In the fragrant arbours (kunjas) of Braj, decorated with blossoming flowers kissed by sweetly humming bees, Shri Radha-Krishna enjoy their romance, dancing on the waves of love. I wish to open my hair and use it as a broom, to sweep the precious earth of those bowers.
guñjad bhṛṅga kulena juṣṭa kusumaiḥ saṁlabdha mañju-śriyāṁ
kuñjānāṁ nikareṣu yeṣu ramate saurabhya vistāriṇām
udyat kāma taraṅga raṅgita manaḥ tad navya yūnoḥ yugaṁ
teṣāṁ vistṛta keśa-pāśa-nikaraiḥ kuryāmaho mārjanam
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse, Das Goswami praises the sweet groves that are the secret playground for Sri Radha and Krishna’s romantic pastimes. For Their pleasure, the groves have beautiful cottages surrounded by flowering trees.
The natural beauty of Their forest retreat is far more enchanting than the most expensive temple. Many kinds of flowers adorn each grove of the woodland, and in each grove there are swarms of humming bees drinking nectar.
Forest nymphs have decorated the beautiful cottages with gorgeous pictures, showing the Divine Couple’s lilas. Each grove also has bejewelled beds with mattresses stuffed with stemless, fragrant flowers. The gates are decorated with enticing pictures made with red powder.
The bees are the guardians of this palace of love. They will not let anyone in who is not chosen by the Divine Couple. Their humming is like beating drums on the battlefield of love.
All six seasons eternally serve this place, and time is their obedient servant. The sky, the air, the moon and the sun are also servants of this divine lila, who move only to give Them joy. There is nothing in all creation like the beautiful love-bowers of Shri Radha and Krishna.
Accomplished devotees see all of this with the eyes of love.
In these groves, scented by many kinds of blooming flowers, the young couple perform Their wonderful pastimes, Their hearts dancing on waves of love.
tat saundaryaṁ kim api kalayat sannavāṇī maranda-
syandaiḥ sāndra prasṛmara mahā candrikāsyāravinde;
sarvāṅgeṣu prakaṭa pulakānaṅga vaivaśya lolad
gaura śyāmāṅgakamavirahaṁ yatra bhāti dvidhām
yatrānyonya praṇaya sarasāveśa pūrṇāyitāṅgaṁ
hāsaṁ hāsaṁ rucira kalayānyonya saṅghaṭṭitāṅgam;
bāraṁ bāraṁ surasa samarotsāha sannaddha mūrti-
jyotir dvandvaṁ viśati sahasā mañju kuñjājireṣu
(Sri Vrindavan Mahimāmṛtam 6.72-73)
“In Vrindavan, a certain dark and golden pair are eternally restless with passion. Their bodies get covered with goosebumps just by looking at each other’s lotus faces. Their eyes are like sweet moonlight and their trembling words of love are an endless stream of honey. They laugh and embrace each other, and enter the sweet forest bower of Vrindavan, eager to engage each other on the battlefield of love.”
In all of these bowers, the sakhis and manjaris are blessed with the most precious vision of Shri Radha and Krishna’s romantic lila. They are wealthy with the great treasure of Their seva.
veṇī-cūḍā tilaka racanair gandha tāmbūla mālyair
divyaiḥ sūkṣmojjvala vara paṭair divya divyānna pānaiḥ
samyak samvījana mṛdu padāmbhoja samvāhanādyaiḥ
sakhyo rādhā muralīdharaṇau yan nikuñje bhajanti
kāścit kuñjān niravadhi pariṣkurvate śrī vibhedair
granthatyanyā vividha kusumair divya mālyādikāni
kāścid yuktyā vidadhati mudā divya gandha prakārān
kāścit kuñcantyati varapaṭaṁ yatra rādhā sudāsyaḥ
(Vrindavan Mahimāmṛtam 6.74-75)
The sakhis serve Radha and Krishna by dressing Their hair, painting their faces with tilak and making beautiful headdresses for Them. They perfume their bodies, decorate Them with garlands and beautiful clothes, then feed Them delicious food, drinks and paan. They gently fan them and massage Their feet. Some sakhis clean the bower, and some make flower garlands, and some prepare delightful perfumes whilst others arrange Their garments.”
Raghunath Das Goswami is Radha’s dear maidservant, a most respectful maidservant, so he prays that he/she may sweep the play-grove of her mistress with her long, unbound hair.
alikula guñjarita kusuma nikare;
parama surabhi ye sab kuñjera bhitore
āhā! sei suvikhyāta navīna yugala;
madana taraṅgāveśe ho’ye suvihvala
unmatta hṛdaye nitya korena vihāra;
se sakala kuñja āmi haraṣe apāra
nija dīrgha keśa pāśe koribo mārjana;
e vāsanā mone mora jāge anukṣaṇa
“With greatest bliss I always long to sweep with my hair those fragrant groves, where the bees hum sweetly as they kiss the flowers, and where my beloved Couple dances on the waves of love.”