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Shri Radhashtami Day

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5.jpgMathura, India: September 4, 2003
Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaj

[You may have read Shrila Gurudeva's commentaries on Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami's Mangalam-gitam, including one which he spoke on Janmastami Day, August 20, 2003. Each commentary has been simultaneously one and different. Here is a commentary, given on Shri Radhastami Day, two weeks later. Here again, by the manifestation of the mercy of Shrimati Radhika in the heart of Shrila Maharaj, ever-new meanings are revealed.]

Shri Jayadeva Gosvami knows in his heart that the best prayers to Shri Krishna Bhagavan are those which glorify Him in relationship to the gopis, and especially in relation to Shrimati Radhika. He therefore begins this kirtana with the words "srita-kamalakuca-mandala! dhrta-kundala! e." Lord Krishna is the foundation, sustainer and basis for the entire universe and for all living entities. His name, form, qualities and pastimes are all incomparable, there is nothing equal or greater to His glories, and all living entities take shelter of Him. In this connection however, "srita-kamalakuca-mandala" - Krishna is taking shelter of the breast of Shrimati Radhika. The word Kamala generally means Shrimati Laksmidevi; the goddess of fortune; yet here it does not refer to Laksmidevi but to Shrimati Radhika. Laksmidevi has no relation with Vrajendra-nandana Syamasundara. Shrimati Radhika carries a lotus in Her hand, and therefore Her name is Kamala.

When Shri Krishna is about to go to the forest for cow-grazing, surrounded by His many thousands of cows and friends, Shrimati Radhika and Her sakhis stand some distance away and perform His arcana ø not with paraphernalia but by their loving sidelong glances. At that time, catching the arrow of Shrimati Radhika's glance, Krishna becomes unconscious.

Shrila Prabhodhananda Sarasvati Thakura has explained in Shri Radha-rasa-sudha-nidhi (39):

venum karan nipatitam skhalitam sikhandam
bhrastam ca pita-vasanam vrajaraja-sunoh
yasyah kataksa-sara-ghata-vimurcchitasya
tam radhikam paricarami kada rasena

["As Krishna was on His way to go cow-herding, Radhika threw a sidelong glance at Him, which pierced Him like an arrow. It went straight into His heart, and at once His vamsi fell from His hands."]

Shri Krishna begins to faint due to being shot by the arrow of Shrimati Radhika's glance. At that time, as He begins to fall to the ground, He takes help from Madhumangala to stand up. By remembering Krishna's form, qualities and pastimes all the living entities in the universe can find satisfaction and fulfillment; but how will He find satisfaction and fulfillment? His happiness lies in His remembrance of the name, form, qualities and pastimes of Shrimati Radhika. This is the meaning of "srita-kamalakuca-mandala!"

"Dhrta-kundala e." Krishna wears kundala, earrings, and the embodiment of His earrings is the glories of Shrimati Radhika. Shrila Rupa Gosvami's Ujjvala-nilamani states, "To increase the beauty of Krishna, may this grantha (scripture) be like an ujjvala-nilamani, a jewel on His shark-shaped earrings."

"Kalita-lalita-vanamala." Kalita means very beautiful and astonishing, and it refers to Krishna's garland of forest flowers. That garland is made by Shrimati Radhika from beli, cameli and juhi flowers, and also from tulsi leaves and manjaris, and it extends from His neck down to His feet. This vana-mala is surrounded by hundreds of bees singing Shrimati Radhika's glories, and in this way it is made of Shrimati Radhika's glories.

"Dina-mani-mandala-mandana! bhava-khandana! e." The general meaning is that Krishna is the ornament decorating this universe which is beautiful when Krishna is present within it. Bhava-khandana refers to that person, Shri Krishna, who puts an end to material existence, and one's material existence will be terminated by remembering Him.

"Dina-mani" means the sun. In the brahma-gayatri it is indicated: I mediate on that personality who is the effulgence of the Supreme Lord, and who is honored by the sun. The sun gives light and life to this world, but it is not the root cause. Just as the moon gives light but that light is reflected from the sun, the light and energy and life of the sun comes from para-sakti Shrimati Radharani. This is explained in the brahma-gayatri mantra by the words bhargo devasya dhimahi. Devasya refers to Bhagavan Shri Krishna and bargo means power. Krishna's supreme power is Shrimati Radhika.

Shrimati Radharani is Rasesvari, the controller of rasa-lila. Shri Krishna is not actually the controller (Rasesvara). If He is present with all the gopis in the rasa-lila and Shrimati Radharani is not there, that rasa-lila cannot continue.

"Dina-mani-mandala" also means that Lord Krishna is the dina-mani; the jewel in the rasa-mandala. When Shrimati Radharani leaves rasa-lila Krishna feels separation. Here bhava-khandana does not mean that Krishna breaks material existence, but rather that His own separation is only broken by the association of Shrimati Radharani.

"Muni-jana-manasa-hamsa" the general meaning is that Krishna is a hamsa, swan, who plays upon the cool lake of the hearts of the munis who meditate on Him. "Jaya jaya deva hare" - all glories many times over to that Krishna. The deep meaning is that muni refers to Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami because the pastimes of Shrimati Radhika breaking the separation of Shri Krishna appeared in his heart. Krishna is like a swan in the heart of the munis, but Shrimati Radhika is more prominently in their hearts. When Shrila Sukadeva Gosvami spoke Shrimad-Bhagavatam he established the subject matter with verses glorifying Shrimati Radhika, and this is the evidence that the ultimate subject matter of the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the glory of Shrimati Radhika.

Krishna Himself states there:

na paraye 'ham niravadya-samyujam
sva-sadhu-krtyam vibudhayusapi vah
ya mabhajan durjara-geha-srnkhalah
samvrscya tad vah pratiyatu sadhana

["O gopis, I am not able to repay My debt for your spotless service, even within a lifetime of Brahma. Your connection with Me is beyond reproach. You have worshiped Me, cutting off all domestic ties, which are difficult to break. Therefore please let your own glorious deeds be your compensation. (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.32.22)]

Muni also refers to Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami himself, and also to the four Kumaras, because they always keep the asta-kaliya-lila of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna in the core of their hearts. It also refers to Lord Sankaraji because he as well is absorbed in the asta-kaliya-lila of Shrimati Radhika. Therefore, "jaya jaya deva! hare" - all glories to the istadevi, worshipful deity of Shri Jayadeva Gosvami, Shrimati Radharani.

sri-jayadeva-kaver idam kurute mudam 
mangalam-ujjvala-gitam jay jaya deva! hare
(verse 9)

Shri Jayadeva Gosvami completed his song with the words, "mangalam-ujjvala-gitam. Is this said for Shri Krishna or for someone else? This is only said for Shrimati Radharani. This song is actually unnata-ujjvala gitam; unnata-ujjvala is the loving mood of Shrimati Radharani in paramour love. Unnata-ujjvala-rasa applies to Shrimati Radharani, not to Lord Krishna. Krishna tastes this rasa, He is its object, but its origin and reservoir is Shrimati Radharani. Therefore, in his conclusion, Shrila Jayadeva Gosvamis is again offering pranama to his worshipful deity, Shrimati Radhika.

Krishna does not have the unnata-ujjvala mood; only Radhika has it, and for this mood He performed many austerities and took His birth as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. Unnata-ujjvala-gitam is therefore the kirtana of the glories and mood of Shrimati Radhika, the worshipful deity of Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami. [The assembled devotees then chanted Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja and Shri Nanda-Nandanashtakam, after which Shrila Maharajaji again revealed more meanings.]

kada karisyasiha mama krpa-kataksa-bhajanam?

"You are worshiped by Shri Lakmi, the goddess of unlimited millions of Vaikuntha planets. Shri Parvati, Indrani (Indra's wife) and Sarasvati all worship and attain benedictions from You. Meditation on even one of Your toenails grants an infinite variety of perfections ø O Shrimati Radhike, when, oh when will You bestow upon me Your merciful sidelong glance?" (Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja verse 11)]

makhesvari! kriyesvari svadhesvari suresvari
triveda-bharatisvari pramana-sasanesvari
ramesvari! ksamesvari pramoda-kananesvari
vrajesvari vrajadhipe sri radhike namo 'stu te

"You are the mistress of all kinds of sacrifices (especially of the topmost yugala-milana-yajna); of all actions (since You are the root of all potencies - mula-sakti-tattva); of the mantras uttered at yajnas and of the sacrificial offering presented to the demigods; of all the demigods; of the words of the three Vedas; of the enforcement of all scriptural principles; of Shri Rama-devi (the goddess of fortune); of Shri Ksama-devi (the goddess of forgiveness); and especially of the delightful kunjas in Vrndavana. When will You mercifully make me Your dasi and grant me the qualification to render service in Your amorous pastimes with the prince of Vraja? O Shrimati Radhika, owner and maintainer of Vraja! I offer pranama unto You time and again.

Shrimati Radhika is worshiped in countless universes by all great personalities, such as Himadrija, who is born of the Himalaya Mountain and is therefore Parvati devi, Pulomaja,who is Sacidevi, the wife of King Indra, and Virincaja, who is Sarasvati or Gayatri, the wife of Lord Brahma. Shrimati Radhika is worshippable for all of them, and therefore, leaving behind the worship of all others, one should worship Shrimati Radhika.

"Apara-siddhi-rddhi-digdha-sat-padanguli-nakhe." All potencies and all types of perfection emanate from the effulgence or rays of just one toe-nail of Shrimati Radhika. As explained earlier, in this kirtanas She is called "Ramesvari! Ksamesvari Pramoda-kananesvari." She is Rasesvari, the controller of rasa-lila. Shri Krishna is the son of the King of Vraja, Shrimati Radhika controls Him by Her love and she is therefore also addressed herein as Vrajadhipe.

vrajangana-sunayakam sada sukha-pradayakam
jagan-manah pralobhanam namami nanda-nandanam
(Shri Nanda-Nandanashtakam verse 8)

[I offer pranama to Shri Nanda-nandana, who as the lover of the Vraja gopis perpetually delights them and who enchants the minds of all living entities.]

"Vrajangana" means the angina, gopis, of Vrndavana, and among them Shrimati Radhika is most prominent. "Sunayakam" means that Shri Krishna, in His form of dhira-lalita-nayaka, is under the control of Shrimati Radhika.

"Sada sukha-pradayakam." The general meaning is that Lord Krishna gives happiness to everyone, and the special meaning is that Shrimati Radhika gives happiness to Him.

"Jagan-manah pralobhanam." Shri Krishna awakens greed for prema-bhakti within the hearts of everyone. Shri Radha-Krpa-Kataksa-Stava-Raja is sung to give Him happiness, and singing Shri Nanda-Nadanastakam is sung to give happiness to Shri Radha.By singing the glories of Krishna one can attain the lotus feet of Shrimati Radharani and by singing Her glories one can attain His lotus feet. Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura writes:

krsna-nama gane bhai, radhika-carana pai
radha-nama gane krsnacandra

["O brother, by chanting Krishna's name you will attain Shri Radha, and by chanting Shri Radha's name you will attain Krishnacandra." (Shri-Radha-Nistha verse 4)]

Still, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura prays,

radha-paksa chadi, je-jana se-jana, je bhave se-bhave thake
ami to' Radhika-paksa-pati sada, kabhu nahi heri ta'ke

["I am always in Shrimati Radhika's entourage and never look upon the faces of those who are against Her, no matter who they are or what their mood is." (Vrsabhanu-Suta verse 4)]

This consideration is called rupanaga-vicara, the deliberation of the conception of those who perform bhajana in the footsteps of Shri Rupa Manjari: "I always take the side of Shrimati Radharani."

We discussed on Shri Janmastami Day that Shrila Jayadeva Gosvami concluded his song by praying, "May that Shrimati Radharani, the embodiment of unnata-ujjvala-rasa, bestow Her mercy and bring about auspiciousness to all living entities." Similarly, on this day of Shri Radhastami, I pray that Shrimati Radhika will bring about auspiciousness to all of you.

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