O king of all kadamb trees, may you delight my eyes! For your beautiful flowers are used by Shri Krishna to decorate his beloved Nikunjeshwari Radha, whose stolen glances blossom his heart with bliss and bring him completely under her control.
puṣpair yasya mudā svayaṁ giridharaḥ svairaṁ nikuñjeśvarīṁ
phullāṁ phullataraiḥ amaṇḍayad alaṁ phullaḥ nikuñjeśvaraḥ
īṣat netra vighūrṇanena kalita svādhīna ūccaiḥ tayā
śrīmān sa prathayatvaho mama dṛśoḥ saukhyaṁ kadambeśvaraḥ
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā: In this verse, a large kadamb tree of Vrindavan, known here as “kadambeshwar”, the king of kadamb trees, is being praised. From the obvious sweetness of this verse we can understand that it was spoken with a particular lila in mind.
The memory of a bygone pastime awakens here. How pure are the inconceivable feelings of Srila Raghunath Das Goswami! His heart and mind are always immersed in the transcendental flavours of these pastimes.
Generally, no one ever reveals their experiences in bhajan, but the acharyas have been so merciful as to record their experiences in their books. Out of mercy upon the souls of this world, who are scorched by the miseries of material life and who are bewildered by māyā, the Goswamis have revealed the message of the the joyful spiritual world. Thus they have blessed the conditioned souls by making them discover this abode of love and bliss.
Once Raghunath Das Goswami had the following transcendental vision: In his gopi form as a maidservant of Shri Radha named Tulsi Manjari, he (she) escorts Srimati Radha on her love-journey, helping her to meet Shyamsundar in a secluded forest hideaway.
Radha and Krishna both become overwhelmed by ecstasy when they meet each other. Tulsi Manjari closes the door of the nikuñj and peeps in through the holes in the foliage to relish the sweetness of their loving interactions… later the Divine Pair take rest Their bed of flowers, embracing each other so closely as if they were each other’s pillows.
Shri Krishna is beside himself in ecstasy when he gazes at Radha’s lotus face. līlā ante sukhe ihāra ye aṅga mādhurī; tāhā dekhi sukhe āmi āpanā pāsari (Chaitanya-charitāmṛta) Shyam drinks in the beauty of her face and the sweetness of her form through the cups of his eyes. It is as if streams of sweetness gush from Svāminī’s limbs! Shyam is beside himself from drinking this nectar, like a thirsty chakor bird.
Srimati Radha then takes the mood called svādhīna bhartṛkā. svāyattāsana dayitā bhavet svādhīna bhartṛkā (Ujjwal Neelmani) “A svādhīna bhartṛkā is a lady who has her lover always by her side, under her control.” Casting a slight sidelong glance full of feeling at Shri Krishna’s face, Radha says: “O Shyam! My dress and ornaments are all in disarray! Arrange them as they were before! If my sakhīs see me like this they will laugh at me!”
racaya kucayoḥ patraṁ citraṁ kuruṣva kapalayor ghaṭaya jaghane kāñcīmaṁca srajā kavarī-bharam
kalaya balaya-śreṇīṁ pāṇau pade kuru nūpurāv iti nigaditaḥ prītaḥ pītāmbaro’pi tathākarot
“O dearest One! Paint my breast with pictures of dolphins and make designs on my cheeks. Hang my sash of bells around my waist, place a garland in my braid, bangles on my wrists and anklebells on my feet!”
Shri Krishna follows Shri Radha’s orders and becomes absorbed in decorating her. How wonderful are the ecstatic symptoms that overwhelm Shri Krishna’s body as he dresses his beloved! He who casually lifted the Govardhana hill for seven days can no longer control himself now. He shivers, gets goosebumps and perspires. Shri Radha also perspires and blossoms with ecstasy when she is touched by her Beloved’s hands.
Tulsi Manjari dries the Divine Couple’s perspiration by sweetly fanning Them. How expertly Shri Krishna dresses his Beloved! Their maidservant is completely beside herself when she sees it.
In his meditation, a practising devotee should attain the sweet relishment of this divine joy. The blissful taste of this meditation is very sweet. With the help of these meditations the rasika devotee will arrive in the transcendental kingdom of ras and relish the sweetness of these pastimes as if perceiving them directly.
Shri Krishna picks some flowers to dress and ornament his Beloved. He brings kadamb flowers from a huge tree that hums with blissful bees. With these special flowers he makes a garland to decorate her hair. Another garland he makes to hang upon her heart. How sweet Srimati is! She is just like the Queen of the nikuñj! Is a Queen not to be worshipped? With tear-filled eyes, prem pujari Shri Krishna offers everything at her lotus feet – his body, mind and soul – through these kadamb flowers.
Tulsi Manjari beside herself with ecstasy as she witnesses this pastimes of the Divine Pair. Seeing her darling Radha worshipped with so much love, her heart has gone to the kingdom of unknown bliss.
Holding the memory of this honey-sweet pastime in his heart, Raghunath Das Goswami praises this king of kadamb trees in this verse.
viśāla kadamba ḍāle, praphulla kadamba phule,
yāra śobhā kohone nā yāy
kuñjeśvara giridhare, puṣpa heri harṣa bhare
sānande cayana kori tāya
“Blissfully, Giridhari picks indescribably beautiful kadamb flowers from the large tree branches.”
kuñjeśvarī śrī rādhikā, rūpa guṇe sarvādhikā,
praphullita nā dhare ānanda
kadambera phula rāje, nija hāte rasa rāje,
sājāiche raciyā prabandha
“The romantic lad makes floral wreaths from these regal kadamb flowers with his own hands. The bliss of that supreme beauty Sri Radha, the queen of the nikuñj, knows no bounds.”
svādhīna bhartṛkā rādhā, pūrāiche mana sādhā,
ye kadambera pari phula hāra.
se śrīmān kadambeśvara, yāra tale vilāsa ghara,
netrotsava koruna āmāra
“He fulfils all the desires of his ladylove by making a garland of kadamb flowers for her. May the beautiful king of the kadamb trees, at whose base the love-bower lies, create a festival for my eyes!”
The 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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