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Śrī Śrī Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava: A hymn to the Vraja-pastimes: Sri Ananta das Babaji (Part 6)

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I worship Nandīśvara, the abode of the King of Vraja, the crown jewel of Vraja, where the goddess of fortune always wanders around everywhere, where the eight mystic perfections are fully manifest, which has been created to increase the opulence of the cows, where the Vrajavāsīs live in topmost bliss and where Śrī Kṛṣṇa is enjoying Himself under the protection of His parents.


yatra śrīḥ parito bhramaty avirataṁ tās tā mahā-siddhayaḥ
sphītāḥ sṛṣṭir alaṁ gavām udayanī vāso’pi goṣṭhaukasām |
vātsalyāt paripālito viharate kṛṣṇaḥ pitṛbhyāṁ sukhai-
stan nāndīśvaram ālayaṁ vraja-pater goṣṭhottamāṅgaṁ bhaje ||8||
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: Śrīpāda Raghunātha’s heart is immersed in the sweetness of the Vraja-rasa. In some form the remembrance of the Lord, His devotees and His abode arises in the consciousness of one in whose heart prema has appeared, and this prema attains a great savor.

yathā prāvṛṣi tṛṇāṅkurasyodbhedena tad-bīja sattānumīyate

“Just as we can assume that the earth contains seeds when the crops start growing in the monsoon-season, we can also understand that there is love in the heart of the person who becomes ecstatic upon hearing, chanting and remembering the Lord, His pastimes and His abode.” (Vyāsa Bhāṣya)

premādimatāntu yathā kathañcit smaraṇam api tatra hetuḥ

“In a jāta-rati-sādhaka (a devotee whose love for Kṛṣṇa has been born), the slightest relationship with the Lord causes ecstasy. In the stage of prema, kṛṣṇa-rati becomes immediately relishable when it becomes even slightly fit for a certain relish through even the smallest vibhāva (excitant). (Śrī Jīva Gosvāmīpāda)

Śrīpāda Raghunātha is in the kingdom of mahābhāva, so in his heart an inexhaustible fountain of Vraja-rasa is causing a flow like the current of the celestial Gaṅgā.

In this verse, the glories of Śrī Nandīśvara, the parental home of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, arises in the consciousness of Śrī Raghunātha. First he says: yatra śrīḥ parito bhramaty avirataṁ, “At this Nandīśvara the goddess of fortune always wanders around like a maidservant.”

After the advent of Śrī Kṛṣṇa was described in the Bhāgavata, a doubt arose in the mind of Mahārāja Parīkṣit when he heard about the countless jewels and other opulences Nanda Mahārāja was able to donate. He thought: “Even the wealthiest king of the world would not be able to donate so many jewels. How could Nanda Mahārāja, who was a mere local chieftain in Vraja-maṇḍala, a small region within the Mathurā-district, be able to donate all this wealth?”

The omniscient Śrī Śuka Muni, understanding the emperor’s doubt, then spoke:

tata ārabhya nandasya vrajaḥ sarva samṛddhimān

harer nivāsātma guṇaiḥ ramā-krīḍam abhūn nṛpa

“O King! Vraja is the eternal abode of the Lord, therefore it is automatically filled with all opulences. From the day that Śrī Hari was born here, all opulences came to Nanda’s Vraja.” (Bhāgavata 10.5.18)

The purport of this verse is that Vraja is naturally filled with all opulences, a mere speck of its dust containing the wealth of innumerable Vaikuṇṭha-planets. This place does not need the support of Ramā, the goddess of fortune! Still the goddess of fortune constantly roams all over Vraja like a mere maidservant, thinking that Her service to the companions of Śrī Kṛṣṇa will be for the benefit of everyone in all respects. These statements are made after experiencing the incomparable opulences of Nandīśvara.

This line can also mean that Śrī Rādhā and thousands of Vraja-sundarīs, whose lotus feet are worshipped by the greatest goddesses of fortune, are wandering around here every day.

Śrī Rādhārāṇī daily goes to Nandīśvara with hundreds and thousands of sakhīs to cook for Kṛṣṇa. Wandering over Nandīśvara’s slopes, they render different services there to Śrī Kṛṣṇa.

The Brahma Saṁhitā describes:

cintāmaṇi prakara sadmasu kalpavṛkṣa
-lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhir abhipālayantam
lakṣmī sahasra śata sambhrama sevyamānaṁ
govindam ādi puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

“I worship Govinda, the Primeval Lord, Who dwells in houses made of Cintāmaṇi-gemstones surrounded by hundreds of thousands of wish-yielding trees, Who is tending His Surabhī-cows and Who is reverentially served there by hundreds of thousands of goddesses of fortune.”

Yet another explanation is that the word śrī means beauty, and the embodiment of beauty is wandering around the Nandīśvara Giri. Wherever the eyes go, they can see there the matchless wealth of Nandīśvara Giri’s natural beauty.
There are mango, jackfruit, arjuna, coconut, betel, tamal, kadamba, bakula, punnāga and other trees, bearing enchanting beauty as they are entwined by jati, yuthi, fresh mallika, clove, atimukta and other vines. These trees and vines bear various kinds of blooming flowers whose fragrance gladdens all the directions and that attracts hosts of humming bumblebees flying from flower bunch to flower bunch to drink the nectar of their honey.

The forest on the mountain is filled with the singing of cuckoos and other birds. Here and there are lakes and ponds with clear water that are filled with blooming water flowers like lotus and Kahlāra and singing water birds like chakravaka, swans, cranes and karandava.

The periphery of Nandīśvara Giri is thus filled with a natural beauty and the opulences of hundreds of Amarāvatis. Wherever the eye goes, wonderful sculptures of jewels, diamonds and pearls can be seen. This city is filled with an inexhaustible fountain of sweet and all-delightful beauty.

Then Śrī Raghunātha continues by saying:

tās tā mahā-siddhayaḥ sphītāḥ. yatra tāstāḥ prasiddhā aṇimādayo’ṣṭo mahā-siddhayaḥ sphītāḥ paripūrṇā vartanta iti śeṣaḥ

“Here the eight mystic perfections, starting with aṇimā, are fully manifest.” Aṇimā, mahimā, laghimā, prāpti, prākāmya, vaśitva, īśitva and kāma-vasāyitā – these are the eight mystic perfections. Aṇimā is the ability to make one’s body as small as an atom, so that one is able to even enter into stones. Mahimā is the ability to make oneself as big as one wishes. Laghimā is the ability to make oneself as light as one wishes. Prāpti is the ability to touch even the moon with one’s finger. Prākāmya is the ability to let a distant object appear nearby. Vaśitva is the ability to control physical objects. Iśitva is the ability to receive lordship over physical objects and kāma-vasāyitā is the ability to make a physical object do anything one wishes.

Those who take shelter of the path of pure devotional worship never desire such mystic perfections, but they renounce them, seeing them as obstacles on the way to pure devotion. If such desires remain on one’s mind one cannot attain prema, even if one performs bhajan.

bhukti mukti siddhi vāñchā mane yadi roy;
sādhana korile-o prema utpanna nā hoy

But, although the devotee does not covet such perfections, they automatically knock on the door of the heart that has devotion, like maidservants of Bhakti Mahārāṇī. (C.C.)

hari bhakti mahādevyāḥ sarvā muktyādi siddhayaḥ.

bhuktayaś cādbutās tasyāś ceṭikāvad anuvratāḥ 

“Liberation and all other amazing perfections follow the great goddess of Hari-bhakti like mere maidservants, along with all kinds of sense gratification.”

Therefore these great perfections are all fully manifest at Nandīśvara Giri, the place that is filled with all supreme opulences, desiring to bless themselves.

Then again Śrī Raghunātha says: “It is as if this mountain has been created to increase the opulence of the cows!” sṛṣṭir alaṁ gavām udayanī. It is as if the Śrī Giri has advented itself to increase the nourishment, the bliss and the nectarean flow of milk of the 900,000 cows of Śrī Nanda Mahārāja and the thousands of cows of the other cowherders.

Actually it is said, ananta kāmadhenu yāhā care vane vane “Innumerable desire-cows are grazing there in every forest.” Therefore, although there is no question of an increase of opulence, it is said so in the vision of innumerable cows mooing in great jubilation and cowherd boys making blissful noise.

In his Vilāpa Kusumāñjali (60) Śrī Raghunātha has said:

hamvāravair iha gavām api ballabānāṁ
kolāhalair vividha vandi kalāvatāṁ taiḥ
sambhrājate priyatayā vrajarāja sūnor
govardhanād api gurur vraja vanditād yaḥ

“In Nandīśvara, which is worshipable by the people of Vraja because it is dearer to Kṛṣṇa, the prince of Vraja, than even Govardhana, the cows are mooing, the cowherders, the artists and panegyrists are making different kinds of noise.”

Hence it is the most blissful abode of the people of Vraja: vāso’pi goṣṭhaukasām. Here the cowherders live with endless love, bliss and happiness.

Then again he says: vātsalyāt paripālito viharate kṛṣṇaḥ pitṛbhyāṁ sukhaiḥ “Śrī Kṛṣṇa enjoys here in topmost bliss, under the deeply loving protection of His mother and father, Śrī Nanda-Yaśodā.”

According to its kind and the amount, a devotee’s love can subdue the Lord. The main aim of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Original Personality of Godhead, in His Vraja-līlā is to savour the sweetness of His devotees’ love. When the transcendental Lord, Who thirsts after the nectar of prema, is poured over with the buttermilk of Nanda-Yaśodā’s pure love, He forgets His endless prowess and majesty and swims around in the ocean of their parental love in topmost bliss.

It is this capital of Nanda, the king of Vraja, the crown jewel of the Goṣṭha, or Vraja-Maṇḍala, Śrī Nandīśvara, that Śrī Raghunātha praises –

ye sthānete svayaṁ lakṣmī mūrtimatī hoiyā;
itas tataḥ bule sadā sevāra lāgiyā
ye sthānete aṣṭa-siddhi sevā ākāṅkṣāya;
paripūrṇa hoiyā āche nanda aṅgināya
dhenugaṇera śrī-vṛddhi satata vihāra;
kṛṣṇa nitya-dhāma vraja sukhera pāthāra
vrajavāsigaṇa sukhe avasthāna kore;
vātsalyete mātā pitā lālanādi kore
śrī nandera rājadhānī nāma nandīśvare;
bhajanā koribo ei lālasā antare

“I will worship Śrī Nanda’s capital named Nandīśvara, where Lakṣmīdevī Herself constantly wanders around, asking for service, where the eight mystic perfections are present in full, desiring devotional service, where the opulence of the cows is constantly increased, where the Vrajavāsīs blissfully reside and where Kṛṣṇa is cuddled with great parental love by His mother and father. I always crave for the worship of this eternal abode of Kṛṣṇa, which is an ocean of transcendental bliss.”

The post Śrī Śrī Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava: A hymn to the Vraja-pastimes: Sri Ananta das Babaji (Part 6) appeared first on Vrindavan Today.

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