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Vraja Vilasa :: Krishna’s comic friend Madhumangal

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We lovingly praise Madhumangal, Vrindavan Chandra’s comic companion, the embodiment of the mellow of laughter, who is always in good spirits yet always tormented by hunger. He sparkles with festivity, making his dearmost friends Sri Radha and Krishna laugh with his funny words and gestures.

VERSE 24

mūrto hāsya-rasaḥ sadaiva sumanāḥ kāmaṁ bubhukṣāturaḥ
prāṇa-preṣṭha-vayasyayor anudinaṁ vāg-deha-bhaṅgy-utkaraiḥ
hāsyaṁ yo madhumaṅgalaḥ prakaṭayan saṁbhrājate kautukī
taṁ vṛndāvana-candra-narma-sacivaṁ prītyāśu vandāmahe

We lovingly praise Madhumangal, Vrindavan Chandra’s comic companion, the embodiment of the mellow of laughter, who is always in good spirits yet always tormented by hunger. He sparkles with festivity, making his dearmost friends Sri Radha and Krishna laugh with his funny words and gestures.

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Das Goswami praises Madhumangal, Sri Krishna’s dear friend and hāsya-rasika (connoisseur in joking). The following is written about him in Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā:

īṣac-chyāmala-varṇo’pi śrī-madhumaṅgalo bhavet
vasanaṁ gaura-varṇāḍhyaṁ vanamālā virājitaḥ
pitā sāndīpanir devo mātā ca sumukhī satī
nāndīmukhī ca bhaginī paurṇamāsī pitāmahī
vidūṣakaḥ kṛṣṇa-sakhaḥ śrī madhumaṅgalaḥ sadā

 

Sri Madhumangal, who always serves as Sri Krishna’s clownish friend, has a slightly blackish complexion. He wears a golden dress and around his neck has a garland of forest flowers. His father is the Brahmin Sandipani Muni, his mother is the chaste Sumukhi, his sister is named Nandimukhi and his grandmother is Paurnamasi.

 

vikṛtāṅga-vaco-veśair hāsyakārī vidūṣakaḥ

 

He is a real clown, making everyone laugh through distorted gestures, words and clothing. (RKGD 2.63-65)

 

The definition of a clown or vidūṣaka is found in the books about literature as follows:

kusuma-vasantādy-abhidhaḥ karma-vapur-veśa-bhāṣādyaiḥ
hāsyakaraḥ kalaha-ratir vidūṣakaḥ syāt sva-karmajñaḥ

 

A clown is usually named Kusuma or Vasanta. He can create the
hāsya-rasa
with his activities, body (gestures), clothes, ornaments and words and is always fond of quarrelling. A friend with such qualities is called a
vidūṣaka
or clown. (
Sāhitya-darpaṇa
3.42)

 

He is usually very fond of eating also and his love of food is often the source of much of his humor and teasing.

In Vraja the greatest shelter for hāsya rasa is Madhumangal. He is like the embodiment of laughter. In other words, even when Madhumangal is not present, merely thinking of him causes Sri Krishna to relish the sweet comic mood when he talks about him with his friends or with Sri Radha and the Vraja-sundaris. And when he is present, his natural way of dressing and ornamenting himself, the movements of his limbs, his choice of words or his way of making funny sounds are already great incitements for laughter, so you can just imagine when he actually tries to be funny with his gestures and joking words!

We have said that all of Sri Krishna’s friends are naturally endowed with sweet natures and that they naturally delight him with their various feelings and activities. Hāsya is a secondary bhakti-rasa, and is relishable as one of the shelters of the five rasas, like śānta rasa, attaining the status of sañcāri-bhāva (transitory mood):

śānta dāsya sakhya vātsalya madhura rasa nāma;
kṛṣṇa bhakti rasa madhye e pañca pradhāna
hāsyādbhuta bīra karuṇa raudra vibhatsa bhaya;
pañca vidha bhakte gauṇa sapta rasa hoy
pañca rasa sthāyī vyāpī rohe bhakta mane;
sapta gauṇa āgantuka pāiye kāraṇe

 

There are five basic flavours in Krishna-devotion: tranquility, servitude, friendship, parental love and sweet (amorous) love
, and there are seven secondary flavours in each of the main five: laughter, wonder, chivalry, pity, anger, disgust and fear. (One of) These five main flavours dwell in the devotees’ mind, while the seven secondary flavours are coming as ‘visitors’. (
Caitanya-caritämåta
Madhya, 19.195-198)

 

ceto-vikāso hāsaḥ syād vāg-veṣehādi-vaikṛtāt
sa dṛg-vikāsa-nāsauṣṭha-kapola-spandanādi-kṛt
kṛṣṇa-sambandhi-ceṣṭotthaḥ svayaṁ saṅkucad-ātmanā
ratyānugṛhyamāṇo’yaṁ hāso hāsa-ratir bhavet

 

When the heart breaks open due to some surprising disfigurement of words, dress or activities, then this is called laughter. This causes a widening of the eyes and a tremor in the nose, lips and cheeks.
Hāsa-rati
is a kind of bliss that originates from activities related to Krishna and that is blessed (nourished) by love, that has itself a nature of contraction (hesitation). (
Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu
2.5.52-53)

 

Hāsya-rasika Baṭu Madhumangal is always happy, and is always very hungry to eat nice food. In books like Govinda-līlāmṛta and Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta one can find descriptions of how bhojana-lampaṭa (“the greedy eater”) Madhumangal makes Sri Krishna Baladeva, Sri Radharani and her sakhīs, and mothers like Yashoda and Rohini relish a wonderful comic mood when they are having breakfast in Nanda’s abode in the morning. Sri Madhumangal immerses Sri Krishna-Baladeva in laughter during their morning goṣṭha pastimes, and Sri Radha and Krishna and their sakhīs during their midday pastimes in the water of Radha Kund, He adds mirth to their picnics, dice game, and worship of the Sun God.

So Raghunath Das Goswami said: “We lovingly praise the funniest friend of Sri Vrindavan-candra, Sri Madhumangal.”

mūrtimān hāsya rasa sadā hṛṣṭa mana;
bubhukṣāra paravaśa yei jana
vāg deha bhaṅgī dvārā yei prati dina;
vṛndāvane prāṇādhika yugala navīna
hāsya rase nimagana koriteche sadā;
kautuka līlāra sahāya vrajete sarvadā
kautuka priya yei vṛndāvana candra;
tāṅhāra ānanda dātā koriyā prabandha
madhura maṅgala nāma ‘śrī madhumaṅgala’;
sabe ḍāke ‘baṭu baṭu’ atīva sarala
śuddha sakhya bhāve yei govinda saṅgete;
sarvadā vihare sadā vandiye tāṅhāke

 

We always praise
the happy fellow who embodies the mellow of laughter, who is completely overwhelmed by greed for nice food, who always immerses the Adolescent Pair of Vrindavan, that is dearer to him than life, in the mellow of laughter with his crazy words and gestures, who always assists Vrindavan Candra (Krishna), who is so fond of having fun, in all kinds of humorous games and thus always delights him, who bears the sweet and auspicious name Sri Madhumangal, but whom everyone always simply calls ‘Baṭu!’, and who always sports with Govinda in pure fraternal love.

 


anantadas_thumb

Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.

Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.

© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
Source: Tarun Govinda Das, Flowing Nectar Stream blog.

The post Vraja Vilasa :: Krishna’s comic friend Madhumangal appeared first on Vrindavan Today.

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