I diligently praise Vraja’s bees, which wander around the mango, kadamba and bakula trees and around vines like the madhavi, humming sweetly and indistinctly everywhere to the great pleasure of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
cūteṣv eṣu kadambakeṣu bakuleṣv anyeṣu vṛkṣeṣv alaṁ
prītyā mādhavikādi-valliṣu tathā bhāṅkara-nadair dvayoḥ
ye bhṛṇgāḥ paritas tayoḥ sukha-bharaṁ vistārayanti sphuṭaṁ
guñjanto bata vibhrameṇa nitarāṁ tān eva vandāmahe
I diligently praise the bees of Vraja, which wander around the mango, kadamba and bakula trees and around vines like the madhavi, humming sweetly and indistinctly everywhere to the great pleasure of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse Śrīpāda Dāsa Goswamicaraṇa praises the bees of Vraja, which are humming around the blooming flowers of the trees and vines of Vraja’s forests. Who knows which great souls have assumed the forms of bees to become intoxicated by the taste of the honey that trickles from the flowers of Vraja’s trees and vines, humming rasika songs about Sri Sri Radha and Krishna?
These bees become blessed by landing on the marks of Sri Sri Radha Madhava’s feet, which are rarely attained even by the greatest mystics and sages. They kess the footprints so that they can drink the honey that has trickled onto the ground from their lotus feet. Can there be any doubt that these bees, who have become intoxicated by relishing the extraordinary nectarean bodily fragrance of Sri Radha and Krishna, are fully blessed?
Raghunath Das Goswami praises these bees by saying: “The bees of Vraja, which wander around the mango, kadamba and bakula trees and around vines like the madhavi, are humming sweetly and indistinctly everywhere to the great pleasure of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna.”
The humming of these bees is a special erotic incitement for Sri Sri Radha Madhava, and sounds like the victory-drum of Cupid. The sweet humming of the bees incites the Yugala’s eagerness to make love, just like the sharp flower-arrows of Cupid.
These bees are always intoxicated by songs about the pastimes of the young Cupid of Vrindavan, Sri Shyamasundar, and the embodiment of mahābhāva, Sri Vrishabhanu-nandini, whose lotus feet are worshipped by millions of Ratis.
Because they drink the honey from the transcendental flowers of the transcendental trees and vines of Vrindavan the minds and life-airs of the bees are saturated by the same ingredients. That is why they give so much happiness to the Divine Pair when they hear them humming.
With their humming the bees remind Sri Sri Radha Madhava of different sweet pastimes, and in this way they make Them very happy. Sri Sri Radha Madhava are seated on a jeweled throne in a Mādhavī-kunja, immersed in laughing and joking with the sakhīs. Attracted to the bodily fragrance of the Divine Pair, the bees leave the flowergarden and surround Them in the nikunja, humming.
śrama bhare baiṭhalo mādhavī kuñja; rāi mukha kamale paḍaye alipuñja
līlā kamalahi kānu tāhā vāri; “madhusūdana geo” kohoto ucāri
eto śuni rāi virahe bhelo bhora; koho rādhā-mohana anurāga ora
“Swarms of ecstatic bees leave the flower garden and fly towards the trees, attracted to the fragrance of Srimati Rai, who sits exhausted in a madhavi kunj. They land on Rai’s lotus face, but Krishna stops them with his play lotus. Then someone exclaims: “Madhusūdana (the bee, or Krishna) has gone!” Hearing this, Rai becomes filled with feelings of separation. This was lovingly narrated by Radha Mohana Das.”
When Krishna flapped his playlotus the bees left Sri Krishna and the sakhīs said: “Madhusūdana has gone!” As soon as Sri Radha heard this, waves of prema-vaicittya-rasa arose in the mahābhāva-ocean of her heart.
yā viśleṣādhiyāttis tat prema vaicittyam ucyate
“When the lover is so overwhelmed by feelings of love that he/she is afraid of separation from the beloved even if the beloved is close by, and suffers from that feeling of fear, it is called prema-vaicittya.” (Ujjvala Nīlamaṇi 15.147)
This means that the intelligence becomes so subtle out of great feelings of love that the ladylove can not perceive both Krishna and his pastimes, just as one can stick a needle once through a tiny hole in the cloth, but not twice or thrice. In other words, when the intelligence enters into Sri Krishna’s pastimes the passionate ladylove cannot perceive Krishna himself anymore . Then she will lament out of the anguish of separation:
āra ki milabo mohe rasamaya śyāma; viraha jaladhi kobo paṅrava hāma
nikaṭahi nāha nā herai rāi; sahacarī koto parabodhai tāi
kānu camaki tab rāi karu kora; govinda dāsa heri bhelo bhora
“Rasavatī Rai sits next to Rasikavara Krishna, loudly wailing and weeping and burning in the fire of separation. “When will I again meet my rasamaya Śyāma? When will I cross this ocean of separation?” Although her hero is close by, Rai does not see him, no matter how often her girlfriends try to make her attentive of this. Krishna then takes Rai on his lap in great astonishment. Govinda dāsa is absorbed in witnessing this.”
Sri Vrindavan’s swarm of bees is the cause of the manifestation of all this extraordinary sweet rasa of Sri Sri Radha Madhava, and they also make the Divine Pair relish great happiness by causing incitements of various other pastimes. Raghunath Das Goswami says: “I praise these bees with care, that is: with body, mind and words.”
madhu piye yevā bhṛṅga-gaṇa
madhura avyakta nāde, vṛkṣe vṛkṣe gatāyāte
puñje puñje koroye guñjana
rādhā-govindera yārā, madhura jhaṅkāra dvārā,
vistāriche atiśaya sukha
tādera vandanā kori, mādhukarī vrata kori,
guṇa gābo heri candra mukha
I praise the bees that constantly drink the honey from the mango-, Kadamba-, and Bakula-trees and from vines like the Mādhavī, who fly around from tree to tree, sweetly and indistinctly humming, and who greatly increase the joy of Radha and Govinda with this sweet humming. I will sing their glories and see Radha and Govinda’s moon-like faces.
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
More of Ananta Das Pandit’s writings in English translation can be found at Tarun Govinda’s blog, Amrita Tarangini.
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