Nectarine meditations (3) – Divine water sports in Rādhā-kuṇḍa

The luster of Kṛṣṇa’s body eclipsed the beauty of hundreds of moons (puṣkara), His eyes resembled lotus flowers (puṣkara) blooming in the blazing sun and His sidelong glances defeated Cupid’s flower arrows (puṣkara). Kṛṣṇa was eager to play in the water (puṣkara) to mitigate His love-fatigue and that of His girlfriends. Kṛṣṇa dipped into the lotus-filled (puṣkarinī) Rādhā-kuṇḍa to sport. He looked like an intoxicated bull elephant (puṣkari) about to enjoy with his bevy of female elephants (puṣkarinī).

The two mad elephants of Kṛṣṇa’s eyes expanded in ecstasy upon viewing the glistening bodies of the gopīs whose lovely features resembled the beautiful Rādhā-kuṇḍa. The attractive azure eyes of the gopīs were blue lotuses, their faces flushed with love were pink lotuses, their bouncing locks of hair were swarms of restlessly moving bees, their full breasts were cakravāka birds and their graceful arms were stems of lotus flowers.  Continue reading

Nectarine meditations (2)

yat pītaṁ śrutivāṅ manobhir aniśaṁ tṛṣṇāpradaṁ tvadbhutaṁ saṁsārāmaya hāryapi praṇayajonmādāndhya mohādikṛt śaśvac carvitam eva bhūri rasadaṁ dehādi hṛt puṣṭidaṁ taj jīyād amṛta spṛhā haram idaṁ govinda līlāmṛtam (5)

All glories to Śrī Govinda Līlāmṛta, the immortal nectar pastimes of Śrī Govinda, which defeats the nectar of the gods, or the desire for liberation, which constantly bestows a wonderful thirst to the ears, words and mind whenever it is drunk, which cures the disease of material life, yet produces delusions and blindness of loving intoxication, and gives inexhaustible relish, even if it is consumed again and again, nourishing even the body. (Govinda Līlāmṛta 1.5)

Here, Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami writes that reading (hearing) about the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna is the best medicine to cure the disease of material life.

He is not saying anything about these pastimes being exclusively reserved for those who already cured the disease of material life.

IT IS THE CURE, THE BEST MEDICINE.

By writing this, he is perfectly in sync with the Srimad Bhagavatam, as always.
In this wonderful Srimad-Bhagavata (10.33.39) while narrating the rasa-lila, the crest jewel of all pastimes, Sukadeva Muni describes the most powerful glories of devotion:
vikriditam vrajavadhubhir idam ca vishnoh sraddhanvito’nusrinuyad atha varnayed yah bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam hrid rogam asvapahinotyacirena dhirah

“Whoever faithfully hears and narrates the loving pastimes of Sri Krishna with the ladies of Vraja will attain the topmost devotion for the Lord, will swiftly become grave and give up the heart’s disease of lust.”

Now, read the what comes next attentively several times.
Then sit down, close your eyes and imagine to be there in your spiritual form as a manjari and chant the maha-mantra, remembering what you have just read with a sense of total identification and immersion. Try to imbibe the emotions and be aware of your desired spiritual form as a witness.

Bidding farewell to the Vrajavāsīs

Śyāma requested and consoled the distressed Rādhā by conveying with His eyes,

“O Sumukhī (beautiful-faced girl)! Be patient and do not grieve, for in one hour we shall unite. On some pretext, just slip away and meet Me on the banks of Your kuṇḍa.”

Kṛṣṇa made His request with an afflicted heart and humble glances.

Rādhikā, pretending to be both shy and arrogantly contrary, responded with a sidelong glance of assent to delight the heart of Kṛṣṇa.

When the arrows of Rādhā-Mādhava’s glances fell from the sky and entered Their hearts, They experienced the utmost bliss and not the least bit of pain.

This is the astonishingly inconceivable course of Rādhā-Mādhava’s love.

Kṛṣṇa, in going to the forest, caught the fish of Rādhā’s mind in the net of His alluring beauty. And Rādhā trapped the swan of Kṛṣṇa’s yearning heart in the sturdy cage of Her amorous sidelong glances.

Kṛṣṇa and His friends entered the forest while driving the cows before them and attracting the minds of the Vrajavāsīs behind them. Kṛṣṇa turned around and glanced toward His parents who were still following Him due to attachment. Kṛṣṇa stopped walking, faced His seniors and said, “O mother! Please return home at once and do not follow Me into the forest! Make some rasālā [yogurt mixed with sugar candy, black pepper, camphor and ghee] and quickly send it to Me. O father! Since My bat is broken, please go home and make five or six new ones so that We can play ball. O Mother! Look ahead! Although the cows are very hungry and thirsty, they are waiting for Me, turning their faces towards Me to see what is the delay.”

Yaśodā said, “O Child! At midday, I will send Your favorite edibles. Please eat them and quickly return home in the afternoon.”

Kṛṣṇa said, “O mātā! If I hear that you both have taken your meals and are engaged happily at home, then I will eat everything you send Me. Otherwise, I will not come home!”

Nanda and Yaśodā repeatedly kissed and embraced Kṛṣṇa while looking at Him with forlorn eyes. They desired nothing but Kṛṣṇa’s welfare with their bodies, minds and words. Kṛṣṇa bathed in the parental tears and breast milk of Nanda and Yaśodā.

Meanwhile, the rising sun of imminent separation was scorching Kṛṣṇa’s beloved gopīs. Kṛṣṇa compassionately relieved them with the cooling waves of His sidelong glances. The gopīs drank the nectar of His bodily sweetness through the tubes of their lotus eyes. Although Kṛṣṇa felt sorry over the plight of the Vrajavāsīs, He left them behind and eagerly entered the forest to play with His friends.

All the senses of the Vrajavāsīs turned into eyes as they beheld the all-attractive form of Kṛṣṇa. Their senses stopped functioning and they became stunned in dismay, however, when Kṛṣṇa disappeared from their vision.

The villagers thought, “We are moving beings but the non-moving entities like trees are more fortunate because now they will enjoy Kṛṣṇa’s darśana!”

When “the life of Vraja” left with His cows, the flowing rivers of the gopīs’ faces withered and dried up like rivers in the hot summer. The bees of the gopīs’ restless eyes immediately soared out of the wilted lotus flowers of their faces, but the swan of their lives got stuck in the mud of Kṛṣṇa’s separation. The voracious kingfisher birds of Kṛṣṇa’s eyebrows devoured the minnows of the gopīs’ discrimination floundering in the shallow waters of separation.

The Vrajavāsīs, though completely devastated themselves, picked up Nanda and Yaśodā who were lying on the ground unconscious in separation from Kṛṣṇa.

Together they unwillingly returned to their homes. Their bodies moved towards their homes merely out of habit, but their minds followed Kṛṣṇa into the forest.

The assistant sakhīs revived their group leaders, who had fainted out of separation from Kṛṣṇa, and escorted them home in a mechanical way like one wooden puppet moving another.

[Govinda-līlāmṛta 5.40-57)

Nectarine meditations (1)

yat pītaṁ śrutivāṅ manobhir aniśaṁ tṛṣṇāpradaṁ tvadbhutaṁ
saṁsārāmaya hāryapi praṇayajonmādāndhya mohādikṛt
śaśvac carvitam eva bhūri rasadaṁ dehādi hṛt puṣṭidaṁ
taj jīyād amṛta spṛhā haram idaṁ govinda līlāmṛtam (5)

All glories to Śrī Govinda Līlāmṛta, the immortal nectar pastimes of Śrī Govinda, which defeats the nectar of the gods, or the desire for liberation, which constantly bestows a wonderful thirst to the ears, words and mind whenever it is drunk, which cures the disease of material life, yet produces delusions and blindness of loving intoxication, and gives inexhaustible relish, even if it is consumed again and again, nourishing even the body. (Govinda Līlāmṛta 1.5)

Here, Srila Krishna das Kaviraja Goswami writes that reading (hearing) about the pastimes of Sri Sri Radha Krishna is the best medicine to cure the disease of material life.
He is not saying anything about these pastimes being exclusively reserved for those who already cured the disease of material life.

IT IS THE CURE, THE BEST MEDICINE.

By writing this, he is perfectly in sync with the Srimad Bhagavatam, as always.
In this wonderful Srimad-Bhagavata (10.33.39) while narrating the rasa-lila, the crest jewel of all pastimes, Sukadeva Muni describes the most powerful glories of devotion:

vikriditam vrajavadhubhir idam ca vishnoh
sraddhanvito’nusrinuyad atha varnayed yah
bhaktim param bhagavati pratilabhya kamam
hrid rogam asvapahinotyacirena dhirah

“Whoever faithfully hears and narrates the loving pastimes of Sri Krishna with the ladies of Vraja will attain the topmost devotion for the Lord, will swiftly become grave and give up the heart’s disease of lust.”

Now, read the what comes next attentively several times.

Then sit down, close your eyes and imagine to be there in your spiritual form as a manjari and chant the maha-mantra, remembering what you have just read with a sense of total identification and immersion.

Divine water sports in Rādhā-kuṇḍa

The luster of Kṛṣṇa’s body eclipsed the beauty of hundreds of moons (puṣkara), His eyes resembled lotus flowers (puṣkara) blooming in the blazing sun and His sidelong glances defeated Cupid’s flower arrows (puṣkara). Kṛṣṇa was eager to play in the water (puṣkara) to mitigate His love-fatigue and that of His girlfriends. Kṛṣṇa dipped into the lotus-filled (puṣkarinī) Rādhā-kuṇḍa to sport. He looked like an intoxicated bull elephant (puṣkari) about to enjoy with his bevy of female elephants (puṣkarinī).

The two mad elephants of Kṛṣṇa’s eyes expanded in ecstasy upon viewing the glistening bodies of the gopīs whose lovely features resembled the beautiful Rādhā-kuṇḍa. The attractive azure eyes of the gopīs were blue lotuses, their faces flushed with love were pink lotuses, their bouncing locks of hair were swarms of restlessly moving bees, their full breasts were cakravāka birds and their graceful arms were stems of lotus flowers.

Some timid gopīs stood on the shore, hesitating to enter. The gopīs in Rādhā-kuṇḍa, splashed them with water, tugged on their garments and giggled while pulling them into the kuṇḍa. Hari stood navel deep in water and chuckled while splashing all the gopīs. Some gopīs fearfully fled to places in Rādhā-kuṇḍa where the water only reached their knees or thighs.
[Govinda-līlāmṛta 15.45-49]

The gopīs keenly desired to play, but they became very serious; not due to fear of their elders but out of fear of losing Kṛṣṇa’s company. Therefore, they gathered in one group. One gopī, not wanting to ruin the flower ornament Kṛṣṇa had made for her, remained on the dry shores of Rādhā-kuṇḍa. The other doe-eyed damsels lovingly tried to pull her into the water. She resisted and the gopīs combined to splash her with laughter and lots of water from their cupped hands. As their beauty increased, the gopīs gorgeous faces made friends with the lotuses, their breasts made friends with the cakravāka birds and their navels made friends with the whirlpools in Rādhā-kuṇḍa.

The gopīs held hands with each other to form a golden net. They surrounded Kṛṣṇa with their golden net, just as the moonlight surrounds the clouds. Caught in their net, Kṛṣṇa induced the dancer of His glance to dance. By this Kṛṣṇa conquered the gopīs’ eyes and broke their net with a huge wave of water.

The gopīs drew closer to Kṛṣṇa and dumped loads of water over His head. Kṛṣṇa blissfully covered His eyes to tolerate the downpour. Mādhava then retaliated by drenching the gopīs with torrents of water. The gopīs became momentarily stunned. Their blissful faces, however, remained as effulgent as the orb of the full moon.

Suddenly Rādhikā started splashing Śyāma with water from Her lotus bud hands. The sound of Rādhā’s jeweled bangles, jingling like the water weapon of Cupid, was intolerable for Kṛṣṇa who desired victory in the water fight. Rādhā, using Her cupped hands like a water-bearing cloud, took great pleasure in completely soaking Kṛṣṇa with thick streams of water. As the glittering water continually cascaded upon Kṛṣṇa’s chest, it appeared that He was being pierced by the irresistible power of Cupid’s flower arrows. Kṛṣṇa’s flower garland and pearl necklace broke apart; only His Kaustubha withstood defeat.

Kṛṣṇa boasted before Rādhā, “Now see if You can bear My water barrage!” Śyāma laughed lovingly before sousing Kiśorī’s face with water. Restless-eyed Rādhā was afflicted by Kṛṣṇa’s splashing, but She easily tolerated it by covering Her eyes with Her lotus hands. The resolution of a lover is so astonishing!
[Kṛṣṇāhnika-kaumudī 4.136-151]

Excepts used with the permission of Sri Madan Gopal das Babaji

The Guru Dilemma

The necessity to take shelter of a true sat guru

One who wants to worship the Supreme Lord must first take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru. Bhajana-sādhana is far removed from one who does not take shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru, because this is the gate through which one enters to the path of bhakti. This does not only count for the path of bhakti, there is no practice in the world that does not require the shelter of a guru’s (teacher’s) feet! If it is necessary to accept a learned and experienced teacher to learn something in this mundane world, then it is that one needs to take shelter of the feet of a guru to learn bhakti, which is the highest form of wisdom in the spiritual world. Another special feature of devotional knowledge is that the merciful Śrī Bhagavān has personally appeared within this world in the form of the Guru to teach bhakti to the people of the world.

We have briefly discussed the guru-principle above. When the gravity (gurutva) of the guru-principle is understood, then there will be no more doubts about the importance of taking shelter of the lotus feet of Śrī Guru. What is the intrinsic status of Śrī Guru, what is the nature of guru and what is the auspicious result of taking shelter of Śrī Guru’s feet? An ignorant person has different doubts about these questions on taking shelter of Śrī Guru’s feet. Knowledge on all these guru-principles is acquired in the association of the sādhus. Without the company of the devotees of the Supreme Lord, the principle of guru cannot be understood. Hence the scriptures and the great saints first of all advise the people who wish to do sādhana-bhajana, and who desire the highest welfare, to associate with the saints. In Śrīmad Bhāgavata, Lord Śrī Kapiladeva has told His own mother Devahūti:

satāṁ prasaṅgān mama vīrya saṁvido
bhavanti hṛt karṇa rasāyanāḥ kathāḥ
taj joṣaṇād āśvapavarga vartmani
śraddhā ratir bhaktir anukramiṣyati
(Bhāgavata, 3.25.25)

“When one attains the excellent company of the saints, topics that indicate My glories become like nectar for the heart and the ears. Anyone who lovingly relishes these topics, which are the swift pathway to the cessation of ignorance, will gradually develop faith, attachment and devotion for Me.” Continue reading

Raganuga-bhakti revisited

Sadhaka:

Sri Utkalika Vallari, verse 19

VERSE 19: 

praṇipatya bhavantam arthaye
paśupālendra kumāra kākubhiḥ
vraja yauvata mauli mālikā
karuṇā pātram imam janaṁ kuru

O Prince of the cowherders (Kṛṣṇa)! I offer my obeisances unto You and I pitifully pray to You: Please make me the object of mercy of the crowngarland of young girls of Vraja (Śrī Rādhikā)!

ŚRĪ RĀDHĀ KṚPĀ-PĀTRA  (The Object Of Śrī Rādhā’s Grace):

Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:

The strong desire for attaining his coveted devotional service increases more and more in virahī Śrī Rūpa Gosvāmī’s heart, and this desire grows as high as the Sumeru-mountain.

On the one hand his heart is squeezed strongly by strong desires to attain the service of the Lord, and on the other hand he laments because he understands how unqualified he is for attaining that service. This is a very desirable stage in the kingdom of Divine Love. The aspirant is also separated and deprived of the vision of the Lord, so he should also feel some want and some void because of this.

Bhajana means searching, and that search will make external consciousness disappear from the aspirant. Slowly the thirst for loving devotion will increase and finally the aspirant will become anxious of thirst. When that thirst takes over the heart, the material world will stay out of the mind and all activities will be connected with that thirst.

         In this verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prays to Śrī Śyāmasundara’s lotus-feet: “Please make me the object of Śrī Rādhā’s mercy – I don’t want anything else! I will relish the mellows of Your service through the lotus-feet of Śrī Rādhā – not independently!” 

This is the rādhā snehādhikā love of the mañjarīs: āmāra īśvarī hon vṛndāvaneśvarī; tāra prāṇanātha boli bhaji giridhārī – “My Queen is the Queen of Vṛndāvana (Śrī Rādhā) and I worship Giridhārī because He is the Lord of Her life!” 

We will not worship Giridhārī without Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. I want to relish Your sweetness by experiencing Rādhārāṇī and I want to relish Your sweetness through Śrī Rādhārāṇī. But this will not be done in a sama snehā bhāva, a mood of equal affection. I will keep rādhā snehādhikā prīti in my heart. Continue reading

Sri Utkalika Vallari, verse 18

VERSE 18:

sarva ballaba vareṇya kumārau
prārthaye bata yuvāṁ praṇipatya
līlayā vitarataṁ nija dāsyaṁ
līlayā vitarataṁ nija dāsyam

O Śrī Kṛṣṇa! You are the son of the king of Vraja! O Śrī Rādhike! You are the daughter of Vraja’s greatest king Śrī Vṛṣabhānu! I pray to You while offering my obeisances: Playfully bestow Your service on me! Easily bestow Your service on me!

DĀSYA PRĀRTHANĀ (Prayer For Service)

Makaranda Kaṇā Vyākhyā:

In the previous verse Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī prayed for absorption in the sweetness of the Divine Couple. It is as if the Divine Pair now asks him: “Do you want to be absorbed in Our sweetness all of the time?”, to which Śrī Rūpa answers: “No, no! I want to serve while keeping Your sweetness in my heart!”

The maidservants are devotional mellows personified; their bodies are made of the mellows of devotional service and they desire nothing else but devotional service.
As much happiness as they find while serving, that much misery they will feel when they cannot serve.
“You are the oceans of sweetness, I will be absorbed in Your sweetness inside out while serving You! I don’t just want to enjoy Your sweetness without serving You!” Continue reading