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    The Swing Ceremony

    08 August 2003 Tridandisvami Shri Shrimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Maharaja Shrila Rupa Goswami's Disappearance Day Rupa-Sanatana Gaudiya Matha: Vrindavana, India Every year there is a five day festival all over Vrindavana called Jhulana-yatra, at which time the vijaya-vigraha (small) Deities of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna are swung by hundreds of thousands of Vrajabasis and others, in their various temples or homes, on a beautiful swing attached to long ropes. Shrila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja yearly lead this festival at Shri Kesavaji Gaudiya Matha and Shri Rupa Sanatana Gaudiya Matha, at which time he would give a short talk about the significance of this festival. This year, 2018, Shri Shri Radha-Krishna's Jhulan ceremony begins August 21th and 22nd (see calendar) around the world. The following is a translation of both his Hindi talks, given on August 8, 2003. In the month of Sravana (the rainy season), the clouds in the sky begin to make a thundering sound, and extremely fine mist-like rain drizzles everywhere. The atmosphere is very beautiful and pleasant after the heat of the summer months, for at that time all the forests of Vrindavana begin to bloom. Many types of flowers on both sides of the Yamuna, such as beli, cameli, jui, and madhavi begin to bloom. The bumblebees look here and there and chant, "Radhe Radhe" and the cuckoos also call out, "Radhe Radhe." The peacocks and peahens all call out, "Ke-ka ke-ka." Ke means: "Which male person has the ability to do a very wonderful thing? Shrimati Radhika's maan (Her sulky mood of transcendental loving jealous anger), as well as Her shyness and patience, are like a very tall and immovable mountain. Which male person, 'Ke,' can crush that mountain into powder so that there is nothing left? This person is Shri Krishna." Ka means: "Which female person can do a very wonderful thing? There is a powerful, mad elephant named Shri Krishna whom no one can control. One person, however, by the goad of Her maan, can catch that elephant, bring Him under Her control, and then bind Him in the shackle of Her prema. Who is that? It is Shrimati Radhika." In this way the peacocks and peahens glorify Shrimati Radharani and Lord Krishna. At the time of Sravana, the rainy season, everything becomes green. The summer was dry, but now the rain has come and all the greenery has come to life again. All the young brides are taken at this time from their mother-in-laws' homes by their brothers, and they return to their fathers' home. Shrimati Radhika was still at Her in-laws' home in Yavat, however, because Her brother, Shridama, had not come. Much time passed and finally he arrived there on the full moon day, with some clothing and ornaments to pacify Shrimati Radhika's mother-in-law, Jatila. Seeing Her brother, Shrimati Radhika wept, "O My dear brother, why have you come so late? Only a few days remain of this Sravana month. Why did you come late? Did you forget Me?" Shrimati Radhika then very happily left Yavat and went to Varsana, Vrsabhanupura, with Her brother; and there She met together with all of Her sakhis, Her intimate friends, as they had also returned to their maternal homes at that time. It was a very beautiful meeting and reunion in the place of their childhood play. The sakhis made a jhulana (swing) for Her. They always make the swing on a kadamba tree and not on a tamal tree. The significance of a kadamba tree is that it carries the complexion of Shrimati Radhika and the tamal tree has a complexion of Shri Krishna. The tamal tree is not very powerful, but the kadamba tree is very strong and beautiful. This signifies the superiority of Shrimati Radhika – She can control Lord Krishna by Her love. jhula jhule radha damodara vrndavana men kaisi cchayi hariyali ali kunjan men ["Radha-Damodara are swinging on the swing in Vrindavana. O friend, how very green the kunja is!" (Jhula Jhule Radha Damodara, verse 1)] We sing this kirtana at the time of swinging Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. It describes how Krishna has come, and is waiting at the swing with folded palms for His beloved to come. Shrimati Radhika is in maan, and Her sakhis try to persuade Her to come by saying, "Please give up your sulky mood and come at once to your beloved Krishna. He is waiting for You." In this way, we are observing Jhulana-yatra and remembering the sweet pastimes of Shri Shri Radha and Krishna. [When Shrila Gurudeva's discourse was completed, the over 200 devotees at Shri Rupa-Sanatana Mandira then accompanied him on the five minute walk to Shri Gopinatha Gaudiya Matha, where they all performed the swing ceremony for Shri Shri Radha Gopinatha and sang the same kirtana. The assembled devotees then sat in the temple courtyard to hear Shrila Gurudeva speak once again:] Tomorrow is the disappearance day of Shrila Rupa Gosvami. Even though there are many great acaryas, Shrila Rupa Gosvami has been attributed with the honor of being that person who established the mano-'bhistam, the innermost heart's desire, of Shri Krishna in the form of Caitanya Mahaprabhu. When Shriman Mahaprabhu came to the village of Ramakeli-grama, He met with Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami and told them, "Leave your homes and be with Me." After a short time they left their homes, and Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came from Vrindavana and met with Shrila Rupa Gosvamipada at Prayag, the confluence of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga. Mahaprabhu told him: parapara-sunya gabhira bhakti-rasa-sindhu tomaya cakhaite tara kahi eka bindu ["The ocean of the transcendental mellows of devotional service is so large that no one can estimate its length and breadth. However, just to help you taste it, I am describing one drop. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 19.137)"] Lord Caitanya gave one drop of the ocean of rasa to Shrila Rupa Gosvami, and that one drop was sufficient to inundate millions upon millions of universes. Later, He met with Shrila Sanatana Gosvami in Varanasi. After some time, Shrila Rupa Gosvami and Shrila Sanatana Gosvami came here to Vrindavana and began to perform their bhajana, their hearing, chanting, and remembering about Krishna. Rupa Gosvami thought, "In order to fulfill the innermost heart's desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I will write a drama. In this drama I will explain the beauty of the meeting pastimes of Shrimati Radhika and Shri Krishna in Vrindavana, and also Their separation pastimes, when Lord Krishna leaves Vrindavana and goes to Mathura and Dvaraka. I will explain how, by their expansions, Shrimati Radhika and all the sakhis somehow or other (by the medium of their expansions) went to Dvaraka and became Lord Krishna's 16,108 queens." He intended to write about this, but while he was traveling towards Jagannatha Puri he came to the village of Satyabhama-pura. There, Shrimati Satyabhama-devi, Lord Krishna's chief queen, appeared to him in a dream and told him, "Please don't make only one drama. Please divide it into two parts." Then, when Shrila Rupa Gosvami finally arrived at Jagannatha Puri and met with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord confirmed what he had heard from Shrimati Satyabhama in his dream. Shriman Mahaprabhu told him, "Don't take Lord Krishna out of Vrindavana." krsno 'nyo yadu-sambhuto yah purnah so 'sty atah parah vrndavanam parityajya sa kvacin naiva gacchati ["The Krishna known as Yadu-kumara is Vasudeva Krishna. He is different from the Krishna who is the son of Nanda Maharaja. Yadu-kumara Krishna manifests His pastimes in the cities of Mathura and Dvaraka, but Krishna the son of Nanda Maharaja never at any time leaves Vrindavana. (Caitanya-caritamrta Antya-lila 1.67)"] "Krishna never leaves Vrindavana. He never even sets one foot outside of Vrindavana." Shrila Rupa Gosvami then divided his drama into two parts. The first part is called Vidagdha-madhava, Krishna's pastimes in Vrindavana; and in the second part, called Lalita-madhava, He goes to Dvaraka and all the gopis of Vrindavana were reunited with Him in the form of the queens of Dvaraka. Why did Shrila Rupa Gosvami do this? This is a very deep siddhanta, or conclusive philosophical truth. Shrila Kavi Karnapura, a very great devotee, has composed Shri Ananda Vrindavana Campu. In this book he described the pastimes of Lord Krishna from His birth up to rasa-lila and the Divine Couple's swing pastimes, and he stopped there. He didn't go any further than this. He didn't describe about Krishna going to Mathura or Dvaraka, because this separation mood is very difficult to tolerate for the pure devotees. He was thinking, "My Mistress Radhika cannot tolerate this separation, so I will not write about it." Shrila Rupa Gosvami, however, has written about the moods of both meeting and separation – because this separation mood is a very deep transcendental ecstatic feeling. At the time of meeting, though Radharani and Krishna are together, something may be forgotten or lost in the heart. On the other hand, at the time of separation, there is complete meeting in new and fresh ways in the heart; and not only inside, but sometimes externally there are sphurtis, temporary visions in which the loved one is actually present. Knowing all these very profound transcendental established truths, and wanting to establish the desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu within the world, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also glorified the mood of separation. Although this mood is very high and has many transcendental features that will not come at the time of meeting, still, it is not our goal of life. No Gaudiya Vaisnavas want Shri Shri Radha and Krishna to be eternally separated. What kind of person would want this? No Vrajavasi would want it. However, there is a place for this separation mood, and Shrila Rupa Gosvami has explained this in his book, Ujjvala Nilamani: "Na vina vipralambha sambhoga pusti masnute. Without the mood of separation, the mood of meeting will not be nourished and come to increasingly higher stages. The pastimes of separation are very important because they play the role of nourishing the sweetness of meeting." When Shrila Rupa Gosvami was in Puri with Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, the Lord was dancing at the Ratha-yatra festival and uttering a verse from a book of mundane poetry called Sahitya-darpana: yah kaumara-harah sa eva hi varas ta eva caitra-ksapas te conmilita-malati-surabhayah praudhah kadambanilah sa caivasmi tathapi tatra surata-vyapara-lila-vidhau reva-rodhasi vetasi-taru-tale cetah samutkanthate ["That very personality who stole away my heart during my youth is now again my master. These are the same moonlit nights of the month of Caitra. The same fragrance of malati flowers is there, and the same sweet breezes are blowing from the kadamba forest. In our intimate relationship, I am also the same lover, yet my mind is not happy here. I am eager to go back to that place on the bank of the Reva under the Vetasi tree. That is my desire."] No one could understand why Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu was uttering this verse and in what mood He was absorbed. There was one young boy there, however, named Rupa, who later on became that very same Rupa Gosvami. There and then, upon hearing this verse from Mahaprabhu, another verse appeared in his own heart, and he wrote it down: priyah so 'yam krsnah saha-cari kuru-ksetra-militas tathaham sa radha tad idam ubhayoh sangama-sukham tathapy antah-khelan-madhura-murali-pancama-juse mano me kalindi-pulina-vipinaya sprhayati [This is a verse spoken by Shrimati Radharani: "My dear friend, now I have met My very old and dear friend Krishna on this field of Kuruksetra. I am the same Radharani, and now We are meeting together. It is very pleasant, but still I would like to go to the bank of the Yamuna beneath the trees of the forest there. I wish to hear the vibration of His sweet flute playing the fifth note within that forest of Vrindavana. (Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Madhya-lila 1.76)"] In this verse Shrila Rupa Gosvami has clarified Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu's inner meaning and thus he revealed to the world the importance of parakiya-rasa, the mood of paramour love between Lord Krishna and the gopis. Shrila Rupa Gosvami is that very person who established within this world the innermost heart's desire of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. After Shriman Mahaprabhu disappeared from the vision of the world, the discussion of parakiya-rasa was not prominent. According to scripture, mundane rasa, this world's love between those who are unmarried is very immoral, illicit, and sinful. However, in addition to manifesting the endless varieties and wonder of vipralambha and sambhoga, the meeting and separation pastimes of Radha and Krishna, Shrila Rupa Gosvami also established the superiority of parakiya-rasa. By using evidence from many different sastras, he proved that Lord Shri Krishna is not an ordinary nayaka (lover) and Radhika is not an ordinary nayika (beloved). In other words, when there is meeting between a mundane lover and beloved in the parakiya mood it is very sinful, but Shri Krishna is a transcendental personality, God Himself, and everything is possible for Him. Therefore, if He is the object of the parakiya-bhava, there is no fault or defect in this. Rather this is the topmost supremely pure manifestation of madhurya-prema, the romantic mood. Shrila Rupa Gosvami established the fact that Lord Krishna Himself came into this world to taste these mellows, and, as Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, Krishna experienced the parakiya-bhakti-rasa that is within the heart of Shrimati Radhika: anarpita-carim cirat karunayavatirnah kalau samarpayitum unnatojjvala-rasam sva-bhakti-shriyam harih purata-sundara-dyuti-kadamba-sandipitah sada hrdaya-kandare sphuratu vah saci-nandanah ["May the Supreme Lord who is known as the son of Shrimati Saci-devi be transcendentally situated in the innermost chambers of your heart. Resplendent with the radiance of molten gold, He has appeared in the Age of Kali by His causeless mercy to bestow what no incarnation has ever offered before: the most sublime and radiant mellow of devotional service, the mellow of conjugal love.(Shri Caitanya-caritamrta Adi 1.4)"] shri-caitanya-mano-'bhistam sthapitam yena bhu-tale svayam rupah kada mahyam dadati sva-padantikam ["I was born in the darkest ignorance, and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torchlight of knowledge. I offer my respectful obeisances unto him. When will Shrila Rupa Gosvami Prabhupada, who has established within this material world the mission to fulfill the desire of Lord Caitanya, give me shelter under his lotus feet? (prayer by Shrila Narottama dasa Thakura)"] These deliberations and philosophical conclusions are extremely deep, and very difficult to understand. It is therefore essential that one come under the guidance of a self-realized Guru and pure devotees, and give ones full time and energy, very hard labor, and enthusiastic work in the service of that Guru and in chanting holy names of Krishna and performing bhajana. One should also make a great effort to understand and realize the reason for which Shrila Rupa Gosvami appeared in this world and why he wrote so many books like Shri Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu, Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, Shri Vidagdha-madhava and Shri Lalita-madhava. Unless one comes to the lotus feet of Shri Guru and makes a very great endeavor to understand these topics, after some time he will be taken away by maya and engage in mundane activities. This is a very important point.
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    Talavana : Талаван

    ← The diety of Baladeva Talavana This forest is situated about six miles south of Mathura and two-and-a-half miles south-west of Madhuvana. It was once an enchanting forest full of palm (tala) trees. Cruel Kamsa had appointed one of his followers, Dhenukasura, to guard this forest, a duty he carefully performed along with his many wives and sons. Only Maharaja Kamsa and his followers enjoyed the forest's sweet tala fruits, which were otherwise inaccessible to ordinary people. One day, while herding the cows, Krishna and Baladeva together with the cowherd boys wandered near Talavana. The boys were so ravenous that they implored Krishna and Baladeva to protect them from the demon of hunger and said that they could smell sweet, ripe tala fruits coming from nearby. Hearing this, Krishna and Baladeva led them into Talavana. In the forest, Baladeva shook one of the palm trees. The fruit thudded to the ground and the cowherd boys jumped for joy. Hearing the sound of the falling fruits, Dhenukasura and his followers attacked Krishna and Baladeva with great force, kicking Them with their hind legs. Without strain or effort, Baladeva Prabhu caught the hind legs of the valorous Dhenukasura, whirled him around in the sky and threw him on to the top of a huge palm tree. The demon passed stool and urine and then died. Krishna started killing Dhenukasura's donkey followers, and soon their urine, stool and blood contaminated the entire forest. All the palm trees fell on each other and were destroyed. Later, when Talavana was again clean, the sakhas and everyone else could easily go there. This pastime carries some deep and important teachings. Shri Baladeva Prabhu is akhanda guru-tattva, the complete and undivided principle of guru. In other words, He is that personality from whom all bona fide spiritual masters manifest. It is only by the mercy of the spiritual master that a sadhaka can protect his heart from ignorance. A genuine guru alone can remove all types of ignorance from the heart of a sincere disciple and infuse it with devotion to Shri Krishna (krishna-bhakti). Dhenukasura is the personification of ignorance. Realisation of the truth about Shri Krishna (krishna-tattva), the science of devotional service to Him (bhakti-tattva) and the nature of the illusory energy (maya-tattva) is only possible by the mercy of Shri Baladeva Prabhu. Only then will bhakti for Krishna become strong and fixed. Here, at Talavana, lies Balabhadra-kunda and a temple of Baladeva. Талаван Этот лес находится в двух с половиной милях юго-западнее Мадхувана. Когда-то это был прекрасный лес полный деревьев тала (пальм). Жестокий Камса назначил одного из своих последователей, Дхенукасуру, охранять этот лес. И он ревностно выполнял это поручение вместе со своими многочисленными жёнами и сыновьями. Только Махарадж Камса и его последователи могли наслаждаться сладкими плодами тала в этом лесу, который был недоступен простым людям. Однажды, пася коров, Кришна и Баладева вместе с сакхами гуляли неподалёку от Талавана. Сакхи очень проголодались и попросили Кришну и Баладева защитить их от голода. Они также почувствовали сладкий приятный аромат спелых плодов тала неподалёку. Услышав это, Кришна и Баладева повели сакхов в Талаван. Здесь, Баладеваджи потряс дерево полное зрелых фруктов. Тут же фрукты посыпались на землю, создавая звук дхап-дхап, и пастушки запрыгали от радости. Услышав звук падающих фруктов, Дхенукасура и его последователи неистово напали на Кришну и Балараму, лягая своими задними ногами. Без всякого усилия, Баладев Прабху схватил Дхенукасуру за задние ноги и, раскрутив в воздухе, забросил на верхушку огромного дерева тала. Испустив испражнения и мочу, демон испустил дух. Затем Кришна стал убивать последователей Дхенукасуры, и вскоре весь Талаван был загрязнён мочой, испражнениями и кровью ослов. Все деревья тала попадали друг на друга, и так всё было уничтожено. Позднее, когда Талаван вновь стал чистым местом, сакхи и простые люди свободно ходили туда. Эта лила несёт в себе очень глубокий и важный урок. Шри Баладева Прабху - это акханда гуру-таттва. Только по милости Шри Гурудева садхака может защитить своё сердце от всех видов невежества. Другими словами, только Шри Гурудева может убрать все виды невежества у искреннего ученика и вложить в его сердце кришна-бхакти. Дхенукасура это воплощение невежества. Осознание кришна-таттвы, бхакти-таттвы и майя-таттвы возможно только по милости Шри Баладева Прабху, акханда гуру-таттвы. Только тогда бхакти к Кришне станет сильным и прочным. Здесь, в Талаване, есть Балабхадра-кунда и храм Баладевы.
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