Śrī Śrī Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava – A praise of the manifestation of the Vraja-pastimes
(Śrīla Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī)
prādurbhāva-sudhā-draveṇa nitarām aṅgitvam āptvā yayo-
rgoṣṭhe’tīkṣṇam anaṅga eṣa paritaḥ krīḍā-vinodaṁ rasaiḥ |
prītyollāsayatīha mugdha-mithuna-śreṇī-vataṁsāv imau
gāndharvā giridhāriṇau bata kadā drakṣyāmi rāgeṇa tau ||4||
When will I see Gāndharvā and Giridhārī, the crown jewels of innocent, young and beautiful Couples, Who gave the disembodied Cupid his body back by sprinkling him with the nectar waves of Their appearance and Who are always lovingly expanding Their erotic pastimes of pleasure, with the eyes of devotional passion?
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā:
A great longing for the sweetness of the Yugala awakens within Śrīpāda Raghunātha’s heart. This intense longing is the very life-force of rāga bhajana. Through his wonderfully artistic sweet poetry Śrī Raghunātha reveals his deep anurāga in these verses.
The river of his kāvya-rasa (mellows of poetry) is agitated by ever new waves of beauty and sweetness and constantly flows towards the mādhurya-sindhu (ocean of sweetness) of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, illuminated by the lovely rays of the ever-fresh moon of bhāva and dancing with higher and higher waves of lalita-līlā (lovely pastimes), eager to go down into it.
In the previous verse he has said: “I greatly yearn to see My most beloved king and queen Rādhā and Mādhava, the memory of a single drop from the nectarocean of Whose sweetness has made my heart very eager to see Them. Thus through this Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava I bow down to Their abode Vraja and its inhabitants.”
One may ask here: “Śrīpāda! In what way do you like to see the Yugala? The desires of your eyes will already be fulfilled by seeing Them united just once, won’t they?” To answer this question he speaks this verse: “I want to see this most rasika-pair enjoying erotic pastimes with Each other.”
Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the embodiment of complete erotic flavours and Śrī Rādhā is the embodiment of complete mahābhāva. If this embodiment of condensed erotic flavours and the embodiment of condensed love are relishable, then I must relish Them in a playful condition. In this condition I can perceive the pinnacle of Their exchange of rasa and prema, although generally Their darśana alone is already the greatest fruit of the eyes for those who have eyes. Because what to speak of others, They are Themselves already enchanted simply by seeing Each other. Śrī Kṛṣṇa says: rādhāra darśane āmāra juḍāya nayana; āmāra darśane rādhā sukhe ageyāna (C.C.)
“The sight of Rādhā soothes My eyes and when Rādhā sees Me, She is beside Herself of bliss.” Still, for Śrī Rādhā’s sakhīs and mañjarīs the highest fulfillment is the sight of the Yugala in a playful condition.
In this verse Śrī Raghunātha is saying: “By sprinkling the disembodied Cupid with the nectar-rasa of Their appearance, They have given him his body back . Thus They always increase the pleasure of Their pastimes through transcendental flavours like the śṛṅgāra rasa. It is as if the disembodied Cupid becomes directly embodied by being showered by the nectar of Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava’s Vṛndāvana līlā. The purport of this is that the mundane Cupid has no power and influence at all in Vṛndāvana. Here the Original Personality of Godhead Vrajendra-Nandana is the TRANSCENDENTAL NEW CUPID and the most loving Vraja-sundarīs serve this transcendental new Cupid with the supreme essence of prema, named mahābhāva.
This prema is called KĀMA here. Seeing the signs of this kāma (gopī-prema), great loving and wise devotees like Uddhava became astonished and ecstatic and prayed for births as blades of grass or shrubs in Vraja in order to get showered with their sacred footdust.
Although Śrī Vrajendra-Nandana is the Original Personality of Godhead and the embodiment of rasa and ānanda, and although all the people of the world can become free from all lusty desires and blessed with attaining prema simply by hearing and chanting His holy name, He Himself considers Himself blessed when He is showered by the countless streams of lust or topmost love of Śrī Rādhā and the Vraja-gopīs, and the world and Cupid also become fulfilled.
rādhikādi loiyā koilo rāsādi vilāsa;
vāñchā bhari āsvādilo rasera niryāsa
kaiśora vayasa, kāma jagata sakala;
rāsādi līlāya tina korilo saphala
(Caitanya Caritāmṛta Ādi 4)
“Taking Rādhikā and others along for the Rāsa-dance and other pastimes He fulfills His desires by extracting the transcendental flavours from them. He fulfills His adolescence and satisfies Cupid and the whole world by performing pastimes like the Rāsa-dance.”
The purport here is that in lust there is a certain motivation for selfish sense gratification. One name of lust is anaṅga or the disembodied. If this lust, or anaṅga, is not joined with pure love, viz. activities only meant to please the beloved, without desiring personal sense gratification, then anaṅga can never become sāṅga (embodied).
Because the love of Śrī Rādhikā and the gopīs is in all respects free from all motivations, Anaṅga has now become blessed with a new body by revealing his innumerable items like kissing and embracing through them. Thus he has become free from the disgrace of his disembodied status. Especially through Śrī Rādhā’s mādanākhya mahābhāva-filled pastimes, Madana (Cupid) has been blessed again with a full embodiment. Hence Śrīmat Rūpa Gosvāmī has written:
harir eṣa na ced avatāriṣyan mathurāyāṁ madhurākṣi rādhikā ca
abhaviṣyad iyaṁ vṛthā visṛṣtir makarāṅkas tu viśeṣatas tadātra
(Vidagdha Mādhava Nāṭaka)
“O sweet-eyed girl! If Śrī Hari and Śrī Rādhikā had not descended in Mathurā, then the creation would have been in vain. Especially the existence of Cupid would have been a waste!”
Therefore Anaṅga became sāṅga, or embodied, as a result of the appearance of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, and so the flavours of the pleasure-pastimes of this Rasika-Mithuna (romantic Couple) are expanding through the erotic flavour and other love-mellows.
Here we may ask: “The mundane Anaṅga cannot get a place in the transcendental loving pastimes of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava, can he? Anaṅga may consider himself blessed and reembodied by taking part in these pastimes because of the semblance of lust in them, but can the mundane Cupid really actually nourish or increase the transcendental erotic pastimes of Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava?”
Śrīmat Jīva Gosvāmīpāda has written about this in his Bṛhad Krama Sandarbha-commentary on the line uttambhayan rati-patiṁ ramayāṁ cakāra (“Śrī Kṛṣṇa created lusty feelings in the Vraja-sundarīs and then made love with them in different ways”) of the Bhāgavata-śloka; bāhu prasāra (Bhā. 10.29.46): vastutastu tāsāṁ premaiva sāhajikaḥ natu kāmaḥ. tad abhāve sā līlā surasā na bhavatīti svayam eva tāsām asantam api kāmaṁ vardhayāmāsetyarthaḥ. sa tu kāmaḥ prākṛto na bhavati api tu sa eva bhagavān yenāṁśena kāmāvatāro bhavati sa evaṁśas tāsāṁ manasyāveśitaḥ
This means: “Actually it is natural for the Vraja-ramaṇīs to have pure love for Kṛṣṇa without desiring personal sense gratification. It is impossible for desires of personal lusty sense gratification ever to enter into their hearts. But without lust, the meetings between heroes and heroines are never relishable. Therefore, although there was no lust in the hearts of the Vraja-sundarīs, the Lord infused lust into them and also increased it. But this lust is never like mundane lust. Rather, the Lord infused a particle of this lust in the presiding deity of mundane lust, with which he bewilders the living entities, in their hearts. Therefore, although the mundane Anaṅga has no right to enter into these pastimes he still considers himself embodied for the sake of these pastimes, and the transcendental Cupid expands the flavours of the Yugala-pastimes. Thus it must be understood.”
Śrīpāda Raghunātha said: “Śrī Rādhā-Giridhārī are the crown jewels of all young, wonderful loving pairs in beauty, sweetness, love and playfulness. Not only of all the pairs in the material worlds, but also of all the Personalities of Godhead that sport in the spiritual worlds with Their goddesses of fortune.
vrajendranandana kṛṣṇa – nāyaka śiromaṇi,
nāyikāra śiromaṇi – rādhā ṭhākurāṇī
“Vrajendra-Nandana Kṛṣṇa is the crown jewel of all amorous heroes and goddess Rādhā is the crown jewel of all amorous heroines.” Śrīpāda Raghunātha passionately yearns to see this Śrī Rādhā-Giridhārī. Unless this anurāga comes to anoint the eyes with the devotional power to see, the sweetness of the confidential pastimes of Śrī-Śrī Rādhā-Mādhava cannot be relished. Therefore Śrī Raghunātha urges the sādhakas who are eager to relish the mellows of the pastimes of Rādhā-Mādhava to spend their lives practising full-time rāga bhajana.
prakaṭita līlārūpa amṛta paraśe
anaṅga yeno aṅga lābha kori vraje
śṛṅgārādi rasa dvārā tiho nirantara
sucāturya vṛddhi kore navīna līlāra
kāma krīḍā-rata sei yugala kiśora
anurāge sandarśane hoibo vibhora
“Through the nectarean touch of Their manifest pastimes, it was as if Anaṅga gained a body in Vraja. He constantly expands the cleverness of the mellows like śṛṅgāra-rasa of these ever-new pastimes. I will become absorbed in passionately witnessing the Yugala Kiśora engaging in Their erotic pastimes.”