Sri Radhastami: World Beyond Lust

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
Sri Radhastami, morning class, Siliguri
Reading from Guidance 3 (English),
the commentary is translated from Bengali
6 September 2019

 

I will now say a few words in English. The lectures are recorded and going to be sent all over the world that is why it is necessary to say something in English. I have compiled this book (Guidance 3) myself, and there is a lot about Srimati Radharani written in this book.

Sri Radhastami

Tomorrow, our holy Math observes the festival of Sri Sri Radhastami. Sri Radha is the only worshippable Deity of Gaudiya Vaisnavs—we say 'the only' because if it was not for Gaudiya line, no one would be able to get the qualification to serve Sri Radha, nor would anyone have any appreciation for it. The Lord of the Gaudiyas (Gaudiyanath) has revealed to the world the deepest secret of this service and worship:

prema namadbhutarthah sravana-patha-gatah kasya namnam mahimnah
ko vetta kasya vrndavana-vipina-maha madhurisu pravesah
ko va janati radham parama-rasa-chamatkara-madhurya-simlam
ekas chaitanya-chandrah parama-karunaya sarvam avischakara

(Sri Chaitanya-chandramrta, 10.130)

"Would anyone have heard that 'prema' (divine love of God) is the highest destination? Would anyone have known the glory of the Holy Name? Would anyone have had access to the kadamba forests of Vrndavan, filled with unfathomable sweetness? Would anyone have known Sri Varsabhanavi (Sri Radha, the highest worshippable Deity), who is the resplendent embodiment of superb excellence of sweet ecstatic love (madhurya-mahabhav)? Sri Chaitanya-chandra has revealed all this manifesting His supreme magnanimous pastimes."

Would anyone have heard what prema is? The so called love found in this world is not love—it is all kama, lust. There is no love in this world. Prema is divine love, it is love for God, the feeling of being drawn to God. It is the realisation that we are all children of the Lord and we have lost our father. We must search for Him life after life... We have lost Him so many births ago, but our Guru-varga has given us an opportunity in this life to find Him.

Revealing is not the same as creating. Those who are covered by the shadow external potency of the Lord (worldly writers, archaeologists, material academic scholars, et al.) consider that Sri Chaitanyadev, Sri Radhika or Their predecessors are a creation of song-writers or Puranas! Actually, if they broaden their narrow fossil conception only a little bit, they will never think that the transcendental may take some other form being subject to birth and death.

There are authors who write statements like this about Sri Radhika saying that many people exaggerate Her greatness. One author wrote, "Sri Radhika-sundari is created by devotion and love. She is neither anyone's daughter, nor born from a pond. There is no such image of a woman in the entire scope of poetry on this planet that could convey a particle of Her separation or could accommodate even one single wave of Her happiness." Some other author takes liberty to write, "At first Srimati Radha appeared in Brahma-vaivarta and several other Sanskrit books, and then She entered the assembly of gods on an auspicious day in the age of Aryans (Dvapar-yuga). The eternally worshippable gods and goddesses were shadowed by Her stark beauty. Poets and devotees were overjoyed to see this Goddess who is like an untouched malati flower fallen from the tree—they took the flowers they had collected for Durga Devi and Kali Devi, their permanent worshippable Deities, and let it swing on the neck of Sri Radhika."

Very nicely written!

If we were to decry all these modern age defaming produced by the writers in the veil of ancient wisdom, it would require explaining many things. As this most secret great ocean is not revealed at the market of common people attached to lust and anger but is kept carefully amidst the hidden treasure, these writers, scholars, wisers or commonplace devotional movements with their gross intellect do not get the qualification to see Srimati Radharani (to have Her darsan) within Srimad Bhagavatam. How can this most profound fact be explained at a large scale to those who are engrossed in the material world? Because Sir Isaac Newton observed the law of gravity in a garden in a town called Woolsthorpe, it is considered that this is the 'birth' of this law—before that, nobody had known about the existence of this law, neither had the spoken law actually existed before that. This is when the domain of guesswork terminates. Perhaps, America was known to people long before 1492 when Columbus discovered it, but the ancient evidence is now probably buried within some archaeological site. Before the ancient archaeological site at Mohenjo-daro was discovered, nobody could even think about the existence of this civilisation. Therefore, when the scope of human knowledge is insufficient to know about the material creation, when we try to judge about the transcendental world using imperfect modern tools, our imperfect senses and our brain covered by lust, anger, etc.—it is not only hazardous, but we may consciously or unconsciously take a strong vindictive stance towards the truth.

Once, a modern traditional guru-cum-writer Ray Gunakar Bharata Chandra, being unable to understand the true nature of Sri Radhika, wrote about Her as being under the influence of the Lord's external shadow potency! Although he actually lived at Satasana Math, Sri Puri Dham (the place where Srila Raghunath Das Goswami lived and served immersed into the service of Sri Radha), and pretended to practise with disinterested nature, he had to eventually give it up—he created a fictional character of Hira Malini, a beautiful mundane enchanting courtesan, which is an imitation based on the resemblance with the transcendental and couched this similarity in the a fine poetic form—as a result, he actually brought about a flood of lust that filled the moat of Bengali language and literature of the time. We do not blame Ray Gunakar, for he is an extension of illusory environment, maya, who is capable of producing even that which is impossible! Maya (illusory potency of the Lord) has cast a cataract on the eyes of nearly the entire world—all the ancient or modern writers, archaeologists, et al.; and to this day Maya, who is the origin of Durga Devi, the mistress of the entire creation, and the personal potency of the Lord, guards and protects the unparalleled, highly confidential wealth of Sri Radhika.

Srila Prabhupad laid a special stress on this and expressed it in very appropriate Gaudiya terms and conclusions. Unless we serve the transcendental Govardhan, we will not be able to realise the supremacy of Sri Radha Kunda that lies beside Govardhan and is inundated with the nectar of divine love. 'Go' means senses or knowledge. If you serve the external, physical Govardhan, i.e. cultivate knowledge merely to increase or indulge your selfish material senses, then you are actually dunking yourself into the waters of Niraya Kunda (Hell Pond) that is created by the mahamaya, the external shadow potency of Sri Radha; those who foster transcendental senses and cultivate transcendental knowledge consider that service to Govardhan is to give pleasure to Krishna's senses. When the demon Aristasur attacks Govardhan with his horns trying to expand his own enjoyment (when mundane rationalism attacks theism and is about to destroy the truth of five spiritual relationships with the Lord, namely neutrality, servitude, friendship, parenthood and consorthood), then Krishna kills this demon and establishes the truth. When the bull-demon Aristasur was slain, an elderly gopi named Madanika handed Sri Radhika-sundari over to Krishna as a reward for that.

Aristasur assumes the form of a bull. 'Go' (a cow) is considered among religious-minded people to be a symbol of dharma, religion, and it is also known as the carrier of Lord Rudra, who is in charge of universal annihilation. So, when the bull-demon of rationalism comes to charge the banner of religion, Krishna destroys this promoter of rationalism.

Lord Rudra (Siva) rides a bull and carries Ganga—the water that washes the lotus feet of Lord Vishnu, a personal expansion of Lord Krishna Himself—on his head. This Lord Rudra, when he was defeated by Cupid, wanted to understand the transcendental pleasure Madan Mohan (Krishna, the Enchanter of Cupid) experiences during His rasa-lila and prayed for the mercy of the gopis. This Lord Krishna, surrounded by dancing sadharani and samanjasa gopis (gopis with general and appropriate attraction) during the rasa-lila, left that place of the rasa-lila. Being attracted only by the love of His dearmost Ananda-vidhayini Sri Radhika, He left the place of rasa-lila and followed behind Her. Those common gopis then spoke about Her, the main heroine of Srimad Bhagavatam, in this way:

anayaradhito nyunam bhagavan harir-isvarah
yan no vihaya govindah prito yam anayad rahah

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.30.24)

"My friend! Krishna has abandoned us and took Her to a secluded place. She must have worshipped the Supreme Lord very much." The hidden meaning of these words is that because She is the crest jewel among all the beloved of Krishna, Her name is Radhika.

We hear also that after Aristasur (bull-demon) was killed, two kundas were created—Sri Syama Kunda and Sri Radha Kunda. At this Radha Kunda Sri Krishna always enjoys the rasa-lila with Sri Radhika and Her group at midnight. These nocturnal pastimes are far more captivating than the midday pastimes, and the general gopis have no entrance there. Those who are attracted by the flute of Sri Krishna but, not waiting for the guidance of Sri Radhika, come to play with 'Dhira Samira' Krishna, have no right to enter the rasa-lila performed at Radha Kunda—Chandravali has no right to enter there.

The dancing and loving pastimes of Rasaraj Sri Krishna (the King of Love) have nothing to do with the frenzied dance of Nataraj Rudra or any of the imitative various modern and traditional indigenous dances. In fact, Gopisvar Sadasiva learned to dance at the rasa-mandali, and based on that, his plenary expansion Rudra manifests his Nataraj form (Lord Siva dancing at the time of universal annihilation). We can see in Sri Brhad-bhagvatamrta that Rudra is a servant of Sankarsan and, being always absorbed in the chanting of the name of Rama, he creates his frantic dance that drives the world mad. Imitating the ever increasing enjoyment of this dancing of Rudra the world is heading towards the tryst with annihilation.

Laksmi Devi does not have entrance to rasa-lila of Radha-Krishna. You can see in Vrindavan—when we go to Belvan crossing the Yamuna, there is a Deity of Lakmi Devi: she sits there with folded palms. She cannot cross the Yamuna because she has no devotional adherence. But Sivji Maharaj told Parvati Devi one day,

"I will go to rasa-lila!"

Parvati Devi replied, "How can you? You are a man! Except Krishna no man can enter there! If you are to go there, you must become a gopi, you must adopt devotional adherence to gopis!"

"OK, dress me as a gopi then."

Parvati Devi dressed Gopishwar Lord Siva, and now he looked like a beautiful gopi. Then, Lord Siva said,

"OK, I am going then."

"Have you dressed yourself as a gopi or have you become a gopi?"

Guru Maharaj said also—have you dressed yourself as a sadhu or have you become a sadhu, have you become a devotee or have you dressed yourself as a devotee? If you only dress as a devotee, this is wrong.

গৌর আমার যে সব স্থানে
করল ভ্রমণ রঙ্গে ।
সে সব স্থান হেরিব আমি
প্রণয়ি-ভকত-সঙ্গে ॥

gaura amara ye saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se saba sthana heribo ami
pranayi-bhakata-sange

"In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes."

('Suddha-bhakata-charana-renu' by Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur)

“গোরার আমি, গোরার আমি” মুখে বলিলে নাহি চলে ।

গোরার আচার, গোরার বিচার লইলে ফল ফলে ॥

"gorara ami, gorara ami" mukhe balile nahi chale
gorara achara, gorara vichara la-ile phala phale

Just saying, "I am Gora's! I am Gora's!" does not do. Only when you follow Gora's practices and Gora's conception will you get the proper result.

লোক দেখান গোরা ভজা তিলক মাত্র ধরি ।

গোপনেতে অত্যাচার গোরা ধরে চুরি ॥

loka dekhana gora bhaja tilaka matra dhari'
gopanete atyachara gora dhare churi

You show the world you serve Gora simply by wearing tilak but secretly you misbehave. Gora will catch you, you thief!

(Sri Sri Prema-vivarta, 8.6-7)

You cannot worship Gora just by wearing tilak, neckbeads, etc. That is why the question is whether you have become a sadhu or you merely dress as a sadhu, and that is why Parvati Devi asked Lord Siva, "Have you become a gopi or have you merely dressed yourself as a gopi?" Then she said, "If you can accept chaste devotion (anugatya) to gopis, then you can enter there. Pray to the gopis."

Following Parvati Devi's instruction, praying and praying to gopis, Lord Siva entered the place of rasa-lila. At first, the gopis could not recognise him, but then they noticed that, seeing that a new gopi had come, Krishna started talking and joking with her, and some of the sharper gopis—Lalita, Visakha, Radhika and others—wondered, "What is going on? Who is this new gopi? We have never seen her before! Who has come here at Vamsivat?"

This pastime happened at Vamsivat (vat means 'a banyan tree')—Krishna would play His flute sitting on the banyan tree there and all the gopis, hearing the flute's call, would come there in the dead of night leaving behind their husbands, children, everything. They would leave everything to fulfil Krishna's desire, and this is not kama, lust—this is prema, divine love. This is what I am telling in this chapter also—people write so much about gopis and Radharani and they enjoy with that, but what they write about Radharani and who Radharani is, is worlds apart.

So, what happened then? When the gopis realised that Sivji Maharaj had come there, they pulled out his clothes, beat and dragged him out of the rasa-lila place! Then, Krishna came to him and said, "As you have entered Vrindavan and the rasa-mancha, then let it be so—do not enter the rasa-mancha, but stay near it."

Every year, when we go to Vamsivat, we first offer our obeisance to Gopishwar. Gopishwar actually means 'the master of gopis.' Hearing that Krishna called him Gopishwar, Radharani got angry and left the rasa-mancha. She said, "Why is he Gopishwar (master of gopis)? I am the mistress of the gopis! A new gopi comes and You call her Gopishwar?!" Angry, She left and went to a pond five miles away—the pond at the bank of which She sat is called Man [Maan] Sarovar.

Pure devotees who are devoid of anarthas, have revealed the service pastimes of Sri Radhika in the scriptures dealing with the transcendental mellows of divine love, such Karnamrta, Sri Gita Govinda, books written by Chandidas, Vidyapati, etc., but the associate followers of Sri Gaurasundar, the Supreme Lord adorned by the heart and halo of Sri Radhika, can reveal far greater super excellence of Her service than what is described in these scriptures. That is why so many transcendental literatures on the transcendental mellows of divine love were composed—Sri Ray Ramananda composed his Sri Jagannath-vallabha Nataka Giti, Sri Rupa Goswami composed Vidagdha Madhava, Dana-keli-kaumudi, Stavamala, Srila Raghunath Das Goswami, the greatest follower of Sri Rupa Goswami, composed Mukta-charita, Stava-vali, and Srila Krishna Das Kaviraj Goswami Prabhu, a follower of Srila Raghunath, composed Sri Govinda-lilamrta, etc. Gaudiya Vaisnavs' reading of Gita Govinda, Karnamrta, Vidyapati, Chandidas and the reading of non-Gaudiya Vaisnavs are worlds apart. It is impossible to understand it through mundane examples or analogies—even if you compare a lecture on Shakespeare and Kalidas by a hardly literate person and a lecture on their works by an expert professor, this analogy would be still insufficient.

To the south of Nandisvara Hill there is a beautiful mountain called Varasanu. A king of cowherds Vrisabhanu with his virtuous spouse Kritika lived there, on the plateau of this Varasanu Hill, and worshipped the Lord. On the eighth day of the bright moon in the month of Bhadra, in the naksatra called Visakha, at midday, a precious jewel daughter appeared in the house of Raja Vrisabhanu illuminating the house, the town and all the ten directions. Overwhelmed with joy, Goparaj Vrisabhanu, Ratnabhanu and Subhanu, three brothers who stayed in Vrisabhanupur, began to dance. Greatly fortunate Kritika was beside herself with joy when she saw her budding moon-like daughter. A wave of joy engulfed Surapur and Vrajapur. This transcendental jewel of a daughter became renowned as Vrisabhanu-nandini Sri Radhika.

"tata arabhya nandasya vrajah sarva-samrddhiman
harer nivasatma-gunai ramakridam abhun nrpa"

"O Maharaj Pariksit, the home of Nanda Maharaj is eternally the abode of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and His transcendental qualities and is therefore always naturally endowed with the opulence of all wealth. Yet beginning from Lord Krishna's appearance there, it became the place for the pastimes of the goddess of fortune."

(Srimad Bhagavatam, 10.5.18)

For as long as the son of Nanda Maharaj enjoyed His pastimes confidentially in the abode of Lord Hari in Nanda-Gokula, all the gopis of Vraja, headed by Sri Radha, enjoyed with Him confidentially. However, when Sri Nanda Kumar enjoyed His pastimes openly, the crest jewel of the Vraja-gopis Sri Radhika expanded Herself into many gopis and enjoyed Sri Krishna's pastimes openly.

If one thinks "the flowers collected for Durga and Kali garlanded the neck of Sri Radhika" or that "appearing in Brahma-vaivarta, Sri Radhika entered the assembly of gods on an auspicious day in the age of Aryans (Dvapar-yuga)," then it will not only terminate their archaeological escapades, but will also leave them cheated in their attempts to research the scriptures.

Durga is described in Brahma-samhita as an internal potency of Govinda—she enchants, creates, maintains and annihilates the entire world. She is also described as a shadow potency of Sri Radha, who enchants the mind of Govinda, the enchanter of the world. Unless one becomes fully initiated into the service of the transcendental eternal Deity who is the origin of this internal potency, no one can understand this matter easily with one's intellect or intelligence. They are not infertile though—if the intelligence of such writers becomes cleansed, they can understand the reality. The fact is that if the imperfect jiva souls cannot recognise Vrisabhanu Nandini considering Her a mere fiction, an idol of literary works, then they bring about their own destruction submerging themselves in the filth of amusing literatures. Srila Raghunath Das Goswami Prabhu, a master of transcendental literature and a follower of Srila Rupa Goswami Prabhu, sang,

tasya apara-rasa-sara-vilasa-murter
ananda-kanda-paramadbhuta-saumya-laksmyah
brahmadi-durlabha-gater vrsabhanu-jayah
kainkaryam eva mama janmani janmani syat

"May I attain the service of Vrisabhanu-nandini birth after birth. She is the personification of the essence of the transcendental mellows of divine love. With a form of the most wonderful transcendental bliss, She is the supreme goddess of fortune. Her lotus feet are difficult to attain even for the demigods headed by Lord Brahma."

ha devi kaku-bharagada-gadayadya vacha
yache nipatya bhuvi dandavadudbhatartih
asya prasada-mavudhasya janasya krtva
gandharvike tava gane gananam vidhehi

"O Devi! In great distress I fall to the ground offering You obeisances and prayers with a voice choked with emotion. O Gandharvika! Please bestow Your mercy upon this pauper and count me amongst Your own associates."

It is written very nicely.

Jay Srimati Radharani ki jay
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay

 

 

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Vibhavari Sesa
'O souls! The night has ended and the light has come. Awake and arise! Chant 'Hari! Hari!' The Supreme Lord Krishna is the bestower of liberation, the demon Mura's enemy, and Sri Radha's lover. He appears as Hayagriva, the horse-headed Avatar.'

 

Parama karuna
'O brothers! Serve! Serve Sri Sri Chaitanya-Nitai with firm faith! Leave aside worldly affairs, merge into this rasa, and chant aloud, 'Hari! Hari!''
পরম করুণ

I have no power to say what kind of devotion to his Guru Jiva Goswami had.

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"