I worship Sri Krishna’s servants, headed by Patri, who always please him by handing him his flute, a mirror, water, camphor-scented betel leaves, by playing the vīṇā or by carrying messages for him, who have lovingly divided all these services amongst themselves, who are most affectionally dedicated to the service of the Lord of their lives with body, mind and words, and who are equal in stature to his friends though they are always eager to serve him.
premṇā ye paribaṇṭanena kalitāḥ sevāḥ sadaivotsukāḥ
kurvāṇāḥ paramādareṇa satataṁ dāsā vayasyopamāḥ
prāṇeśaṁ paritoṣayanti paritas tān patri-mukhyān bhaje
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Raghunath Das Goswami praises Raktaka, Patraka and all the other servants of Krishna in Vraja.
viśvastāḥ prabhutā-jñāna-vinamrita-dhiyaś ca te
The servants keep their eyes lowered, follow the orders of the Lord, are trustworthy, and have a very humble attitude, considering Krishna to be their Lord. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 3.2.16)
According to Srila Rupa Goswamipada Sri Krishna has four kinds of servants: adhikṛta, āśrita, pāriṣada and anuga. (caturdhāmī adhikṛtāśrita-pāriṣadānugāḥ – ibid., 18).
- Brahma, Mahadeva and Indra are counted among the adhikṛta-dāsas.
- There are three kinds of āśritas – śaraṇya, jñānī-cara and sevā-niṣṭha.
- Kaliya and the kings that were imprisoned by Jarasandha are among the śaraṇyas, i.e., those who have taken shelter when helpless,
- Shaunaka and other sages are among the jñānī-caras, those who were first situated in knowledge and became servants as a result;
- Candradhvaja, Harihaya, Bahulashva, Ikshvaku, Shrutadeva and Pundarika are among the sevā-niṣṭhas, meaning they are fixed in service.
- Uddhava, Daruka and Jaitra are counted as pāriṣadas or close associates.
- There are two kinds of anugas – those in Dwaraka and those in Vraja. Suchandra and Mandana are among the servants in Dwaraka, and Raktaka, Patraka, Patrī, Madhukantha, Madhuvrata, Rasala, Suvilasa, Premakanda, Marandaka, Ānanda, Candrahāsa, Payoda, Bakula, Rasada and Sārasa are some of Krishna’s servants in Vraja. Their forms are just as beautiful as their names –
I offer my obeisances unto Sri Nandanandan’s servants, whose bodies are brightened by shimmering jewelled ornaments and have enchanting complexions of gold, japā flowers (blood-red), bumblebees, sandalwood and others and that are beautified by divine garments that exactly fit their bodies. (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 3.2.43)
Their service is also full of eagerness:
varair agurubhir jalaṁ racaya vāsitaṁ vārida
rasāla parikalpayor agalatā dalair vīṭikāḥ parāga
paṭalī gavāṁ diśam arundha paurandarīm
O Bakula! Quickly wash this yellow silken dhoṭi! O Vārida! Scent this water with the most excellent aguru-perfume! O Rasāla! Prepare betel leaves, for the eastern direction is covered with dust thrown up by the hooves of the cows! (Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu 3.2.44)
Because the service of the servants in Vraja is full of deep affection Sripada Das Goswami has called them vayasyopamāḥ, “just like friends.” According to Srila Rupa Goswamipada the sthāyi-bhāva of dāsya-rasa is sambhrama-prīti, and he has defined that sambhrama-prīti as follows:
anenaikyaṁ gatā prītiḥ sambhrama-prītir ucyate.
eṣā rase’tra kathitā sthāyi-bhāvatayā budhaiḥ
When the heart trembles out of respect for the Lord it is called sambhrama, and the love that attains oneness with this is called sambhrama-prīti. This sambhrama-prīti is the basic mood (sthāyi-bhāva) of this dāsya-rasa. (BRS 3.2.76)
It is therefore certain that there is some awe and reverence in dāsya-rasa. But Srila Jiva Goswami has written: “The sthāyi-bhāva of the servants in Vraja consists of service rendered only in a mood of sweetness.”
One may argue here: “Without some feeling of awe and reverence a service attitude can simply not come to pass. If there is no feeling in the servants of Vraja that Krishna is the Lord, then how can their dāsya-bhakti be accomplished?”
For this reason Sri Jīva says; “Although they feel a sweet love for Krishna, their service attitude is accomplished because they honour Krishna as the son of the king of Vraja, who is very qualified and powerful.”
Not one of the Vrajavasis can see Krishna as God. In dāsya-rasa there is some respect for him, though, as the son of the king, therefore Das Goswami has called them vayasya-tulya or equal to his friends.
They lovingly divide the services to Krishna amongst themselves, such as handing him his flute or his mirror, carrying messages for him, serving him water or camphor-scented betel leaves or by playing the vīṇā for him. In this way they bring Krishna satisfaction.
Das Goswami thus says: “I worship these servants, headed by Patrī, who are always eager to render Krishna service.”
paraspara sevā kārya koriyā baṇṭane
vaṁśī, darpaṇa, dūtya-kriyā, karpūra, tāmbūla;
paricaryā kore yārā samayānukūla
suvāsita jala bhogya upakaraṇa yoto;
vīṇā-vādya yantra yāhā kṛṣṇa abhimata
kṛṣṇera marama bujhi paricaryā kore;
bhāgyavān kṛṣṇa dāsa brahmāṇḍa bhitore
sei vayasya tulya patrī ādi dāsa gaṇa;
sarvadā bhajibo āmi ei mora mana
I wholeheartedly worship Patrī and the other servants of Sri Krishna, who lovingly engage in Krishna’s service day and night and who have divided these services amongst each other. They hand him his flute and his mirror, carry messages for him and serve him camphor and betelleaves, as is fit for the time of the day or year. They give him enjoyable things like scented water and play the Vīṇā exactly as Krishna likes it. They serve Krishna perfectly because they know exactly how he feels. These servants of Krishna, that are comparable to his friends, are the most fortunate creatures of the world!!”
Commentary of Sri Radha Kund Mahant, Pandit Sri Ananta Das Babaji Maharaj is named Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā (a drop of the nectar of Stavāvalī), and was published in Gaurābda 503 (1989 A.D.) from Sri Krishna Chaitanya Shastra Mandir, Vrajananda Ghera, PO Radhakunda (district Mathura), U.P., India.
Devotional songs in Bengali that follow each commentary were composed by Dr. Haripada Sheel.
© Translated by Advaita dāsa in 1994
Source: Tarun Govinda Das, Flowing Nectar Stream blog.
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