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Vraja Vilasa: Radha’s father Sri Vrishabhanu

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I always worship the greatly famous king Vrishabhanu, who comes from a brilliant dynasty and is known for his generosity. He has a golden complexion and a small mustache; he is in the prime of life at fifty years and is considered a skillful leader of the Vraja and is thus the greatest friend of Vraja’s king Nanda. Vrishabhanu Raja loves his daughter Sri Radha even more than he does his son Shridama.

kharva-śmaśrum udāram ujjvala-kulaṁ gauraṁ samānaṁ sphurat-
pañcāśattama-varṣa-vandita-vayaḥ krāntiṁ pravīṇaṁ vraje
goṣṭheśasya sakhāyam unnatatara-śridāmato’pi priya- –
śrī-rādhaṁ vṛṣabhānum udbhaṭa-yaśo-vrātaṁ sadā taṁ bhaje

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: Raghunath Das Goswami praises Maharaj Vrishabhanu in this verse for the fulfillment of his own aspirations. Maharaj Vrishabhanu is Radharani’s father, who shines in all respects like the sun in the month of Jyeshtha (May-June, the sign of Taurus).

vṛṣabhānu pitā tasyā vṛṣabhānur ivojjvalaḥ.
(Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā 2,168)

Maharaj Vrishabhanu is a great reservoir of parental love, and Sri Krishna’s dearmost beloved Sri Radharani, the Original Lakshmi, has appeared in this world as his daughter. Therefore without getting some insight into the glories of Sri Radha, one cannot understand the glories of Vrishabhanu Raja.

rādhikā hoyena kṛṣṇera praṇaya vikāra;
svarūpa śakti ‘hlādinī’ nāma yāhāra
hlādinī korāya kṛṣṇe ānandāsvādana;
hlādinī dvārāya kore bhaktera poṣaṇa
hlādinīra sāra – ‘prema’, prema-sāra – ‘bhāva’;
bhāvera paramakāṣṭhā – nāma mahābhāva
mahābhāva svarūpā – śrī rādhā ṭhākurāṇī;
sarva guṇa khani kṛṣṇa kāntā śiromaṇi


Radhika is a transformation of Krishna’s love, his intrinsic energy named Hlādinī. Hlādinī causes Krishna to relish transcendental bliss and nourishes the devotees. The essence of hlādinī
is prema (love of God) and the essence of prema is bhāva, the summit of bhāva is called mahābhāva and the embodiment of mahābhāva is Sri Radharani. She is the crown-jewel of Krishna’s lovers and a mine full of attributes. (Caitanya-caritāmta, 1.4)

Just as the aggregate of form, flavor, scent, touch and sound is manifest in the Supreme Person, Sri Krishna, it requires the senses — eyes, tongue, nose, skin and ears — to be imbued with mahā-bhāva in order for these complete and absolute sense-objects to be fully relished. And again, other than Krishna’s complete root-energy, no one is able to bear this full mahā-bhāva. Is there any limit to the glories of the man who has Sri Radharani, who is relishing the full sweetness of Krishna, who enters into all the innumerable devotees as a faculty to nourish them by giving them prema, who simultaneously makes Sri Krishna inwardly enjoy his own bliss as the hlādinī-force, and outwardly makes him relish various pastimes in a personal form, who is the very personification of mahā-bhāva, the essence of prema, who is a mine of all qualities and the crown-jewel of all of Krishna’s consorts, for a daughter?

Raghunath Das Goswami has said: “The dynasty of Vrishabhanu Raja is very splendid.” Sri Nanda Maharaj’s dynasty is certainly also very bright, because Bhagavan Sri Krishna has advented in it, but the dynasty of Vrishabhanu Maharaj is even more brilliant, because in his dynasty prema herself has advented. This is because even when one has attained the Lord, one will remain deprived from relishing his sweetness without prema. Therefore the Lord himself has established prema as being more important than he himself. Who can describe the glories of Vrishabhanu’s dynasty, in which the Original Prema Lakshmi, the embodiment of complete love, Sri Radha herself, has advented as a daughter?

Raghunath Das Goswami says: śrīdāmato’pi priya-śrī-rādhaṁ “He loves his daughter Sri Radha even more than his son Shridama.” Her glories are so great that even Krishna himself cannot find their limits (yāra sad guṇa gaṇera kṛṣṇa nā pāna pāra Caitanya-caritāmṛta), but she has come into his household in the form of a daughter, and since Maharaj Vrishabhanu has not even the slightest feeling of awe and reverence he cuddles and rears her just like his little daughter, with purely sweet love.

In the Pātāla Khaṇḍa of the Padma Purāṇa it is written how Devarshi Narada saw Sri Radha as a little girl: “When Sri Radha, who is overwhelmed by love for Sri Krishna, descended she decided not to look at the world before seeing Sri Krishna, so she remained there with eyes closed. Then, one day, Devarshi Narada himself came to see her, and when he told Maharaj Vrishabhanu that he wanted to cure the little girl, Vrishabhanu told him:

“O Lord! I have a daughter who is equal to the demigoddesses, and she is younger than this child (Shridama), but she is dumb, blind and deaf. O greatest of saints! I am very eager to cuddle and rear her, so I pray to you for this boon: Please cure this child with your satisfied glance!”

After Narada entered the house and saw Sri Radha he became overwhelmed by great feelings of love and began to offer her praises in both sweet and reverential manners. He called Vrishabhanu and told him about his most beautiful little girl: “O King! That is the nature of this little girl! Even the demigods are unable to cure her! But in whatever house she places her feet, there Lord Sri Nārāyaṇa, the goddess of fortune Lakshmi and all mystic perfections reside! O great saint! Now you should keep this girl with her nice hips, who is the ornament of ornaments, carefully in your house like the supreme goddess!” (Padma Purāṇa)

Although Sri Narada thus spoke different reverential words about devī Sri Radha, it could not agitate the ocean of Maharaj Vrishabhanu’s parental love at all. Vrishabhanu just affectionately cuddled and reared her like his little girl.

Introducing this Vrishabhanu Rājā to us, Śrīla Goswamipāda says: “I always worship the greatly famous king Vrishabhanu, who has a small moustache, who is very generous, on the strength of whose love Prema-lakṣmī advented in his house as his daughter to bless the people of the world by giving them the treasure of prema, who has a golden complexion, who is greatly respected, who is fifty years old, who is very expert in Vraja and who is the greatest friend of Vraja’s king Nanda.”

kharva śmaśru udāra carita sad vaṁśa jāta;
gaura varṇa sambhrānta yāra boyos pañcāśata
vraja madhye hon yini atīva pravīṇa;
śrī nandera parama sahāya khyātite kulīna
Shridama hoyena priya yāra jyeṣṭha-santāna;
(tathāpi) kaniṣṭhā śrī rādhā prati ati snehavān
samunnata kīrti yāra vṛṣabhānu nāma;
sarvadā tāhāre bhaji pūrṇa hobe kāma

I always worship the greatly famous Maharaj Vrishabhanu, who has a small moustache, who is very generous, who hails from a good dynasty, who has a golden complexion, who is greatly respected, who is fifty years old, who is very expert in Vraja, who is known as the greatest friend of Sri Nanda of noble birth and who loves his younger daughter Sri Radha even more than his eldest son Shridama. In this way my (devotional) desires will be fulfilled.



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: Radha’s father Sri Vrishabhanu appeared first on Vrindavan Today.



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