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Shri Vraja Dhama

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Vraja Vilasa : The deer are attracted to the Divine Couple’s music

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When they hear Sri Radhika playing her Kacchapī vīṇā and Sri Krishna playing his beautiful Muralikā flute, the deer become ecstatic and the bunches of grass fall half from their mouths before they remain stunned. May these charming best of deer, who then surround Śrī-Sri Radha and Mādhava in a mood of friendship, delight me.

yeṣaṁ kacchapikā-lasan-muralika-nādena harṣotkaraiḥ
srastārddhas tṛṇa-guccha eṣa nitarāṁ vaktreṣu saṁstambhate
sakhyenāpi tayoḥ paraṁ parivṛta-rādhā-bakadveṣiṇos
te hṛdyā mṛga-yuthapāḥ prati dinaṁ māṁ toṣayantu sphuṭam

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse, deer like the Krishnasaras are praised. Even the deer in Vraja, the loving playground of Śrī-Sri Radha and Krishna, are most blessed and praiseworthy. How can there by any doubt about this when even Lord Brahmā and Uddhava are among those great souls who yearn to take birth here, desiring to become even immobile entities like the grass and bushes?

In Śrīmad Bhāgavatam we can find the fortune of Vrindavan’s deer and does being praised by the pūrva-rāgavatī Vrajasundarīs, the gopīs who had just fallen in love with Krishna:

dhanyāḥ sma mūḍha-matayo.api hariṇya etā
yā nandanandanam upātta-vicitra-veṣam
ākarṇya veṇu-raṇitaṁ saha kṛṣṇa-sārāḥ
pūjāṁ dadhur viracitāṁ praṇayāvalokaiḥ

The purport of this verse is that one Vrajasundarī once spoke to the other Vraja-devīs: “Ohe Sakhīs! Blessed are the does of Vrindavan! There is no comparison to their love! They are born as dumb animals and they have no intelligence whatsoever. They cannot distinguish right from wrong, but their hearts are filled with love. They love this beautiful Śyāma-form even more than their life airs! As soon as he enters into the woods they come running. What to speak of when he starts playing his flute! When they hear his flute, they flock to him even from afar and surround him on all sides, taking their husbands, the black bucks, along with them.

In this way both husband and wife are blessed by seeing Krishna. Just as a guest is heartily welcomed and lovingly given entry into the house when he comes to the door of a gṛhastha, similarly when the beloved guest Sri Govinda comes to the gate of the does’ abode they heartily welcome him and offer him love-arghya or water to wash the hands with their restless eyes. They cannot speak, but their heart’s love is expressed through the eyes.

Blessed are the lives of these deer! They know very well how to worship the god of love (Krishna). And blessed are their husbands too, for they do not obstruct their service to Krishna, but act in a favorable way. They are justly called Krishna-sāra, for the essence of their lives is Krishna! We are unfortunate girls, for although we attained gopī bodies in Vrindavan, we have not been able to worship Gopīnātha. It would have been better if we had taken birth as does!” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.21.11)

Raghunath Das Goswami is Sri Radharani’s maidservant, so he knows how fortunate the does of Vrindavan are. Once he was absorbed in the taste of bhajan on the bank of Radha Kund when he suddenly perceived a honey sweet pastime of Sri Sri Radha-Mādhava.

Sri Sri Radha Giridhārī are seated on a jeweled platform under a wish-yielding tree, illuminating the bank of the kuṇḍa with their golden and bluish splendor. There are no sakhīs around, but Das Goswami, as an antaraṅgā sevādhikāriṇī kiṅkarī, a maidservant who is eligible to render intimate services, is fanning the Divine Pair, who are absorbed in various rasika conversations. Suddenly Krishna lifts his enchanting flute to his lips and starts to play, while Sri Radharani picks up her Kacchapī vīṇā and begins plucking at its strings.

The mobile and immobile beings are enchanted by the charming melody. The sweetness that Srimati’s vīṇā playing reveals stifles even the sweetness of Sri Krishna’s flute. Seeing this, the grazing deer and does, their mouths full of bunches of grass,  come to surround Śyāma and Svāminī as if they are bewitched by a mantra. The grass falls half from their mouths, but remain stuck there. What sweet feelings are revealed in their eyes! They are just like the Divine Pair’s dearmost girlfriends, the priya-narma-sakhīs. Their hearts are filled with the sweetness of the flute and the vīṇā. With their eyes they offer flowers of love to the lotus feet of the Divine Couple, to whose sweetness they are so attracted.

Remembering his vision of that day and taking that remembrance in his heart Das Goswami says: “May those charming best of deer always delight me!” In other words, “May I relish the enchanting sweetness of Śyāma and Svāminī and attain their service together with them, this is my prayer!”

rādhā-kare śobhe yini, se kacchapī vīṇā dhvani,
āra kṛṣṇa muralīra tāne.
śravaṇete kṛṣṇa sāra, mantra mugdha bhāva yāra,
preme stabdha hoy toto-kṣaṇe

When the Krishnasāra-deer hear the sound of the Kacchapī vīṇā, that looks so beautiful in Radha’s hands, and the sound of Krishna’s muralī-flute, they become stunned of ecstatic love as if they are bewitched by a mantra.”

arddha guccha tṛṇa mukhe, eka diṭhe ceye thāke,
avicala dāḍāye royeche
rādhā-kṛṣṇe sakhya-bhāve, antarera anurāge,
citravat yeno virājiche

“Half-chewed bunches of grass hang in their mouths and they stand there staring, motionless like pictures, their hearts filled with passionate fraternal love for Radha and Krishna.

kṛṣṇa anurāgī yoto, sei mṛgapati yūtha,
ei bhikṣā māge akiñcane
tāhādera bhāva-rāji, kṛpāya arpiyā āji,
santuṣṭa koruna anukṣaṇe

“I humbly beg this alm from these best of deer, that are so deeply in love with Krishna: May they give me the treasure of their ecstatic love today and thus delight me at every moment.”

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