Sometimes falling at Sri Radha’s lotus feet,
sometimes drinking the nectar honey of her lotus mouth,
sometimes trapped in the flower cup of her lotus breasts,
when will I see this Krishna bumblebee cavort in Vrindavan.
kadācit śrī-rādhā-mukha-kamala-mādhvī-rasa-pibam |
viloke taṁ kṛṣṇa-bhramaram adhi vṛndāvanam aham ||1.96||
Yesterday I felt a bit of fear as I posted such an intimate pastime of Radha and Krishna. At the same time I was being criticized for talking about the fragrance of Radha’s body, as in the first verse of Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi.
dhanyātidhanya-pavanena kṛtārtha-mānī |
tasyā namo’stu vṛṣabhānu-bhuvo diśe’pi ||
I bow down to even the direction in which Vrishabhanunandini is present, for even Madhusudana, whose characteristics are incomprehensible to even the greatest yogis (yogīndra-durgama-gatir madhusūdano’pi), thinks himself to be most fortunate and fulfilled when the glorious, most glorious breezes arising from the playful movement of the hem of her sari come his way. (RRSN 2)
Madhusūdana is a name that has several meanings, including “drinker of honey,” which is what a bee is. That is why he is likened to a bee, besides being black, of course. There is plenty of scope for scouring the literature for more comparisons of Krishna to a bee, especially in the Bhagavatam 10.47, where Radharani’s soliloquy to a bee arises on hearing the gopis lament that a bee leaves a flower when it has sucked it dry of honey and goes to another, so does Krishna abandon the gopis after tasting their love.
These are befitting the dhīra-lalita hero, who is our worshipable hero, Krishna.
vṛndāvane aprākṛta navīna madana
kāma-gāyatrī kāma-bīje jāṅra upāsana
puruṣa yoṣit kibā sthāvara jaṅgama
sarva cittākarṣaka sākṣāt manmatha madana
In Vrindavan resides an ever-youthful, divine Cupid. His worship is conducted with the Kama bija and Kama gayatri mantra. This form of Krishna subjugates males, females, and even moving and non-moving objects, what to speak of attracting the mundane God of Love himself. (CC 2.8.137-138)
śṛṅgāra-rasa-rāja-maya-mūrti dhara |
ataeva ātmā paryanta sarva-citta hara ||
rāya kahena kṛṣṇa hayena dhīra-lalita |
nirantara kāma-krīḍā yāhāra carita ||
Krishna attracts the hearts of all living entities, including himself because he has taken form as the embodiment of the romantic sentiment. Krishna has the character of a dhīra-lalita, charming lover, whose only business is to engage in amorous sports. (CC 2.8.143, 187.)
The dhīra-lalita, the lead in a romantic comedy, is described by Rupa Goswami as follows:
vidagdho nava-tāruṇyaḥ parihāsa-viśāradaḥ |
niścinto dhīra-lalitaḥ syāt prāyaḥ preyasī-vaśaḥ ||
The charmer is suave, youthful, clever at the art of flirtatious humor, is always carefree and usually dominated by his mistress. (BRS 2.1.230)
And the example Rupa Goswami gives reveals the same traits as yesterday’s verse, and that today: śrī-rādhā-kuca-kamala-koṣa-dvaya-rataṁ. The bee, though it flies from flower to flower, sometimes becomes so enamored of the inexhaustible supplies of honey in the lotus that he becomes entrapped by the petals when they fold closed at night.
vācā sūcita-śarvarī-rati-kalā-prāgalbhyayā rādhikāṁ
vrīḍā-kuñcita-locanāṁ viracayann agre sakhīnām asau |
kaiśoraṁ saphalī-karoti kalayan kuñje vihāraṁ hariḥ ||
With very words indicating clearly the bold arts of eros experienced the night before, Krishna made Radharani squint in embarassment in front of the sakhis. As he did so, he continued to show his expertise in painting various dolphin figures on her breasts [with musk and sandalwood. By these playful pastimes in the kunjas of Vrindavan, Krishna fulfilled the purpose of his youth. (BRS 2.1.231)
Not everyone has the adhikāra for this madhura-rasa, but it is important to recognize that this is the mood at the center of Vrindavan. It is the worshipable mood of all the rasika sampradāyas, and this is what Vrindavan will reveal to the surrendered bhakta who is fortunate to have found the association of rasikas in the Holy Dhām.
A note about the style. Prabodhananda’s style is easily recognizable, which seems to be the best evidence that he is the author of the Rādhā-rasa-sudhā-nidhi.
rādhā-vihāra-vipine ramatāṁ mano me ||
May my mind take pleasure in Sri Radha’s forest playground,
which is filled with flower vines
whose twigs have been touched by Radha’s hands,
whose sweet sites have been trod and marked by Radha’s feet
and where the birds become intoxicated singing Radha’s glories. (RRSN 13)
More examples will no doubt follow.