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Vraja-Vilāsa (11): Rohini’s motherly love

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I worship Queen Rohiṇī, who sprinkles Govinda with the nectar of her motherly love even more than her own son Haladhara (Balarāma), who is a most expert cook, who has a very firm friendship with Yaśodā, the Queen of Vraja and who increases the love of Śrī Nanda, the king of cowherders, with her good manners.


Original text by Raghunath Das Goswami. Commentary by Ananta Das Pandit, Mahant of Sri Radha Kund. Translation by Advaita Das.


VERSE 11:

putrād uccair api hala-dharāt siñcati sneha-purair
govindaṁ yādbhuta-rasavatī-prakriyāsu pravīṇā |
sakhya-śrībhir vraja-pura-mahārāja-rājñīṁ nayais tad-
gopendraṁ yā sukhayati bhaje rohiṇīm īśvarīṁ tām ||11||
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: It is as if the mind and heart of Śrīpāda Dāsa Gosvāmīcaraṇa is floating in the nectar-stream of Vrajarasa. The endless sweetness of the loving expertise of the Vrajavāsīs is playing before Śrīpāda’s eyes.

In this verse he praises mother Rohiṇī and mentions her motherly love. Amongst the parental lovers, Śrīmad Rūpa Gosvāmīpāda has mentioned mother Rohiṇī after Śrī Nanda and Yaśodā. In this verse Śrī Raghunātha first says: “Mother Rohinī sprinkles Govinda with the nectar of her motherly love even more than her own son Haladhara (Balarāma).” (putrād uccair api haladharāt siñcati sneha-pūrair govindaṁ yā )

In his Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-Gaṇoddeśa-Dīpikā, Śrīmat Rūpa Gosvāmī has written:

rohiṇī bṛhad ambāsya praharṣārohiṇī sadā;
snehaṁ yā kurute rāma snehāt koṭi-guṇaṁ harau
“Rohiṇī is called ānandamayī, the blissful lady, and Kṛṣṇa’s ‘great mother’ (bṛhad-ambā). She loves Hari millions of times more than her own son Balarāma.”

In Śrīmad Bhāgavata, Śrīpāda Śuka Muni desribed how the elderly gopas and gopīs loved Śrī Kṛṣṇa more than their own children. To exemplify this he said:

kṛṣṇam enam avehi tvam ātmānam akhilātmanām
“Know Kṛṣṇa, Who is known as narākṛti-para-brahma, the Supreme Brahman in a human form, to be the Self of the selves.”

All the boys of Vraja are Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s playmates, therefore it is natural that their mothers and fathers love Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Who is the Self of their selves too, more than their own children, but although Baladeva is non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa himself, mother Rohiṇī still loves Kṛṣṇa more than her own son Balarāma.

This indeed is very special. The purport of this is that both Yaśodā and Rohiṇi both consider Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva to be their own sons. They don’t see even the slightest difference between them.

In the Vaiṣṇava Toṣaṇi commentary of Śrīmad Bhāgavata’s verse tan mātarau nija sutau (10.8.23) it is written:

nijau svīyau sutau iti tayor dvau pratyevaṁ snehabhara uktaḥ nija nijetyanuktatvāt
“Yaśodā and Rohiṇī took Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma on their laps as their own sons”.

From this statement it is understood that they felt no difference between the two boys. If they had seen any difference, then Śrī Śuka Muni would have said nija nija putra instead of nija putra. And not only when they were babies, but also later, when they were in the paugaṇḍa (5-10 years) and the kaiśora (10-15)-ages, Śrī Śuka Muni described the love of Yaśodā and Rohiṇī for Kṛṣṇa and Balarāma as equal:

tayor yaśodā-rohiṇau putrayoḥ putra vatsale
yathākāmaṁ yathā-kālaṁ vyadhattāṁ paramāśīṣaḥ
gatādhvāna śramau tatra majjanonmardanādibhiḥ
nīvīṁ vasitvā rucirāṁ divya srag gandha maṇḍitau
jananyupahṛtam prāśya svādvannam upalālitau
saṁviśya vara-śayyāyāṁ sukhaṁ suṣupatur vraje
“Yaśodā and Rohiṇī, who were so fond of their sons, provided them with excellent food and garments suited to the occasion and according to the latters’ wishes. Relieved of the fatigue caused by their pastimes in the forest by bath and massage etc., the two Brothers put on charming loin-cloths and were adorned with exquisite garlands and sandal paste. Then they ate the delicious sweets brought by the mothers and, cuddled by them, they lay down to rest and thus slept comfortably in their excellent beds, that were as white as the foam on milk, in Vraja.” (Bhāgavata 10.15.44-47)

Although such equal affection is seen everywhere, still in her heart Rohiṇī cherishes more love for Śrī Kṛṣṇa than for her own son Baladeva. Although Baladeva is non-different from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, still Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the Fountainhead of all personalities of Godhead and because lovers of Kṛṣṇa are fixed in him, mother Rohiṇī loves Śrī Kṛṣṇa more than Baladeva.

All the Vrajavāsī-companions love their bodies, homes, children and relatives only because they are connected with Śrī Kṛṣṇa and not independently.

Śrī Brahmā told the Lord during his praises:

yad dhāmārtha suhṛt priyātma-tanaya prāṇāśayās tvat kṛte
“O Lord! The people of Vraja love their homes, wealth and friends only because of You!” (Bhāgavata 10.14.35)
For this reason mother Rohiṇī loves Śrī Kṛṣṇa even more than Baladeva.

Then Śrī Raghunātha says: “She is very expert in cooking.” (yā’dbhuta rasavatī prakriyāsu pravīṇā)

With great attachment she prepares many wonderfully relishable dishes of rice and vegetables for Śrī Kṛṣṇa-Baladeva. This is known from the descriptions of Śrī Śukadeva Muni-

sarit tīra gataṁ kṛṣṇaṁ bhagnārjunam athāhvayat;
rāmaṁ ca rohiṇī devī krīḍantaṁ bālakair bhṛśam
nopeyātāṁ yadāhūtau krīḍāsaṅgena putrakau
yaśodāṁ preṣayāmāsa rohiṇī putra vatsalām
“A few days after the Yamalārjuna-trees were broken Śrī Kṛṣṇa played on the bank of a lake. Just then mother Rohiṇī-devī called him and Baladeva, but They did not heed the call since they were absorbed in playing. Seeing this, Rohiṇī, who greatly loves her son, sent Yaśodā to get them.” (Bhāgavata 10.11.12-13)

In this connection it is written in the Vaiṣṇava Toṣaṇī Ṭīkā: “The reason that Rohiṇī is called putra-vatsalā in the text is that she sent Yaśodā to call Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa because she herself was too busy cooking for them.” (rohiṇī tad bhojana sādhanātyāsaktayā śrī yaśodayaiva preṣiteti jñeyam)

Śrīpāda Raghunātha is Vraja’s nitya siddha mañjarī – Śrī Rādhā’s maidservant, therefore he has ample experience of Rohiṇī’s glorious expertise in cooking, because Mother Yaśodā daily calls Śrī Rādhārāṇī to Nandīśvara to cook there.

Tulasī Mañjarī always follows Śrī Rādhārāṇī like her shadow when She goes to Nandīśvara and assists her in her duty of cooking. Therefore she has first-hand experience of how famous for her skill in cooking mother Rohiṇī is in Vraja.

After this Śrī Raghunātha said: “She maintains a very deep and sweet friendship with Śrī Yaśodā, the Queen of Vraja. They are like one soul in two bodies of motherly love, like the highly auspicious meeting of the Yamunā and Gaṅgā.” (sakhya śrībhir vrajapura mahārāja rājñīm).

Anyone who dives into this extraordinary Triveṇī-confluence is eternally blessed with the relish of motherly love of God, of this there is no doubt!

The friendships between devotees are centered around Kṛṣṇa and therefore not temporary like mundane friendships. These friendships are eternal. Who can therefore describe the sweetness and eternity of the friendship of the eternal mothers Yaśodā and Rohiṇī, which is centered around Kṛṣṇa and Baladeva?

What to speak of Yaśodā, all the people of Vraja have a wonderful and genuine loving affection for mother Rohiṇī. This description can be found in the scripture named Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛtam. Although Vasudeva took mother Rohiṇī along to Dvārakā for taking part in Kṛṣṇa’s Dvārakā-līlā and although she got Balarāma and Kṛṣṇa there as the sons of Vasudeva, she could not forget the warm affection of Vraja. When Śrī Uddhava told Śrī Nārada about Śrī Dvārakānātha’s loving ecstasy on remembering the love of Vraja, mother Rohiṇī, who overheard them, wept and said:

āstān śrī haridāsa tvaṁ mahā durdaivamāritān;
saubhāgya gandha rahitān nimagnān dainya sāgare
tat tad bāḍava vahnyacintāpyamānān viṣākulān;
kṣaṇācintā sukhinyā me mā smṛteḥ padavīṁ naya
ahaṁ śrī vasudevena samānītā tato yadā;
yaśodāyā mahārtāyās tadānīntana rodanaiḥ
grāvo’pi rodityaśaner apyantar dalati dhruvam;
jīvan mṛtānām anyāsāṁ vārtāṁ ko’pi mukhaṁ nayet
athāgataṁ gurugṛhāt tvat prabhuṁ prati kiñcana;
saṅkṣepeṇaiva tadvṛttaṁ duḥkādakathayaṁ kudhīḥ
na hi komalitaṁ cittaṁ tenāpyasya yato bhavān;
sandeśa cāturī vidyāpragalbhaḥ preṣitaḥ param
“O Haridāsa Uddhava! Be at ease, I have become slightly happy be giving up thoughts about them. Don’t bring the people of Vraja who are struck by a great calamity, who are devoid of even a whiff of luck, who are immersed in an ocean of humility and misery, who are burning in the flames of a great fire and who are tortured by the burning poison of separation, back on the path of My memory! When Śrī Vasudeva took Me away from Gokula the weeping of mother Yaśodā caused even the hardest stones to weep along and the diamonds to crumble. And who can describe the condition of all the other cowherders, that are like living corpses? O Śrīman Uddhava! When your Lord Kṛṣṇa returned to Mathurā from the house of his guru Sāndīpanī Muni then I was so stupid to tell him in short, and full of distress, about Vraja. My words did not soften the heart of your Lord, though, because he did not go to Vraja himself, but sent you there, because you are such a clever messenger.” (Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta 1.6.29-34)

This is a shining example of the genuine Vraja-love of Mother Rohiṇī.

Finally Śrī Raghunātha says: “She increases the love of the king of cowherders with her knowledge of good manners.” (nayais tad gopendraṁ yā sukhayati bhaje rohiṇīm īśvarīṁ tām )

Seeing the wonderfully good manners of Rohiṇī, the very chaste wife of Vasudeva Mahāśaya who is one in heart with him, Goparāja Nanda thinks: “Since this very chaste and most well-mannered lady has come here, I have gotten such a world-enchanting son and I have experienced such a tremendous increase in happiness.” Therefore he feels very proud to have Rohiṇī in his house and has become very happy.

Śrīpāda Raghunātha praises this Śrī Rohiṇī, who is an īśvarī, a form consisting of pure sattva (transcendence), like Yaśodā and Devakī, and desires the worship of her lotus feet –

baladeva hoite yei adhika ānande;
sneha rase abhiṣikta kore śrī govinde
pāka kārye supravīnya vrajete sukhyāti;
yāra śuddha sakhye sukhī nanda yaśomati
se īśvarī rohiṇīke sadā namaskari;
tāhāra caraṇe bhakti saṁprārthanā kori
“I always offer my humble obeisances to Īśvarī Rohiṇī, who blissfully showers Śrī Govinda with even more nectar of motherly love than Baladeva; who is very famous in Vraja for her expertise in cooking and whose pure friendship delights Nanda and Yaśomati. I pray for devotion to her lotus feet.”

The post Vraja-Vilāsa (11): Rohini’s motherly love appeared first on Vrindavan Today.

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