love for Rādhā than for Kṛṣṇa).
How enchanting it is to think of oneself: “I am Rādhā’s fallen maidservant!” Continue reading