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Vilap-kusmanjali - verse seven

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sweet_gurudeva.jpgThe following is an excerpt of Shrila Gurudeva's beautiful lecture on Verse Seven of Vilap-kusumanjali. Shrila Gurudeva teaches the process of attaining the lotus feet of Shrimati Radhika through bhajana filled with moods of separation. At the beginning of this excerpt, he explains that our success in such bhajana depends on our feelings of gratitude and separation from Shri Guru.

Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
October 20th & 21st, 1991

There are two kinds of bhajana. The first is in vipralambha-lila, and that is performed by chanting and remembering the pastimes of separation. The second is in sambhoga-lila, and it is performed by remembering the pastimes of meeting. Although the gopis and Vrajavasis always like to meet with Krishna, He plays in such a manner that they will enjoy vipralambha-rasa. The sadhaka cultivates vipralambha-bhava, thinking, "I am not seeing Krishna, I am not seeing Shrimati Radhika, I am not seeing Vraja, I am not seeing anything!" He should always feel separation, as Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has shown here – separation from Krishna and especially from Shrimati Radhika.

In many verses, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has also lamented in separation from Shrila Rupa Gosvami. At the time of Rupa Gosvami's entrance into aprakata-lila, the un-manifest pastimes, he composed this verse:

sunyayate maha-gostham girindro 'jagarayate
vyaghra-tundayate kundam jivatu-rahitasya me

["Now that I no longer have the sustainer of my life, the land of Vraja has become empty and desolate, Govardhana Hill has become like a great python, and Radha Kunda has become like the gaping mouth of a ferocious tigress."]

He has also lamented in separation for his siksa-gurus, thinking, "I'm so unlucky. First Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu departed from this world and left me behind. Afterwards I lived constantly with Shri Svarupa Damodara, and he also left. Next I caught hold of the lotus feet of Shri Gadadhara Pandita, but he also departed. Then, experiencing that every place and every dust particle of Jagannatha Puri reminded me of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Svarupa Damodara, Gadadhara Pandita, and all their associates, I fled to Vrndavana."

Although our Gurudeva has also entered his aprakata-lila, we remain in this world in a very pleasant manner. On special days, like his avirbhava, appearance day, and tirobhava, disappearance day, the occasion comes that we may remember him. At that time, however, we are involved in arranging the festival, and there is very little chance to realize that separation.

Only while we are speaking something about him, a drop of tear may come in our eye – and it may not come. If the festival is very elaborate, there will be no tears. So many functions must be managed, such as the abhiseka, puja, and distribution of maha-prasadam to Vaisnavas. We arrange these festivals mainly for the people in general, for those who have no intimate relation with him. But we should do something so that a feeling of separation will come within our own hearts, and that is called bhajana.

Only those special persons who have realized their immense obligation and indebtedness to Gurudeva for all they have received, and who have rendered abundant service to him with visrambha-bhava, a mood of intimacy, will feel separation. They will weep. Such devotees will not consider, "I'm so low and my Gurudeva is in such a high stage." Awe and reverence will not preside; otherwise one cannot weep.

Sastra states, visrambhena guror seva – the sevaka performs such intimate service to Gurudeva that Gurudeva remains always pleased with him. The guru will not consider for even a moment that, "He is my servant and disciple." Instead he will feel, "He is my near and dear. He is my heart." Shri Isvara Puripada, the disciple of Shrila Madhavendra Puri, and Govinda, the disciple of Shri Isvara Puri, were servants of this caliber. Although this is a rare relationship, it is absolutely necessary for raganuga-bhakti. Without a relationship like this, we cannot weep like Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami.

Separation from Gurudeva will be experienced on different levels. When we consider how merciful he was and how much greater he is than ourselves, we feel a certain type of sentiment. However, when we remember how near and dear he was and how much he loved us, then we will weep profusely for him.

The gopis can weep so much more than Nanda Baba. Yasoda Ma can also weep more than Nanda Baba, but the gopis can weep even more than Yasoda because their relationship with Krishna is more intimate. We should have this kind of relationship with Shri Krishna, Shrimati Radhika, and also with our Gurudeva, Shri Rupa Manjari, Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and all others like them. Then we can weep for their mercy.

If we have yet to develop an intimate service relationship with our Gurudeva, then surely we cannot imagine our relationship with Shri Rupa-manjari or Shrimati Radhika and Krishna. Our entire advancement depends upon on how keen intensely we serve our Gurudeva; all other relationships and experiences develop on that platform. If we can weep for Gurudeva, we can weep for Shrimati Radhika. If we cannot weep for our Gurudeva we cannot weep for Her. That is my experience. Whatever we know, we know from Gurudeva, and therefore we must weep in our hearts for him.

In the first verse of Vilapa-kusumanjali, Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prayed to Shri Rupa-manjari.

tvam rupa-manjari sakhi prathita pure 'smin
pumsah parasya vadanam na hi pasyasiti
bimbadhare ksatam anagata-bhartrkaya
yat te vayadhayi kim u tac chuka-pungavena

["My dear friend Rupa-manjari, you are well known in Vraja for your chastity and you don't even look at the faces of other men. It is therefore surprising that although your husband is not at home, your lips, which are as beautiful as red bimba fruits, have been bitten. Has this perhaps been done by the best of parrots?"]

Was Raghunatha dasa Gosvami weeping or laughing? It may seem that he wrote this verse in a laughing, pleasant mood. In actuality, however, he was remembering a previous pastime and weeping at the lotus feet of Shri Rupa-manjari, "You were so merciful to me. I remember seeing your mood after Krishna kissed you and left a mark on your lips. When will I see you in that condition again?" In the second verse, beginning, "Sthala-kamalini yuktam garvita," he again offers pranama and weeps, "Will I see this again?" These first two verses are very important.

Now, in this seventh verse he cries, "Svamini ksanam iha pranayena gadham – Will it be possible for me to weep for You for even a moment? If my realization was complete, I would weep constantly."

How shall we come to the platform that we are able to weep? Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu has given instructions the sixth verse of Shri Siksastakam:

nayanam galad-asru-dharaya vadanam gadgada-ruddhaya gira
pulakair nicitam vapuh kada, tava nama-grahane bhavisyati

["O Prabhu! When will my eyes be filled with a stream of tears? When will my voice choke up? And when will the hairs of my body stand erect in ecstasy as I chant Your holy names?"]

Although kim, meaning 'when,' is not present in this seventh verse, we need to include it, with this mood: "When will I feel so much lamentation that I will weep while chanting the names Hare Krishna, Radha-Govinda, or Vrndavanesvari?" Weeping is our dharma, the essence of our religious principles. In this verse Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami says, "aty-utkatena nitaram virahanalena – my heart is burning in the great fire of separation." He sincerely feels this sentiment; and by his grace, and also by the grace of our Gurudeva and the guru-parampara, we will also realize something of this one day. This is our real prayer. When we pray and sing this verse, this will be our mood: "Tava nama-grahane bhavisyati – when, by chanting harinama, remembering, and listening, will I weep?" Those who are very fortunate can lament, weep, and realize the heart of this the author.

Akrandhanena vidhura vilapami padyaih. Raghunatha dasa Gosvami is praying, "O Shrimati Radhika, now I want to offer some flowers to Your lotus feet." These flowers are songs about the pastimes he has realized and heard about from Rupa Gosvami and others.

He has composed Shri Vilapa-kusumanjali in the mood of a sadhaka, for the benefit of sadhakas, and Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura prays in a similar way in his Prarthana:

hari hari are ki emana dasa haba
chadiya purusa-deha kabe ba prakrti haba
dunhu ange candana paraba
(Song 13, text 1)

["When, relinquishing this male material body and obtaining the spiritual body of a gopi, will I anoint the limbs of the Divine Couple with sandalwood paste? O Lord Hari, Lord Hari, when will this day be mine?"]

"O Hari, will the day come when, even for a moment, my male ego will go far away and I will obtain the form of a gopi? May I have a chance for that mood? Dunhu ange candana paraba. Lalita will give an order and Visakha will pass the order to Rupa Manjari: 'Krishna always likes to see very new sakhis, and you have collected some. Please send one new sakhi to Radhika and Krishna to bring some candana, kunkuma, and aguru.' These unguents are so fragrant, beautiful, soft, and cooling. I will take them and anoint the limbs of Shri Radha and Krishna, always looking towards my guru-sakhi and Rupa Manjari to see whether or not I am doing it correctly. Shrimati Radhika and Krishna will enjoy seeing this. Because I am a new sakhi, I may do something wrong. Seeing my mistake, They will laugh and become very much pleased."

taniya bandhibo cuda nava gunja -hare beda
nana phule ganthi diba hara
(Song 13, text 2)

["When will I arrange the hair of the Divine Couple? When will I give Them gunja-necklaces and garlands strung with various flowers?"]

Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura, in the form of a manjari, is seeing that Radhika's and Krishna's hair is untied and disheveled. He says, "Then, from the corner of her eyes, Rupa-manjari will indicate to me that I should comb Their hair. First I will comb Shrimati Radhika's hair, and then Shri Krishna's also. Radhika will grimace as if my combing is causing Her some pain, and Rupa-manjari will say, 'What are you doing? Please comb in a very gentle manner.' Then, taking the comb from my hand, she will teach me how to do it properly." This is the duty of guru.

"Then I will ask her, 'May I do it now?' With her permission, I will try again. After Her hair has been combed, braided, and tied, Shrimati Radhika will be decorated with fragrant flowers like beli, cameli, and juhi. Nava gunja-hare beda. A beautiful garland of gunja will be offered to both Shri Krishna and Her. Nana phule ganthi diba hara. By gathering seven or eight differently colored flowers, I will string a vaijayanti-mala or vana-mala (garland of forest flowers). I will also place some flowers in Her braid in a very fine, artistic fashion."

When Shri Krishna is offered a garland, He always knows who has made it, especially if it was made by Shrimati Radhika. Similarly, if He makes a garland and someone else gives it to Radhika, She can immediately feel that it had been made by Him.

pita-vasana ange paraibo sakhi-sange
badane tambula diba ara
(Song 13, text 2)

["When will I give Them yellow garments? When, accompanied by the other gopis, will I place betel-nuts in Their lotus mouths?"]

Shri Krishna Bhagavan is syama, cloud-colored, and His cloth is pita, yellow. Sakhi-sange means that Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura in his gopi form is taking the help and instructions of her guru-sakhi, Rupa-manjari and all others like them. "Because I am new, I am taking their help and they are teaching me. After giving Shrimati Radhika garlands and clothes, I will decorate Her ears, braid and forehead with flower ornaments."

dunhu rupa manohari deribo nayana bhari
nilambare rai sajaiya
nava-ratna-jari ani bandhiba vicitra beni
tate phula malati ganthiya
(Song 13, text 3)

["When will I gaze at the beautiful forms of the Divine Couple? When will I dress Shrimati Radhika in blue garments, and decorate Her braided hair with garlands of jasmine flowers and strings of nine different kinds of jewels on a golden thread?"]

"I will then place kasturi-bindu, a musk dot, on Shrimati Radhika's chin, and draw makara (dolphins) on Her cheeks. After this is completed, I will hand Her and Krishna a mirror. From the side, I will observe Their forms and think, 'How beautiful They are!' Nilambare rai sajaiya, I will dress Shrimati Radhika in nilambara, blue cloth, the color of Krishna. She will wear a red lahanga, skirt, and Her very fine, almost transparent veil will be blue. Nava-ratna-jari ani bandhiba vicitra beni tate phula malati ganthiya. I will place many beautiful jewels in Her hair, and decorate Her braid with garlands of malati flowers."

sei rupa- madhuri dekhiba nayana bhari
ei kari mane abhilasa
jaya jaya rupa sanatana deha more ei dhana
nivedaye narottama dasa
(Song 13, text 4)

["My desire is that some day I shall be able to directly see the sweet beauty of the transcendental forms of the Divine Couple. O Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami, all glories to you both. Please bestow this treasure upon me. Please grant my desire. Narottama dasa appeals to you in this way."]

In his sadhakavesa, Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura prays to Rupa Gosvami and Sanatana Gosvami, not to the sakhis. In his svarupa as Vilasa Manjari, he will pray to Shri Rupa Manjari, Shri Lavanga Manjari, Shri Rati Manjari, and other sakhis. "When will I serve in this way?"

When we read these prayers, some 'coating' will certainly come in our hearts. It will be a coating only, but it will act and create our samskaras, impressions on the heart.

Shrila Bilvamangala Thakura has written in a somewhat different mood in his Shri Krishna-karnamrta (text 63):

kadanu kasyam nu vipadasayam
kaisoragandhih karunambudhirnah
vilochanabhyam vipula yatabhyam

["When will Krishna, the ocean of mercy in His fresh youth, under some unknown circumstances, again look at us with His wide eyes and accept us within His purview?"]

A similar desire has been expressed here. The author, Shrila Bilvamangala Thakura, was a bhavuka bhakta – not siddha, but bhavuka (in the stage of bhava-bhakti) – and also rasika. He has received something in his heart from ragatmika-jana, those devotees situated in prema-bhakti, so he is bhavuka.

He is krsna-paksa and krsna-virahit. He is inclined towards Shri Krishna, and thus he expresses separation from Krishna, not Radhika. He has written all the verses in Krishna-karnamrta with some connection to Shrimati Radhika, however, because he also has some taste for Her service. Krishna does not want to listen to any prayers that are devoid of a connection with Shrimati Radhika and the gopis. If He hears, "I am being served by Radhika" or "I am serving Radhika," He becomes so pleased.

In the first verse of Shri Krishna-karnamrta, Shrila Bilvamangala Thakura has used the word jayaShri:

cintamanir jayati somagirir gurur me
siksa-gurus ca bhagavan sikhi-pincha-maulih
lila-svayamvara-rasam labhate jayasrih

["Shri Krishna is so beautiful. His mouth, eyes, nose, hands, and all parts of His transcendental form are beautiful." Although His feet are not as beautiful as His face, in the beginning Shrila Bilvamangala Öhakura has only described the beauty of His feet: "His feet are like lotuses and His toes are like lotus petals. To the rays emanating from the tips of His toenails, Shrimati Radhika is offering arati."]

We Gaudiya Vaisnavas do not want to hear statements like this. For those with the same mood as Bilvamangala Thakura, this verse is very beautiful, undoubtedly, but we would be more interested and pleased if he had written that Shri Krishna is offering arati to Shrimati Radhika. Instead, he writes that She is offering arati, and She is so pleased – feeling as if She is choosing Her husband and giving Him a garland when They first meet.

Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in the mood of Shrimati Radhika, and therefore He relished Shri Krishna-karnamrta. But we should try to see what Shrila Rupa Gosvami, Shrila Svarupa Damodara and Shrila Raya Ramananda have told – not what Shrimati Radhika or Krishna have told.

Our goal is to perform service like the manjaris, or like the sakhis – not like Radhika. Radhika always wants to hear Krishna's name and He wants to hear Her name, but we must follow in the proper channel. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has written Vilapa-kusumanjali for Shrimati Radhika, not for Krishna, and in Shri Sankalpa-kalpadruma (text one) Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Öhakura also prays to Her:

vrndavanesvari vayo-guna-rupa-lila
saubhagya-keli-karuna-jaladhe 'radhehi
dasi-bhavani sukha yani sada sa- kantam
tvam alibhih parivrtam idam eva yace"

["O Queen of Vrndavana, O great ocean of mercy, playfulness, good fortune, transcendental pastimes, beauty, virtue, and youthfulness; please hear my prayer. Let me be Your maidservant. I will always please You, who stay with Your lover and Your friends. I beg this of You."]

In his own Shri Sankalpa-kalpadruma, Shrila Jiva Gosvami has also prayed to Shrimati Radhika, and all our Gosvamis have done the same. This is the speciality of our sampradaya; we follow this path. When we pray to Shrimati Radhika, somehow Krishna Himself will come, in a hidden way, and try to hear.

In this seventh verse, Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami uses the word ha, meaning 'alas,' and laments, "He karuna-sagara, O ocean of mercy, please see how miserable I am because I am not getting darsana of and Vrndavana, harinama, and You." He has great utkanöha, eagerness. He has heard about Shrimati Radhika's glories – Her qualities, Her movements, and the sweetness of Her mercy – and he therefore has become unmada, maddened. Unmada refers to doing something that is considered wrong by ordinary standards. That which is right we can do, and that is our natural position. However, when we lose that thinking and do anything which is not to be done, that is called unmada.

One should not sit on Krishna's shoulders, but the gopis can do so in unmada. They can order Him about as they desire. When Krishna left them during rasa-lila, they were thinking about His movements and and qualities. By such continuous thinking they became maddened and began to imitate Him. Each and every gopi thought, "I alone am Krishna, and all the gopis are all my beloveds."

In his Shri Ananda-vrndavana-campu, Shrila Kavi Karnapura explains how it happened that each gopi thought herself to be Krishna and saw the others as Putana, Aghasura, or Bakasura. One's attachment is never directed to something in which one has no taste. One will only develop attachment and tadatma-bhava, feelings of oneness, to that which is favorable and in which one has taste. The gopis cannot be attached to Putana, and therefore, because Putana is unfavorable to the gopis' bhava, it is not possible for them to become unmada and feel oneness with her. They are only attached to Krishna's activities.

In re-enacting Putana-lila, it appears that one gopi threw down another, climbed upon her breast, and took the breast of that other gopi in her mouth. However, Shrila Kavi Karnapura explains that where it seems that a gopi is lying down as Putana, that gopi is not present there. Because they will not accept the mood of Putana, those gopis acting as Putana and other demons were created artificially by Yogamaya. This is a very important truth to understand, and it is difficult to understand simply by reading the descriptions of this pastime in Shrimad-Bhagavatam. When something unfavorable to the gopis is required in a lila, Yogamaya makes the arrangements. She is doing everything; She is helping them, and thus they are thinking, "I'm Krishna," "I'm Krishna," "I'm Krishna," and performing all the lilas.

When they heard Shri Krishna's flute-song and thus left their houses and husbands in the dead of night, the real gopis came to Him and Yogamaya expanded duplicate gopis to stand by the side of their husbands. This was likewise the case here. All the gopis who played the parts of Putana, Aghasura, Bakasura, Kaliya, and so on were imitations created by Yogamaya.

Shrila Kavi Karnapura has revealed something else about this rasa-lila. When the gopis were imitating Krishna, He Himself had entered their hearts and was the actual performer of His own pastimes – as mentioned earlier with reference to the fire entering and acting through the iron in tadatma-bhava. The gopis were thinking, "We are doing this," but actually Krishna was acting. Here there was no action of Yogamaya. Krishna Himself was doing everything.

Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Öhakura has made a similar point in this connection. When Krishna entered the gopi's hearts, His six opulences – aisvarya (wealth), virya (strength), yasasa (fame), Shri (beauty), jnana (knowledge), and vairagya (renunciation) – fully manifested in them. Because He was present there, everything was present there. Although they were merely imitating His pastimes, because He was present they had the power to lift Govardhana Hill and dance on the heads of Kaliya. If Govardhana were situated there, they could certainly have lifted him.

The reverse is also true. If the gopis are in Bhagavan Shri Krishna, He can act, otherwise He cannot. His abilities are the effect of the gopis' sakti, or power. They are His svarupa-sakti, and therefore whatever He does is actually done by them. Every quality and every power in Him is theirs. They don't reveal this, however, otherwise the pastimes cannot continue. Shrimati Yasoda maiya can do every¬thing; the sakhas can kill millions of Kamsas, Aghasu¬ras, Bakasuras, and all others, but they do not exercise their power – and this is also true for the gopis.

When the demon Sankhacuda once abducted Shrimati Radhika and the gopis, they began to cry. Why were they crying? This was nara-lila. If they wanted to exercise their power they could have done so. They have all qualities – everything that Krishna has. In fact, they have more than He has. They can defeat Him and they can control Him. Especially, Shrimati Radhika is more beautiful than Him, and more powerful.

Once, when Shri Krishna wanted to wrestle with Radhika, She challenged Him, "You can come. We will see who is defeated and who is winner." She tied up Her clothes and became ready to fight. Krishna came forward and She defeated Him, and all the gopis applauded. She had taken away all of His power and He had become weak.

Govardhana thought that Krishna had lifted him, but actually Shrimati Radhika had done so – because She is Krishna's power. Krishna is guru of the entire world, but His prema-guru is Radhika. He also learns from Lalita, Visakha, Citra and so on, but especially from Lalita. Krishna is so great, and it is only by prema that He is defeated. He is advaya-jnana, para-tattva. Shrimad-Bhagavatam states: vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam (Shrimad-Bhagavatam, 1.2.11). Everything is in Krishna, but still He shows that, "I am defeated by the gopis;" and He also admits this.

Returning to our original point, when praying, uttering, or chanting harinama, or when remembering harinama, we must realize some vipralambha-bhava. If we have no mood of separation, we will have to gradually develop this bhava through the execution of sadhana-bhakti. By reading about these pastimes something will enter our hearts, and someday we will experience them all.

Realization also comes by remembering Shri Gurudeva. We should always remember him, and also Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. If we do not understand the mercy of Gurudeva, we cannot understand anything. If you are receiving something new from me, you can also remember me.

Lobha-mula sadhana-bhajana. Lobha-mula means greed for raga-bhakti, and our sadhana-bhajana becomes perfect by being mixed or enriched with this. Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami continually weeps, but we do not shed even one teardrop; we are dry.

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami has called out to Radhika, "Ha svamini, O my Svamini." This use of the word Svamini indicates his sweet relationship with Her. He has also written in Shri Manah-siksa:

madisa-nathatve vraja-vipina-candram vraja-vane-
svarim tam-nathatve tad-atula-sakhitve tu lalitam
visakham siksali-vitarana-gurutve priya-saro-
girindrau tat-preksa-lalita-rati-datve smara manah

He prays here, "O Shrimati Radhika, You are my supreme worshipful Deity. You are my natha." Natha means svamini, or mistress. "If anyone asks me who Shri Krishna is, I will only say that He is the prananatha, the lord of the life-breath, of my mistress Shrimati Radhika." Our mistress is Shrimati Radhika and He is Her prananatha. He is therefore worshipable by us, but She is our main worshipful Deity. Our relationship with Him is through Her.

Shrimati Lalita devi is very near and dear Her, and therefore she is also worshipable by us. Shrimati Visakha, born on the same day as Her, is named after Her and is no less qualified. Lalita is also known as Anuradha, and Visakha is also known as Radha. They only have honor and appreciation for something or someone if there is relation to Shrimati Radhika; we want to be like this as well. We want only to see whether something is related to Her or not.

Suppose a certain girl is coming from Nandagaon and another is coming from either Javata or Varsana. We will prefer the one from Javata, because she is coming from Shrimati Radhika and the other is coming from Krishna. We will first inquire about Radhika, then Krishna. A rupanuga-bhakta will always give preference to Her.

Shrila Raghunatha dasa Gosvami prays later on in Vilapa-kusumanjali, "I am lying on the bank of Your Radha-kunda, taking nothing to eat or drink, and always weeping and chanting, 'Radhe! Radhe!' I think that someday or other You will have to give me Your mercy. If You don't, then I have no need of Krishna's mercy, Radha-kunda's mercy, or any others' mercy. I will also no longer want to live." In this way, he weeps.

Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura Prabhupada has written that sambhoga and vipralambha, meeting and separation, stand side by side eternally, forever, for endless time. Only a person who has some realization of vipralambha can taste and enjoy sambhoga-lila. One who has no taste of vipralamba cannot do so. The main object and ultimate goal of our sadhana-bhajana is to realize vipralambha-bhava. If this is achieved, we can realize everything else.


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