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Vraja Vilasa 90:: Radha’s birth village, Rawal

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May I drown in a flood of love for Rawal, the capital of Maharaj Vrishabhanu, where many cowherdmen and women live and where the jewel-like Sri Radha appeared from the mine-like womb of her mother Kirtida, which was blissfully praised by the demigods, sages and human beings.

gāndharvāyā jani-maṇir abhūd yatra saṅkīrtitāyām
ānandotkaraiḥ sura-muni-naraiḥ kīrtidā-garbha-khanyām
gopī gopaiḥ surabhi-nikaraiḥ saṁparīte’tra mukhye-
rāvalyākyhe vṛṣa-ravi pure prīti-pūro mamāstām

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami praises Rawal, the capital of Maharaj Vrishabhanu. Just as Mahāvana or Bṛhad-vana is the birthplace of Sri Krishna, so is Rawal the birthplace of Sri Radharani. After seeing the havoc caused by different demons Sri Nanda Maharaj and his associates shifted their capital to Nandishwar and Sri Vrishabhanu Maharaj shifted his capital to Barsana. In the village of Rawal the great jewel Sri Radharani appeared from the mine-like womb of Mother Kirtida. Mother Kirtida is truly the giver of fame to the world.

Sriman Mahaprabhu asked Srila Ramananda Raya: kīrti-gaṇa madhye jīvera kon boḍo kīrti? “Of all kinds of fame, which fame is the greatest?”

Sri Rama Raya replied: kṛṣṇa prema bhakti boli yāra hoy khyāti (Caitanya-caritāmṛta 2.8.244) “The fame of he who is known to have loving devotion for Krishna.”

Because she made the presiding goddess of love for Krishna personally descend and blessed the people of the world by giving them great fame as devotees of Krishna, she is justly named Kirtida. Can there be any doubt that the womb from which the great jewel Sri Radharani, who is directly the embodiment of mahā-bhāva and who is Krishna’s most dearly beloved, has appeared, is a mine of jewels?

In Rupa Goswamipada’s Lalita Mādhava Nāṭaka it is described how Māyā attracted Sri Radha from Kirtida’s womb and placed her in the womb of the wife of the Vindhya mountains, how Putana kidnapped her and how she eventually returned into the hands of Vrishabhanu and Kirtida after Vindhya’s priest launched a witch-killing mantra against Putana and thus made her drop the baby before she could deliver it to Kamsa. This is an occasional pastime, though, which occurs in some form in some kalpa (era).

No one is able to understand the Playful Lord and the wonderfully playful manifestations of his svarūpa śakti (innate energy). No one can understand in which age the Playful Lord performs what pastime and in which saint’s heart this will be revealed. Actually Sri Radharani appears from the mine-like womb of Kirtida in every kalpa, but in some kalpas is she first drawn out of Kirtida’s womb and placed in the womb of Vindhyā’s queen to appear from there. This is how we should understand it.

In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami clearly describes how the great Radha jewel emerged from the mine like womb of Sri Kirtida and how the demigods, sages and human beings were immersed in the pinnacle of bliss when they beheld this pastime of advent. Bhakti-ratnākara describes it thus:

Behold, O Shrinivas, the village named Rawal! This is the matchless abode of Maharaj Vrishabhanu. It is here that Sri Radhika appeared and thus filled the whole world with bliss. What bliss there is today in Vrishabhanu’s abode, for today Radhika devī appeared from Kirtida’s womb! Her bodily lustre, which illuminates all ten directions, removes the affliction of anyone who sees it even once. Her tender body shines brighter than gold. O goodness! Just see the elegance of each of her limbs! Her mother and father could not remain calm and eagerly stared at her moonlike face again and again. Shouts of ‘jaya! jaya!’ filled the world and all the cowherdwomen sang auspicious songs. Various musical instruments were tastefully played and all the people danced saying: “Very well! Bravo!” Throwing yoghurt, milk and haldi around on the courtyard they laughed and joked, making many gestures. Great Charity was given to the brahmins and the bards and Ghanaśyāma was maddened with bliss when he saw this.

Raghunath Das Goswami says: “May I drown in a flood of love for Rawal, the capital of Maharaj Vrishabhanu, which is filled with cowherdmen and women.” In his svarūpa, Das Goswami is the maidservant of Sri Radha, therefore she covets greatly passionate love for the birthplace of her supreme goddess, who is dearer to him than millions of her life-airs.

ānande vibhora, sura muni, nara,
praśaṁsita kīrtidāra
garbha rūpa khani-, mājhāre ye maṇi,
‘rādhā’ nāme camatkāra
yethā āvirbhūta, ho’ye sukhāpluta,
korechena carācara.
rāvala nāmaka, gopa gopī dhenu,
suveṣṭita manohara
vṛṣabhānu pura, prati sumadhura,
piriti pravāha rāśi.
e hṛdaya mājhe, sadā yeno rāje,
rahibo se rase bhāsi

May a stream of sweet love for Rawal, which is beautifully filled with cows, cowherdmen and cowherdwomen, and where demigods, sages and men were blissfully praising Kirtida, in whose mine-like womb the astonishing jewel named Radha appeared, causing all moving and nonmoving beings to be immersed in transcendental bliss, always flow through my heart, so that I can remain floating on it.

anantadas_thumbCommentary 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.


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