I daily bow down to Gopishwar Mahadeva, who was devotedly worshiped on the bank of the Yamuna by the loving gopīs who desired the jewel-like embrace of the arms of Sri Krishna, the prince of Vraja, and who thus swiftly attained their desired object.
sphurad-gopī-vṛndair yam iha bhagavantaṁ praṇayibhiḥ
bhajadbhis tair bhaktyā svam abhilaṣitaṁ prāptam acirād
yamī-tīre gopīśvaram anudinaṁ taṁ kila bhaje
Stavāmṛta Kaṇā Vyākhyā : Now Raghunath Das Goswami praises Bhagavān Mahadeva Sri Gopishwar, who is situated on the bank of the Yamuna. Sri Mahadeva has freely taken shelter of the bank of the Yamuna in the transcendental abode of Vraja to worship Sri Krishna and his pleasure potency, Sri Radha, and her expansions, the Vrajasundarīs.
When Sri Krishna’s beloved Vrajasundarīs saw Śrīman Mahādeva situated on the bank of the Yamuna, though, they floated in an ocean of bliss, for they knew that by his grace the company of Sri Krishna would certainly be attained. By worshiping Bhagavān Mahadeva with topmost devotion they would swiftly attained their desired goal, Sri Krishna’s company.
From then onwards Sri Krishna’s beloved Vrajasundarīs began to worship Sri Mahadeva on the bank of the Yamuna, yearning for the treasure of Sri Krishna’s arms, and the deity has thence become famous as Gopishwar. The gopīs attained a jewel by being embraced by Sri Krishna’s arms. It is described in the praises of Sri Krishna by the personified Vedas:
O Lord! With rigid yoga practices, the sages worship You in the heart as the undifferentiated brahman, subduing their minds, senses and life-airs, but Your enemies have attained that very same brahman-status by thinking of You in fear and enmity. The gopīs, though, were attached to the embrace of Your snake-like arms and have thus attained the nectar of Your lotus feet on their breasts. By following in their footsteps we have also attained this nectar from Your lotus feet!” (Bhāgavata 10.87.23)
Desiring this jewel-like embrace of Sri Krishna’s arms the gopīs are worshiping Gopishwar, being very attached to these arms. The reason is that the worship of Gopishwar fulfills all desires of everyone. It is described in Sri Bhakti Ratnākara:
ei sadāśiva vṛndāvipina pālaya; ihāke pūjile sarva kārya siddha hoy
gopīgaṇa sadā kṛṣṇa saṅgera lāgiyā; nirantara pūje yatne nānā dravya diyā
kohite ki pāri ye mahimā gurutara; gopikā pūjita teṅho nāma gopīśvara
indrādi devatā stuti koroye sadāya; vṛndāvane prīti vṛddhi ihāra kṛpāya
“How wonderfully beautiful it is within this forest! Here is the transcendental liṅga-deity named Gopishwar. This Mahadeva is protecting Vrindavan and anyone who worships him attains all perfection. The gopīs always desired to be with Krishna and for this they always worshiped (Gopishwar) with different paraphernalia. Who can describe the great glories of Gopishwar, who was so named because the gopīs worshiped him? Our love for Vrindavan is increasing by his mercy, who is always praised by the demigods, headed by Indra.”
sarva-kleśa-haraṁ devaṁ vṛndāraṇya-rati-pradam
I praise Śrīmad Gopishwar Śaṅkara, the all-benign, the Lord who destroys all misery and who increases the love of Vrindavan.
O presiding god of Vrindavan! O beautiful moon-crested Lord! O you who are worshipable for Sanandana, Sanātana, Nārada and others! O Gopeśvara! All glories to you! Please give me unconditional love for the lotus feet of the playful pair of Vraja, Sri Sri Radha Madhava! I offer my obeisances unto you again and again! (Saṅkalpa-kalpa-druma, 103)
Raghunath Das Goswami says: “I always worship this Gopishwar Mahadeva! By the grace of Sri Gopishwar, who fulfills all desires, I will also attain the perfection of service to the lotus feet of the Divine Pair. Of this there is no doubt!”
āliṅgana divya ratna lābhe
nitya yamunāra tīre, mahāprema sahakāre,
bhakti kori pūje sadāśive
“The Vraja-gopīs passionately desired the divine jewel-like embrace of the arms of Nanda’s son, and for this reason they always went to the bank of the Yamuna with great love to devotedly worship Lord Mahadeva.”
labhya hoy sei gopīśvare
sadāśiva bhagavān, deho iṣṭa vara dāna,
bhaji pade pulakita bhare
“By Gopishwar’s auspicious grace all desires are swiftly fulfilled. O Lord Mahadeva! Grant me my desired boon! I worship you with goose pimples on my skin!”
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.