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Vraja Vilasa : Grandmother Mukhara

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I reverently hold on my head the aged Mukhara, who gives boundless bliss to her grandchildren, the ever-fresh adolescent couple Sri Sri Radha-Madhava, by cleverly and angrily opposing their erotic pastimes.


VERSE 28:

prathama-rasa-vilāse hanta roṣeṇa tāvat
prakaṭam iva virodhaṁ sandadhānāpi bhaṅgyā
pravalayati sukhaṁ yā navya-yūnoḥ sva-naptroḥ
param iha mukharāṁ tāṁ mūrdhṇi vṛddhāṁ vahāmi

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: A boundless upsurge of the nectar of the Vraja associates’ ecstatic love is thrown up in Das Goswami’s heart, that is filled with viśuddha sattva (pure goodness or transcendence). In this verse he praises Sri Radha’s maternal grandmother Mukharā.

Knowingly or unknowingly the people of Vraja all take their share in helping to nourish the sweetness of Śrī-Sri Radha-Madhava’s erotic pastimes, this is the conclusion of the acharyas, which is based on their profound experiences. Just as there are visible assistants that nourish the pastimes of the Divine Couple, like Sri Radha’s sakhis and manjaris, the ‘hostile’ (rival-) consorts like Chandravali, who nourish Sri Radha’s pique and so, as well as the friendly party and the neutral party of gopīs and the priya narma sakhās like Subala, similarly the mothers, fathers, fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, relatives, grandfathers and grandmothers are all invisible assistants.

Radha and Krishna’s extramarital love is always supplied with fresh impetus and nourishment because it is conducted in secret. The lovers rarely attain one other and there are many obstacles in their way. Although they relish the sweetness of Krishna’s flavours in their own way, each of the Lord’s associates in Vraja is engaged by the līlā-śakti in accepting their own beautiful role in the nourishment of the emperor of transcendental flavours, śṛṅgāra (erotic) rasa.

In this regard, the role of grandmother Mukharā is unprecedented. In this verse Mukharā is called the maternal grandmother of both Sri Radha and Krishna. Radha and Krishna are essentially one at heart so Sri Radha’s maternal grandmother is also Sri Krishna’s maternal grandmother. Another explanation is that some elderly gopīs are generally known as everyone’s maternal grandmother in Vraja.

bhāruṇḍā jaṭilā bhelā karālā karavālikā
ghargharā mukharā ghorā ghaṇṭā ghoṇī sughaṇṭikā
ḍhakkinī ḍhoṇḍikā ḍhaṇḍī ḍiṇḍimā puṇḍavāṇikāḥ
ḍāminī ḍāmarī ḍumbi ḍaṅkā mātāmahī-samāḥ

 

Bhāruṇḍā, Jaṭilā, Bhelā, Karālā, Karavālikā, Ghargharā, Mukharā, Ghorā, Ghaṇṭā, Ghoṇī, Sughaṇṭikā, Dhakkinī, Dhoṇḍikā, Dhaṇḍī, Diṇḍimā, Puṇḍavāṇikāḥ, Dāminī, Dāmarī. Dumbi and Daṅkā – all are equal to maternal grandmothers. (
Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa-gaṇoddeśa-dīpikā
1.54)

 

Old granny Mukharā publicly certainly opposes the meeting of Śrī-Sri Radha and Krishna, but in a clever way (bhaṅgyā) she encourages them. Externally she angrily chastises them, but in her heart she thinks that it is fine that they meet. In this way Mukharā pleases Sri Radha Madhava in the greatest way.

In the morning the cowherd village is filled with the sounds of brahmins reciting the Vedas, the bellowing of cows, the churning of curd and the milking of the cows. The sun is rising on the eastern horizon. It is as if the bride of the eastern direction were wearing a bright spot of red sindūra on her forehead. All the Vrajavasis are waking up. In Javat, Sri Radha is lying in her bedroom, accompanied only by her friends like Lalita, who are all deeply asleep out of exhaustion from performing pastimes like the Rāsa-dance all night.

nāptri-mukhāmbuja-vilokana-jīvitāyāṁ
tatropasṛtya sahasā mukharābhidhāyām
vātsalya-ratna-paṭalībhūta-peṭikāyāṁ
rādhe kva putri bhavasīti samāhvayantyām

 

Mukharā, whose very life is the sight of her granddaughter Radhika’s lotuslike face, and who is like a box full of jewels of parental affection, came in and called out: “O Rādhe! O my daughter! Where are you?” Seeing Mukharā, Jatila then also comes to quickly wake up her daughter-in-law, and, desiring the welfare of her son, requests Mukharā to engage her in Sūrya-pūjā. Mukharā repeatedly calls out: “Granddaughter! Granddaughter!” while entering into her bedroom. (
Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta
3.13)

 

Then she says:

uttiṣṭha vatse śayanāt pramugdhe
vyasmāri vāro’dya raves tvayā kim
snātvā prabhātārghya vidhānam
asmai pūjyopahāraṁ racayāsya cāśu

 

“O my girl! Get up from bed now! O bewildered girl, have you forgotten that it is Sunday today? Take your bath and quickly prepare the paraphernalia for worshiping the Sungod with morning oblations!” (
Govinda-līlāmṛta
2.49)

 

Hearing Mukharā’s voice Vishakha and other sakhīs wake up and also awaken Srimati, who, stunned with fatigue, slowly sits up in her bed. When Mukharā suddenly sees that Sri Radha’s limbs are covered with a yellow garment she says:

druta-kanaka-savarṇaṁ sāyam etan murārer
vasanam urasi dṛṣṭaṁ yat sakhī te bibharti
kim idam ayi viśākhe hā pramādaḥ pramādo
vyavasitam idam asyāḥ paśya śuddhānvayāyāḥ

 

Vishakha, look! What is this? Yesterday-evening I saw this bright golden cloth on Murari’s chest, but now your friend is wearing it! Alas, alas! How could this happen to a pure housewife from a noble family like ours? (
Govinda-līlāmṛta
2.54)

 

Hearing Mukharā’s words, Vishakha shows her the morning sun’s rays entering the house through the windows and touching Sri Radha’s blue cloth, which covers her brightly shining golden limbs, and making it also look golden. Happy with Vishakha’s explanation, Mukharā leaves the room. She goes carefully, for what a mishap it would be if by chance hostile elements like Jatila were to see Krishna’s cloth on Radha’s body!

Das Goswami says: “I carry Sri Radha’s maternal grandmother Mukharā, who gives the greatest delight to the young pair Sri Radha-Madhava with such a sweet undercurrent of her stream of love, on my own head!”

vraja mājhe navya yuvā navīnā yuvatī;
rādhā-kṛṣṇa duhu jana hoy yāra nātī
śṛṅgāra rasa-keli navīna yugale;
bhaṅgi kori bādhā-dāna koribāra chale
parokṣe ānanda dāna koriche dohāre;
mātāmahī rādhāra mukharā nāma yāra
ānande magana hoiyā āmāra mastake;
tāhāre bohon kori atīva kautuke

 

“With great joy, eagerness and humor I carry Radha’s maternal grandmother, named Mukharā, who uses different pretexts to obstruct the erotic pastimes of her grandchildren, the beautiful young girl Radha and the beautiful young boy Krishna, but who thus secretly gives them great bliss, on my head.”

 


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 : Grandmother Mukhara appeared first on Vrindavan Today.

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