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Śrī Śrī Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava (Part 3): Glories to Mathura Dham!

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vaikuṇṭhād api sodarātmaja-vṛtā dvāravatī sā priyā
yatra śrī-śata-nindi-paṭṭa-mahiṣī-vṛndaiḥ prabhuḥ khelati |
prema-kṣetram asau tato’pi mathurā śreṣṭhā harer janmato
yatra śrī-vraja eva rājatitarāṁ tām eva nityaṁ bhaje ||5||

I eternally worship Mathurā-dhāma, where the Supreme Lord personally took His birth, which includes Vraja and which is even greater than Dvārakā, where the Lord is always enjoying wonderful pastimes with His Queens like Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā, Who are the greatest goddesses of fortune, where He is surrounded by His brother Balarāma and His sons, headed by Pradyumna, and which is in its turn again greater than Vaikuṇṭha.

Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā:

For the fulfillment of his desires Śrīpāda Raghunātha first praises Śrī Mathurā-maṇḍala in this verse.

Śrī Vaikuṇṭha is the Supreme Abode. In Śrīmad Bhāgavata (2.9.10) it is described:

pravartate yatra rajas tamas tayoḥ
sattvaṁ ca miśraṁ na ca kāla vikramaḥ
na yatra māyā kim utāpare harer
anuvratā yatra surāsurārcitāḥ

“In Śrī Vaikuṇṭha there are no material modes of passion, ignorance or mixed goodness, nor is there any influence of time or māyā, what to speak of māyā-induced lust and anger. Here the associates of Lord Viṣṇu reside, worshipped by both gods and demons.”

In the Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta it is seen that when Śrī Gopakumāra went to Vaikuṇṭha, he experienced the spotless bliss there and said:

teṣu vai dṛśyamāneṣu tad brahmānubhave sukham
gacchet sutucchatāṁ sadyo hriyeva viramet sukham
aho sukhaṁ kīdṛg idaṁ durūham aho padaṁ kīdṛg idaṁ mahiṣṭham
aho mahāścaryataraḥ prabhuś ca kīdṛk tathāś caryatarā kṛpāsya

“When I see this Vaikuṇṭha and all that is there, I consider the experience of brahma to be insignificant and the bliss of liberation becomes ashamed and ceases to exist. Aho! How blissful it is here! How supremely glorious, indescribable and inconceivable this place is! Aho! How amazing also the Lord of this abode is and how greatly astonishing is His grace!”

In other words: in Vaikuṇṭha-loka everything is adorned with the greatest glory. Higher than this supreme abode Vaikuṇṭha, though, is Dvārāvatī.
Being a worshiper in the mood of Vraja, Śrī Gopakumāra could not be happy by seeing the opulences of Vaikuṇṭha, so when he gradually proceeded to Ayodhyā and Dvārakā he experienced a happiness superior to that of Ayodhyā and Vaikuṇṭha in Dvārakā and said:

mokṣe sukhaṁ nanu mahattamam acyute yat
tat koṭi koṭi guṇitaṁ gadituṁ vikuṇṭhe
yaktyā kayācid adhikaṁ kila kośalāyāṁ
yad dvārakābhavad idaṁ tu kathaṁ nirūpyam

“In Vaikuṇṭha there is a bliss which is millions of times greater than the bliss of liberation, that is ascertained by those who desire liberation. The devotees of the Lord have ascertained that the bliss of Ayodhyā is again greater than that in Vaikuṇṭha, but none of these persons have been able to measure the bliss of Dvārakā!” (Bṛhad Bhāgavatāmṛta 2.5.37)

Śrīpāda Sanātana Gosvāmī writes in his own commentary on the next verse (2.5.38):

yathā sevā-rasa-viśeṣa-niṣṭhayāyodhyāyāṁ vaikuṇṭhato’pi sukhādhikyaṁ ghaṭeta, tathā dvārakāyām api sauhṛda-rasa-viśeṣa-niṣṭhayāyodhyāto’pi sukha viśeṣaḥ sidhyaty eva.

“There is more bliss in Ayodhyā than in Vaikuṇṭha because there is a specific and fixed service-attitude in Ayodhyā. Similarly more bliss is accomplished in Dvārakā than in Ayodhyā because there is a certain attitude of friendship in Dvārakā.”

stavali-2-cover_pdf

Thus showing the superiority of Dvārakā over Vaikuṇṭha, Śrī Raghunātha describes fixation in the sauhṛda-rasa (attitude of friendship) and says: “Śrī Kṛṣṇa shines beautifully in Dvārakā, surrounded by His brother Balarāma and His sons, headed by Pradyumna, and He enjoys wonderful pastimes with His 16,000 Queens, headed by Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā, all excelling hundreds of goddesses of fortune and all existing for His pleasure.”

Still, after that he says: “But greater even than Dvārakā is Śrī Mathurā, because the Lord advented Himself there. Mathurā-purī shines like the Queen of Queens, being the greatest of the seven holy places.”

Śrīmat Rūpa Gosvāmīpāda has written:

adyāvanti patad grahaṁ kuru kare māye śanair vījaya
cchatraṁ kāñci gṛhāṇa kāśi purataḥ pādūryugaṁ dhāraya
nāyodhye bhaja sambhramaṁ stuti-kathāṁ nodgāraya dvārake
devīyaṁ bhavatīṣu hanta mathurā dṛṣṭi-prasādaṁ dadhe

“O Avanti! Take the spittoon for spitting the chewed betel leaves in your hands! O Māyāpuri! Softly fan her! O Kāñci! Hold the umbrella! O Kāśi! Hold the two sandals in front of her! O Ayodhye! Don’t be afraid anymore! O Dvārake! Do not offer anymore praises, because Mathurā, who has become the Queen of Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself, has become pleased with you!” (Stavamālā – Mathurā-stava – 4)

The glories of Mathurā are so great because Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Original Personality of Godhead, has advented Himself there. More glorious than that, though, is that within the district of Mathurā there is Vraja, the abode of pure love.
The Lord descended in Mathurā, but He displayed His loving pastimes, devoid of all sense of awe and reverence, in Vraja, the abode of love.

His associates here have forgotten all of His majesty and have lost themselves in loving Kṛṣṇa in the mood of

mora putra, mora sakhā,
mora prāṇapati

“He is my son, He is my friend, He is the Lord of My heart.” (C.C.)

Hence there is no comparison to Vraja, the abode of pure love. When feelings of awe and reverence arise, they make the heart contract and this decreases the bliss of love. Love demands that the beloved is loved without any hesitation. When reverence or hesitation appear, love’s heart breaks.
In love the devotee and the Lord are embracing each other in the most intimate way – this is the speciality of love. This cannot be found anywhere else than in Vraja, the abode of pure love.

Therefore in Vraja one wave of the celestial Gaṅgā-river of love follows the other, and they are flowing in innumerable directions. This ecstatic love cannot be witnessed anywhere else but in the pure and sweet ecstatic Vraja-bhāva. This is the exclusive glory or pride of Vraja-prema.

Śrī Raghunātha said: “I always worship this Śrī Mathurā, which includes Vraja, the abode of love.”

paṭṭamahiṣī śrī rukmiṇī satyabhāmā;
śata śata lakṣmī nahe yāhāra upamā
sahodara baladeva putra parikare;
ye sthānete śrī govinda nitui vihare
sei dhāma dvārāvatī vaikuṇṭha hoite;
adhika mahimā boli gāya bhāgavate
mathurā maṇḍale prema kṣetra vrajadhāma;
yathā janma aṅgī kore svayaṁ bhagavān
dvārāvatī hoite śreṣṭha mathurā maṇḍala
satata bhajanā kori sarva sumaṅgala

“Dvārakā-dhāma, where Śrī Govinda eternally sports with His Queens Śrī Rukmiṇī and Satyabhāmā, Who cannot be compared to hundreds of goddesses of fortune, as well as with His sons and His brother, is greater than Vaikuṇṭha and it is excessively praised by Śrīmad Bhāgavata. Mathurā-maṇḍala, the abode of love Vrajadhāma where the Original Personality of Godhead took His birth, is even greater than Dvārakā, though. I always worship this all-auspicious place.”

The post Śrī Śrī Vraja-Vilāsa-Stava (Part 3): Glories to Mathura Dham! appeared first on Vrindavan Today.

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