The Shayana Līlā
85-87 The keli mandir is open on all four sides so that the Yamuna’s cool breezes can enter. Its jewels shine like millions of suns, and the bejeweled bedstead in the center renders it the abode of Krishna’s kāma-keli. The soft bed is covered by a swan-white sheet and smothered with fragrant flower petals; there are many gorgeous pillows in various shapes and sizes placed all around. Aguru incense keeps the room nicely scented. There Krishna goes to rest with his preyasī śiromaṇi, Radha.
88 On the bed’s north and south are two raised seats where Lalita and Vishakha sit to supply Radha Govinda’s tambul. And after they chew the pan, Premamaya and Premamayi affectionately offer their remnants to the sakhis.
89 Sri Rupa and Sri Rati Manjari sit at the foot of the bed to massage Radha and Krishna’s charana kamala. Other fortunate manjaris fan with chamara whisks.
90 Then Lalita, Vishakha and the other sakhis leave the vilāsa-mandira to take rest in their own kalpataru nikunjas.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: These kunjas have been decorated by Vrinda and her vana devis, Krishna will soon expand into many prakāśa-mūrtis to sleep beside each sakhi.
91 Seeing Radha Govinda’s eyes close, Sri Rupa and the other sevā dāsīs happily go to take rest on a vedi just outside the keli mandir.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: The manjaris sleep close to Sri Yugala Kishor; if the need to perform any more late night seva arises, they are within reach of Srimati’s call. Sriman Mahaprabhu’s mañjarī-bhāva-sphūrti thus concludes,
Radha and Krishna went to the shayan mandir to take rest. Someone began fanning with a whisk, others massaged their feet, and someone prepared tambul and offered it to them. Then as Radha Krishna fell asleep, the manjaris left to take rest. To see all this made me very happy. (CC Antya 18)
In concluding his narration of Sri Govinda’s aṣṭa-kālīya-līlā, Srila Kaviraj Goswami says,
līlā-rasair mitra-gaṇair niṣevitam |
bhaktaiḥ sadāsvāditam etad ālibhiḥ
śrī-rādhayā kṛṣṇa-rasāmṛtaṁ phalam ||
92 The divine nectar fruit of Krishna’s pastimes, which Nanda and Yashoda had nourished and protected through the līlās of vātsalya-rasa, which was expanded by the those līlās of sakhya-rasa by Krishna’s friends, and which was humbly served by the bhaktas, is relished the most by Sri Radhika and her sakhis in their madhura-rasa-sambhoga-līlā.Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Caitanya-caritāmṛta, Madhya 8, also affirms:
kṛṣṇa-prāpti-tāratamya bahuta āchaya
kintu jāṅra jei rasa, sei sarvottama
taṭa-stha haṣā vicārile, āche tara-tama
There are many ways to attain Krishna, and some methods are better than others. But everyone thinks that their acquired rasa is the best. Nevertheless, from an objective point of view, there definitely are different grades of perfection. (CC 2.8.82-83)
dui tin gaṇane pañca paryanto bāṛoy
guṇādhikya svādādhikya bāṛe prati rase
śānta dāsya sākhya vātsalyera guṇa madhurete boise
paripūrṇa kṛṣṇa prāpti ei prema hoite
ei prema vaśa kṛṣṇa kohe bhāgavate
So when comparing śānta, dāsya, sakhya and vātsalya and madhura rasas, each has an added quality that is lacking in the former. Madhura rasa is the most complete because the qualities of all the other rasas are contained within it. So madhura-prema fully subjugates Krishna as he himself states in the Bhāgavata. (CC 2.8.85-86, 88)
diṣṭyā yad āsīn mat-sneho
bhavatīnāṁ mad-āpanaḥ ||
Whoever engages in my devotional service attains immortality, i.e., liberation or eternal felicity. You are especially blessed on account of the deep love you have for me, by which you will surely attain me. That is most auspicious, for your love attracts me forcibly and makes me come quickly to your sides.” (SB 10.82.45) (CC 2.8.89)
93 Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj says, “In Vrindavan Radha and Krishna enjoy limitless madhura pastimes, which unfold in ever new ways at every moment. Thus I, being low and fallen, could only present a glimpse of them in this book.”
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Blessed with humility and divine anubhava, Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj frankly admits that it is impossible to fully describe Radha Krishna’s pastimes. Govinda-līlāmṛta’s narration only briefly touches on the events of a particular given Sunday. So what happens on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or in any other day of the week, month, or year, isn’t mentioned here. Besides, there are unlimited other nitya Vraja associates who present many other versions. So, as readers, we should never try to say that Krishna’s līlā can only be like this, or like that. Rather, it would be humble and wise to admit that anything can happen within Krishna’s aprākṛta-nitya-līlā, for they are limitless.
94 I have followed the direction in Sri Rupa Goswami’s Smaraṇa-maṅgala to elaborate on Radha Krishna’s niśānta, prātaḥ, pūrvāhna, madhyāhna, aparāhna, sāyaṁ, pradośa and niśā-līlās. The rāgānugā sādhakas should perform mānasī sevā of these līlās while mentally conceiving their spiritual bodies which are fit for serving in the līlā.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Here is the gist of rāgānugā sādhana in a nutshell. One should perform Radha Krishna’s aṣṭa-kāla-mānasī sevā thinking of oneself as a mañjarī assistant of Srimati Radharani. Caitanya-caritāmṛta clearly states:
sakhī-bhāve pāya rādhā kṛṣṇera caraṇa
Think of your mentally conceived siddha-deha and perform mānasī sevā therein. Thus by following in the sakhis’ (and manjaris’) footsteps you will attain Radha Krishna’s lotus feet. (CC 2.8.228)
This is the conclusion of Govinda-līlāmṛta, which reminds us of the opening verse of Rupa Goswami’s Smaraṇa-maṅgala, found at the beginning of Krishnadas’s book:
yā sādhyā prema-sevā vraja-carita-parair gāḍha-laulyaika-labhyā |
sā syāt prāptā yayā tāṁ prathayitum adhunā mānasīm asya sevāṁ
bhāvyā rāgādhva-pānthair vrajam anucaritaṁ naityikaṁ tasya naumi ||
The loving service of the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani’s lover, Krishna, dearer to her than life himself, is incomprehensible and unattainable by Brahma, Shiva, Ananta or even Lakshmi Devi, what to speak of other demigods and goddesses. Only those devotees who are completely attached to the pastimes of the Lord in Vrindavan with great eagerness are eligible to enter into its mysteries.
95 Just as a bee collects madhu from a flower, I am a honey-bee at the lotus feet of Sri Rupa and Sri Raghunath Das Goswami. I have collected Govinda-līlāmṛta’s madhu from them.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Sri Vishwanath Chakravarti concludes his Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta with similar prayers:
hṛdā dadhāno vraja-kānaneśayoḥ
sadāli-vīthīr anurāgiṇīr bhaje
My heart takes shelter of Vraja-kananeshwar and Vraja-kananeshwari’s two confidantes, Sri Rupa and Sri Sanatan. Thus following their rāgānugā sādhana path that is verified in the ancient śāstras such as Bṛhad-gautamīya-tantra and Krama-dīpikā, I perform Bhagavat-sevā in my sādhaka body.
My heart worships Vraja kananeshwara and Vraja kananeshwari’s sanātana-rūpa (eternal form). And when they unite, their keli-rūpa-kalpa-vṛkṣa (desire tree of vilāsa-keli) satiates my desires! Thus taking shelter of the sakhis and manjaris, by whose mercy these pastimes unfold, I serve in their footsteps in an internally conceived siddha-deha. (Kṛṣṇa-bhāvanāmṛta 20.53)
These prayers bring to mind Sri Rupa Goswami’s instruction showing how to perform rāgānugā-sādhana :
tad-bhāva-lipsunā kāryā vraja-lokānusārataḥ
The rāgānugā practitioner who wants to become an eternal Vrajavasi should act in two ways:
1) Externally, in the sādhaka deha or present material body, he should follow the guidelines of śāstra.
2) Internally, in his siddha-rūpa or spiritual form conceived within the mind, he should perform mānasī sevā to Krishna in the company of his dearest Vrindavan companions. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 1.2.295)
The Phala śruti: The Benediction
96 Vrindavan Chandra’s nectar pastimes with Radhika are unattainable for Brahma and other devatās. But for those who always relish Govinda-līlāmṛta with great thirst certainly Krishna, the friend of the lily-like gopis, will fulfill their ambition to award the nitya-sevā that they covet.
Rasa-taraṅginī Tīkā: Let our faith rest in this promise as we go on relishing Govinda-līlāmṛta.
97 As a result of Sri Rupa Goswami’s mature seva aroused by drinking the madhu at Sri Chaitanya’s lotus feet, the request of Sri Raghunath Das, the association of Sri Jiva and the benediction of Sri Raghunath Bhatta, Govinda-līlāmṛta’s twenty-third chapter, entitled rajanī-vilāsa, ends.