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Shri Vraja Dhama

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SND 9: Raghunath Goswami pledges to only drink the milk of Braj cows

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A108-AI

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“Free from pride I will spend the rest of my time at Radha Kund, at the base of Govardhana hill, making a rule to drink milk from Vraja and use clothes, plates and other articles from Vraja. Certainly I will leave my body near my beloved lake in front of Shri Jīva Goswami and others.”

vrajotpanna-kṣīrāśana-vasana-pātrādibhir ahaṁ
padārthair nirvāhya vyavahṛtim adambhaṁ saniyamaḥ
vasāmīśā-kuṇḍe giri-kula-vare caiva samaye
mariṣye tu preṣṭhe sarasi khalu jīvādi-purataḥ

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (Trans: Ananta Das and Adwaita Das): In sādhakāveśa, Shri Raghunath vows allegiance to Vraja with his body and all his senses. In this verse he vows to live in Vraja until death (āmaraṇa) and to surrender exclusively to Vraja Dham. One of the items of surrender is taking exclusive shelter of the Lord’s playground:

tavāsmīti vadan vācā tathaiva manasā vidan;
tat sthānam āśritas tanvā modate śaraṇāgataḥ

“He who says: ‘I am yours!’ and who also thinks like that, blissfully takes shelter of the Lord’s abode and is a surrendered soul.”

In his Bhakti Sandarbha, Shri Jīva Goswami mentions the conditions leading to surrender:

When a person is troubled by fear of material life, which consists of the six enemies of lust, anger and so on; he finds no way out, then he takes full shelter of the Lord.

Another person, who takes shelter of the Lord is someone who desires devotional service and who wants to destroy all obstacles that keep him away from the Lord.

Braj is the kingdom of mahā-bhāva, which leads to surrender. When a devotee reaches the stage of prema bhakti, his surrender is called tadaika-jīvana (‘the Lord is all I have in life’).

A surrendered devotee doesn’t like to have anything to do with dull, material things that are not connected with the Lord. Not only his inner senses, but also his outer senses – in connection with maintaining the body – take shelter of the Lord and his abode.

In this verse, Shri Raghunath vows to maintain his life simply by consuming dairy products from Vraja only and wearing clothes produced in Vraja. Vraja is a transcendental abode and everything that comes from here is also transcendental and therefore greatly nourishes one’s bhajana.

Shri Raghunath Das is an eternal associate of the Lord who is always satisfied with the nectar of Prema – hunger and thirst can never agitate his spiritualised body and senses. In the Bhaktamāla it is written:

śrīmān raghunath das ye gosvāmī; pracaṇḍa vairāgya yāra mahā-bhakta premī
anurāga parākāṣṭha śrī rādhā-govinde; divā niśi nāhi jāne matta premānande

“Srila Raghunath Das Goswami was a greatly renounced, loving devotee. He was attracted to Radha-Govinda to the limit and out of ecstatic love he didn’t know whether it was day or night.”

śrī rādhākuṇḍera tīre korilena vāsa; divā-niśi sadā rādhā-kṛṣṇa premollāsa
rādhā-kṛṣṇa prāpti lāgi sadā utkaṇṭhita; sadā hāhākāra kṣaṇe sthira nahe cita
he he vṛndāvaneśvari he vraja-nāgara; dekhāiyāśrī caraṇa rākho prāṇa mora
nidrāhāra nāhi sadā koroye phutkāra; bāhya sphūrti nāhi sadā mātoyāra

“He lived on the bank of Radha Kund and was absorbed in ecstatic love for Radha-Krishna day and night. He was always very eager to attain Them and he always loudly cried out for Them, without ever calming down. Without eating or sleeping, he constantly exclaimed: “O Queen of Vrindavan! O amorous hero of Vraja (Krishna)! Save my life by showing me your lotus feet!” He was always inebriated by ecstatic love and was always unaware of external affairs.”

Whatever he still accepted to keep himself alive, that little bit of buttermilk had to come from Vraja alone, and not from anywhere outside of Vraja – that was his firm vow. Also the clothes he wore had to be made only in Vraja, and not from anywhere else.

Secondly, he vowed to live forever at the base of Shri Girirāja, at Radha Kund, the best of all places in the 84-Kos circumference of Vraja. In many places in his Stavāvalī Srila Raghunath expresses his firm determination to stay on the bank of Shri Radha Kund. Many great souls have attained perfection by remaining fixed in a certain place. Before attaining perfection, Lord Buddha sat down at the foot of a Bodhi-tree and firmly vowed:

ihāsane śoṣyatu me śarīraṁ tvag asthi māṁsaṁ vilayaṁ ca yātu
aprāpya bodhiṁ bahu kalpa durlabhāṁ naivāsanāt kāyamataś caliṣyate

“My body may parch under this tree and my skin, bones and flesh may dissolve, but, until I reach enlightenment, even if it takes many ages, I will not move my body from this seat!” Shri Raghunath’s vow to remain on the bank of Radha Kund is not even slightly less firm than this!

Samadhis at Radha Kund, P.C. Tripmondo Thirdly, Shri Raghunath Das desires to leave his body in front of great souls like Shri Jīva Goswami. These great souls are in a sense non-different from the Lord; they are the manifest mercy of the Lord and a devotee greatly desires to pass away close to such great saints, as is revealed through this prayer of Shri Raghunath Das Goswami.

 

ahaṅkāra śūnya hoiyā, tṛṇād api nīca hoiyā,
vrajotpanna kṣīrādi bhojane
vrajavāsīra ye vasana, aṅge kori ācchādana,
ānandete yāhā kore dāne

“Free from false pride, feeling lower than a blade of grass I will only use dairy products from Vraja and wear clothes made and blissfully donated by the people of Vraja.”


girirāja govardhane,sannihita sarovare,
rādhākuṇḍa tīre kori vāsa
ei mora abhimata,śuno he bāndhava yoto,
vidhi ki pūrābe mora āśa?

“I will reside on the bank of Radha Kund, near the base of Girirāja Govardhana. This is my wish. Listen, O friends! Will Fate fulfill my desires?”

rādhe rādhe rādhe boli,ḍākibo ki bāhu tuli,
preme kaṇṭha hoibe ye rodha
mad īśvarīśrī rādhikā, saṅge saṅge dibe dekhā,
rākhibe ki ei anurodha?

“Will my voice break with love when I raise my arms and cry out: “Rādhe! Rādhe! Rādhe!?” Will my mistress Shri Radhika then reveal herself to me and thus fulfill my request?”


priya rādhākuṇḍa tīre,yugala darśana kore,
ei deha patana hoibe
prabhura priya pāriṣada, śrī jīva gosvāmī yoto,
se samaya sammukhe thākibe

“Will I see the Yugala Kiśora when I leave my body on the bank of my beloved Radha Kund, and will the Lord’s dearmost associates, like Shri Jīva Goswami, be there also at that time?”


kuṇḍa-tīre Raghunath,e bhāvanāya dina rāta,
pratikṣaṇa koriche yāpana.
jhuriyā jhuriyā kānde, hiyā dhairya nāhi bāndhe,
haripada pābe ki darśana

“Will Haripada Śila ever see Raghunath on the bank of Radha Kund in this way, absorbed day and night in these thoughts, crying streams of tears, unable to keep his heart at ease?”

Verse 8

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